Adequate space and run materials

UpstateHenman

Hatching
Jun 8, 2020
2
9
8
Hello Fellow chicken keepers! I have had a small brood of chickens for about 18 months now. I started with three hens, and then last April added three new pullets. The introduction of the new birds went well -after I watched several videos. I have a question about the size of my run with the winter months coming here in upstate New York. Of course there will be snow. I have a very small chicken coop. It is a converted children’s playhouse which is tool small forMe to walk in . I get on my knees open the front door and maintain-that way. . the roosting area is level two and the downstairs is where I keep the water and feed during the winter months. I have a small fully caged run off of the coop. It is an “L” shape perhaps 6 feet by 6 feet coming off coop. Then I have the bigger outdoor run that is not covered but is fenced. They access the bigger run when I open the smaller run door. They have clean-picked the bigger run so it is just dirt. Does anyone put anything else down on outdoor runs or is boring dirt ok?
also this is first winter with 6 birds. Should I be shoveling path to bigger run? Otherwise they will be very cramped in covered smaller run. Last winter the three original hens were fine in the smaller run and didn’t really come out even when I opened the door.
Thanks in advance everyone! Mike
 

hayley3

Crowing
14 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,072
1,956
446
Southern Indiana
Hello Fellow chicken keepers! I have had a small brood of chickens for about 18 months now. I started with three hens, and then last April added three new pullets. The introduction of the new birds went well -after I watched several videos. I have a question about the size of my run with the winter months coming here in upstate New York. Of course there will be snow. I have a very small chicken coop. It is a converted children’s playhouse which is tool small forMe to walk in . I get on my knees open the front door and maintain-that way. . the roosting area is level two and the downstairs is where I keep the water and feed during the winter months. I have a small fully caged run off of the coop. It is an “L” shape perhaps 6 feet by 6 feet coming off coop. Then I have the bigger outdoor run that is not covered but is fenced. They access the bigger run when I open the smaller run door. They have clean-picked the bigger run so it is just dirt. Does anyone put anything else down on outdoor runs or is boring dirt ok?
also this is first winter with 6 birds. Should I be shoveling path to bigger run? Otherwise they will be very cramped in covered smaller run. Last winter the three original hens were fine in the smaller run and didn’t really come out even when I opened the door.
Thanks in advance everyone! Mike
Congrats Mike on getting chickens! Sounds like you are already addicted!
I shovel a path through the snow for my chickens.
A lot of people use mulch for the run. I just use dirt, as long as it doesn't get muddy, then you would need mulch of some kind. Do you still get snow in the smaller run even though it's covered?
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,878
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WA, Pac NW
My Coop
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I shovel, but just enough to let my birds get outside and move around a bit, so they're not going crazy while locked up. Your 6x6 area would be tight for 6 birds, but might be ok for limited use (like between shoveling periods, if new snow comes down). Otherwise, I'd plan on shoveling out at least another 6x6 or so from the bigger run when possible, to double the amount of space they can use.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,745
144,081
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SW Michigan
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I get on my knees open the front door and maintain-that way
UHG!!

Does anyone put anything else down on outdoor runs or is boring dirt ok?
My runs have semi-deep litter(cold composting), never clean anything out, just add smaller dry materials on occasion, add larger wood chippings as needed.





I shovel too, to keep access to run door, pop door and a path all the way down to keep mesh roof clear of snow.
...and I have a big coop for those days that are too nasty to venture out in.
First year I kept too many birds...ChickenCabinFever is real and it can get ugly!

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