post your chicken coop pictures here! - Page 1002
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The coop is about 12' x 12' inside. Up under the eaves and the dormer will be a quiet winter place for my wife to scrap book etc. 2 downstairs windows open for ventilation. In the winter everything freezes solid, think 40 below, so ammonia smell isn't an issue from November through early April. The windows in the upstairs dormer etc will be used windows I am replacing in our home.
A bear would have a difficult time breaking in, All windows have 1/2" hardware cloth plus solid metal grating over that for larger critters. I already have a smaller chicken house built the same way and no animal has ever broken in and that includes weasels (fingers crossed).
No I'm not a logger, hauled the logs with a skidoo and sled in the winter on a hard packed trail when it was cold. You can haul up a 25' mid sized log with a skidoo on a good trail if its cold. Just don't stop once you get going and don't waste your time if its over -20 C.
Not going to quote for space reasons but regarding the 16x16 and chickens not destroying the grass...I have 8 hens and it only took them a few hours to dig up all my raking efforts. If they are in an enclosed run on grass I'm sure they will dig it up quickly. Mine free range (no run) but my previous coop setup had a concrete 8x20 run in chicken wire. This winter I will try free ranging on no snow days and keep them in when its nasty. I've noticed a dramatic drop in feed consumption since I started letting them out which won't happen in a run due to over grazing. This morning I threw out some bread crusts to see what they would do and it was gone in minutes.
While free ranging may be great for your hens it's not an option for all. I have 2 dogs who would most likely chase them down and kill them if I chose to free range. In addition I live in rural Colorado where there are a number of predators, hawks, eagles, great horned owls, coyotes, foxes and skunks just to name a few. I have 90 sq ft of fenced run area that I will be putting 5 hens in tomorrow. It's a bit late in the year, however I plan on adding grazing boards next spring.
for What its worth... I have eighteen acres. my run will be seventy five by twenty five covered with aviary netting. No free ranging here.
I have lost three flocks total to bobcat, Mountain lion, and raccoons... but coyotes count for most of them and the loss of my cats. Dogs are worse though... because they chase and kill but once one is killed they dont stop and eat they continue chasing and killing till the whole flock is gone.
The only thing that survives free ranging here are Guinea Fowel and the lighter flightier game crosses. The egg layers and heavier birds will not be allowed out...
And Yep never mind goats and sheep for clearing your property... all you need is a flock of chickens....
Past poultry: Buff Brhama, EE, Barred rock, Wellsummer,
Bantam mixes, Araucana, Turkeys, & Guinea Fowl.
Future poultry: Guinea Fowl, Sumatra, Wellsummer, Muscovy
"A dream without a plan is just a wish" Katherine Paterson