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Help for chicken yard design?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Im doing a bit of research on the best possible options for chicken yards. The criteria for the yard are:

ease of access to the yard for cleaning/maintenance
ensuring the flock is contained
protecting the flock from predators
providing year round access to the yard for the flock
ensure the yard will survive a heavy snow load
minimizing cost for construction of yard

Weve had chickens for several years. Each winter Im faced with the same problems, the snow load becomes too heavy for the protective barrier over the top of the yard to support and the fencing collapses & my chickens spend too little time foraging. Im looking for ideas & suggestions that may have worked for you or others chicken owners you may know.

One added condition is that the area where the yard is located is unlevel.

My plan of attack for this winter is to build an A frame enclosure that I can tarp in heavy snows/rains.

Thanks!

post #2 of 16

Welcome to the forum!

Sorry but I can offer no help on the question of building for harsh winters. Where I live, we rarely see snow. But there are many others here who do live "up north" and hopefully some of them will chime in shortly.

post #3 of 16

Too many variables that depend on where you're located, so nobody can help you much because you haven't listed your CITY/TOWN, STATE  under your NAME yet.  Please go to (click) Profile (on the dark-blue line above) and then to the list on the left hand side titled Profile Menu.  Going there and choosing the second item on the list, PERSONAL, you can type in the name of the city or town and state where you live.

Breathes there a woman with soul so dead who never once looked up and said,
"Gee, what can I do for Joe Bryant today."

The best laid plans of mice and men go oft' awry.
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Breathes there a woman with soul so dead who never once looked up and said,
"Gee, what can I do for Joe Bryant today."

The best laid plans of mice and men go oft' awry.
Reply
post #4 of 16

Joe- Juneau is in Alaska. Check her name. The A frame sounds like a good idea.

Rainbow eggs and self sufficiency.

DH 43 yrs, DS 40, 2 cats Bitsey & Snuggles, & 18 hens, leghorns, Cuckoo marans, EE, Ameraucanas,Golden comets, Polish, Welsummer & then my silkie rooster Pretty Boy.
This is the day that the Lord has made.-- Psalm 118:24   Wherever you go... there you are.--Dr.Who.

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Rainbow eggs and self sufficiency.

DH 43 yrs, DS 40, 2 cats Bitsey & Snuggles, & 18 hens, leghorns, Cuckoo marans, EE, Ameraucanas,Golden comets, Polish, Welsummer & then my silkie rooster Pretty Boy.
This is the day that the Lord has made.-- Psalm 118:24   Wherever you go... there you are.--Dr.Who.

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post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by BWKatz 

Joe- Juneau is in Alaska. Check her name. The A frame sounds like a good idea.


Well, yeah, but...  Mmmm... Never mind.

Breathes there a woman with soul so dead who never once looked up and said,
"Gee, what can I do for Joe Bryant today."

The best laid plans of mice and men go oft' awry.
Reply
Breathes there a woman with soul so dead who never once looked up and said,
"Gee, what can I do for Joe Bryant today."

The best laid plans of mice and men go oft' awry.
Reply
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by joebryant 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BWKatz 

Joe- Juneau is in Alaska. Check her name. The A frame sounds like a good idea.


Well, yeah, but...  Mmmm... Never mind.


yuckyuck

Full time nurse, part time Grad student. Living with 1 very tolerant husband, a newborn baby girl, 1 chihuahua, 1 Norweigan Elkhound, 1 talkative tabby cat & 3 chickies (Priscilla Presley (BO), Ginger (Golden Comet), Chicken Sally (BL)), and loving EVERY minute of it!
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Full time nurse, part time Grad student. Living with 1 very tolerant husband, a newborn baby girl, 1 chihuahua, 1 Norweigan Elkhound, 1 talkative tabby cat & 3 chickies (Priscilla Presley (BO), Ginger (Golden Comet), Chicken Sally (BL)), and loving EVERY minute of it!
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post #7 of 16

This may seem stupid - but must you cover the chicken yard? No need to worry about it collapsing then!

Building my backyard farm. Husband thinks I'm crazy, but toddler thinks its awesome!
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Building my backyard farm. Husband thinks I'm crazy, but toddler thinks its awesome!
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post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Joe,

We live in southeast Alaska - Juneau to be exact. 

A covering over the yard is necessary because eagles and hawks are frequent visitors to our yard.  They spend a lot of time free ranging in the forest but we like to be able to keep them in a protected yard when no one is around to shoo away the eagles. 

THX

post #9 of 16

I'm in ND and we have heavy snow loads also.  I haven't done mine yet... but my plan is to also go with an A framed run and put metal roofing on top.  We have all the supplies and the tin, but just haven't had the time to get it up yet.
The sun on the metal will keep most of the snow sliding off and you should also be able to use a broom to pull it off when needed. 
I can tell you from experience, your tarp won't last the whole winter!   But then mine was too big of an area for a tarp, so the snow was just too heavy.

Maybe check your local craigslist or place a wanted ad and see if you can get any used metal roofing for cheap or free.

We raise quarter horses and have 1 German shepherd, 3 poms and some barn cats.  Chickens: FBC Marans, and Silkies.

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We raise quarter horses and have 1 German shepherd, 3 poms and some barn cats.  Chickens: FBC Marans, and Silkies.

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post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice, Sue.  I think I will go with your suggestion and try to scavenge metal roofing from somewhere.

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