A couple questions about the coop and yard

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Patoot, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    293
    2
    116
    Aug 20, 2010
    I am putting together a coop and clearing the yard for 4 Rhode Island Reds (3 mos old). I have a couple questions.

    I got a dowel for a roost, but could not find any that were 2" in diameter. The biggest I could get was 1 3/8. There was a 1 1/2 one, but it was too short. Will that be okay or should I be hunting around for a 2" one?

    I have read English Ivy is poisonous to chickens. I also read on the forums that people have noticed the chickens don't bother with the stuff that is poisonous to them as if they know. [​IMG] I have some ivy climbing the walls/fence in the yard. Today I ripped up all the Ivy that had crawled onto the ground, especially close to where the chickies may be. So there is no Ivy on the ground, but it's on the wall. Will that be okay?

    Also, the dirt/mulch under where the Ivy was growing is RICH with critters...I saw pill/potato bugs, spiders, ants, snails, worms, grasshoppers, and more. Within the mulched bark there are some dead ivy leaves. I picked up the obvious ones, but if I scrape it clean, I will also remove all the buggies the girls will like. Do you think it's okay to leave the mulch so they can pick through it even if here happens to be some crispy old ivy leaves that might be in there?

    They will be in a completely fenced in yard with varying height fences. The shortest is a little over 4 ft and I can extend that if you think that will be a problem. The majority of the yard is 5-6 ft and some even taller. There is a tree (cherry blossom) next to the coop and against a wall. Will they use that to escape? Apart from the excellent egg laying known to RIR breeds, I also read they are heavy and much less prone to fly, though I'm sure it does happen.

    I got 4 ft poultry fence to go around the veggie garden. Should that be enough to deter them?

    I will let them in the flower garden because it's pretty pathetic this year anyway...a sprinkler broke when we were gone for a month. There are weeds in there and only a couple of flowering plants (pansies and roses).

    I should shut up before this becomes a novel. Thanks for your help.

    Bree
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    30,361
    150
    446
    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    It's a novel, [​IMG] but I have 2X2s for roosts and mine do fine. The four foot fence will keep some hens from jumping it but a five or six foot would be better.
     
  3. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    We use 2 X 4's for roost. I've never had ivy, so maybe someone else can help with that. Our Rhode Islands stay in a four foot fence, but we have a large pen, they might try harder to get out of a smaller one, not sure.
     
  4. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    293
    2
    116
    Aug 20, 2010
    Would I have to round the edges of the 2x4? I read that I would have to do that and I don't have a way to do that. Is it better to have a smaller dowel or a larger 2x4 with a square edge?

    I'm hoping their area is large enough for them. We measured the other day and they will have about 600 sq ft for 4 girls. It will be more in the winter since they can go in the veggie garden then. It also doesn't include the very large porch which they can go in if they want.

    Thanks guys.

    Bree
     
  5. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    We have never rounded the edges, we just put them up with the 2" side up, never had a problem and have used these for many years. I've seen several people use 2 X 4's with the 4" side up too, I don't think it matters. My Grandpa used peeled saplings from the woods. Chickens really aren't as picky as some think. [​IMG]
     
  6. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    293
    2
    116
    Aug 20, 2010
    Oh cool. Thanks. I'll bring back the dowel and get a 2x4. I only need one for 4 birds right? It will be 63 inches long. I can do more than one, but I thought they would like the room in the coop and want to share one anyway. I read lots of posts where people said they had lots of roosts and the birds all stayed on one. [​IMG]

    Bree
     
  7. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    I personally allow 18" per bird, but that is more than they need I think. We raise lots of large birds like Cochins & Jersey Giants and I like to give them plenty of room. I think for your 4 birds one roost will be plenty.
    Good luck!
     
  8. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    293
    2
    116
    Aug 20, 2010
    Thank you!

    Bree
     
  9. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,637
    52
    231
    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    Quote:All my 10RIR roost on the top roost all snuggled up on a 4 foot wide clothes pin.
     
  10. GwenDellAnno

    GwenDellAnno Chillin' With My Peeps

    231
    0
    99
    Jul 18, 2009
    Water Valley, AB
    Re: the perch. The only reason you would want the 4" side flat is so that they can roost with their feet flat and completely cover them with their feathers at night. (This, of course, is only necessary in cold climates and keeps their feet from freezing when it's really cold). Other than that, they will roost on tree limbs or any other "pole". So it really depends on your climate.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by