A few coop questions

Guitartists

Resistance is futile
11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
5,471
22
261
Michigan
So here's the idea. We live in Southwestern Michigan, close to Indiana border (15 mins or so). We have a lot next to DH's dad's house nearby (about 7 miles from where we live) DH's dad is probably not up to doing much in regards to helping with the chickens, but my mother, who lives in the same town, says she can help check on them etc.

If we put up a coop, is there a way to set it up to not need letting out in the morning and closed up at night? Maybe do a big run instead???? Father-in-law has like 4 dogs that are loose and should help keep predators away, no guarantee though.

My mom thinks none of this will work because coops need to have heat lamps in the winter. Is this true? Can I just insulate it very well??? I cannot run electric to the coop. I will of course check others posts about winter-hardy breeds etc. I will probably be getting mostly quick growing birds for the pot anyways... want to try a RAW diet for my dog, and with a family of 6 it's always nice to have a few birds to throw on the grill as well.

Are there any breeds that are better about sticking close to their coops and not wandering off too far? I have read that cornish x's don;t even forage really. Will they work better with a smaller run?

And my final question. If I decide to raise some for meat and some for eggs or just to have, should they have seperate coops??? Will meat birds, the gorgers that they sound like, eat the eggs of the other chickens?
 

Dawn419

Lost in the Woods
12 Years
Apr 16, 2007
3,366
94
238
Evening Shade, AR
"If we put up a coop, is there a way to set it up to not need letting out in the morning and closed up at night? Maybe do a big run instead???? Father-in-law has like 4 dogs that are loose and should help keep predators away, no guarantee though."

We have our coops/runs set up so that our flock enter/leave the coops at their own will...none of our pop holes have closing doors. We have locks on all human doors/entry ways (land lady has a thievin' grandson or two) but have never had a predator problem, mostly because of our Australian Shepherd...this is her turf and she protects it! She "helped" raise all of our birds from day-olds and knows they are part of the pack, if you will.










Hoping this is some help!

Dawn
 

Guitartists

Resistance is futile
11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
5,471
22
261
Michigan
Thanx Dawn. We used to live at his dads... back when his mom was sick with cancer and he was caring for her. There were more dogs then than there are now, but we never did see a single raccoon or any other predator type animal in the yard, ever. My only concern will be his dad's cats, but hopefully they will be scared of the chickens and leave them alone.

I'm really hoping this pans out. He is there right now letting his dad know that we plan to put in a garden and feel out whether or not he would mind some nieghbors of the chicken persuasion.


Are there other types of fowl that can be housed with chickens that will protect them? Turkeys maybe??
 

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