Originally Posted by Sylvester017
First of all I like your coop if that's the same one I saw on the cedar website with the metal roof. The additional pen provides a good place to ball-tie a tarp over the coop for shade or rain protection.
Secondly in a rural area it's good to have 2 dogs although my personal preference are for the flock guardian breed dogs rather than general working dogs but still a plus to have 2 big dogs - yours are handsome! The only reason I say guardian flock breeds rather than herding or general working dogs is that the herding/working breeds will instinctively leave the flock unprotected to go chase after a predator (our old Border Collie and Rottie) where a flock breed will not only let the flock walk around them but most flock dog instincts will stay in the midst of a flock until the predator is in range. Some of these flock breeds are gentle giants with family members as well as with the flock like Pyrenees, Ovtcharka Mountain, Sarplininac, Maremma, etc etc. The drawback for me now to have a great flock dog breed is that most of them are in the 100+ lb range and my cottage backyard is just too small for a large dog to get enough exercise plus I only have 4 hens now. Used to have 25 acres but in retirement we have a small cottage yard.
Third it's great you have awareness of predators in your area. It's amazing how many people get surprised when a coyote, fox, or raccoon attacks their birds. Noctural raccoons with kits usually don't come out in the daylight hours but around us we've seen the adults with no kits walking around the golf course in the morning and in the late afternoon sun. If predators are hungry enough and food is available all bets are off regarding their normal behavior. I've seen videos of cute raccoons viciously rip open a screen door and attack a human in their own living room. Some raccoon behavior is just the thrill of the chase and not necessarily for food. Any time I see roadkill in our suburb I know it means at least 1/2 dozen less kits next year LOL!!
First of all Thanks! If you visited http://urbancoopcompany.com/product/round-top-chicken-coop/ then, yes, it's the same coop. While I agree with tarping the additional run, I live in Colorado where we get a good amount of snow, need to build a hoop or slanted roof, putting a tarp over a flat roof not a good idea here :)
Secondly, I've had the dogs for 6 n 9 years, the ladies, 1 week. I can certainly see the advantages of having a "flock dog" in the future.
Third, yeah, even though I'm new to having my own chickens, having lived in rural Colorado, I can't think of one that someone has mentioned that you don't find here. Although I haven't seen one myself one of my dogs got sprayed by a skunk back in May. I've seen fox in town, hear coyotes at night, a friend, just 3 blocks away, speaks of raccoons in her yard.