Advice for Second Run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Aunt Angus, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. Aunt Angus

    Aunt Angus Crowing

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    Hi-

    I currently have 5 large fowl pullets who have a 4x8 coop, a 113 sq ft run attached to the coop, and 3 nesting boxes with external access. I have 3 bantam chicks in a brooder. My goal is to integrate the bantam and the big girl, but I want to have a backup plan because I know that is tricky. I can do a second coop, but I think I can house them together. I'd like to continue free-ranging my big girls when I come home from work. However, I worry about my Silkies falling prey to hawks (I have seen 2 in the area - Red Shouldered Hawks - but not since April). And I worry about my Sebright flying out of the yard.

    I had envisioned in letting the big girls forage and the little ones stay penned in the covered run. But that will cut off access to the nesting boxes in the coop.

    Is there a way I can leave the littles in the run, let my big girls forage, and still allow them access to the nesting boxes? Or am I just better off doing a second coop and run? Space and marital tranquility are both issues, here. My yard isn't infinite, nor is my hubby's patience.

    Here's my coop (it's unfinished in this pic):

    coop.jpg

    Here's from inside the run. The run is just attached to the front of the coop:
    20181120_150141.jpg

    I just leave the big door open every morning. I have no pop door. Thoughts? Ideas? Advice? Insults? Wait, no. No insults. My ego is fragile this week.
     
  2. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    Well, I crack my run door open and they all file out between my legs, I guess you could separate the small ones like that but they may not like being left alone.

    I like all the activities you have for them in the run, the ramp the swing and the roost board and looks like a dust bath box.

    You could build an external nest box for the big ones... and have their food and water also outside.

    JT
     
  3. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

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    I am thinking like jthornton that additional nesting area, feed and water would be the way to go.
    Will the bigs have safety from predators if they cannot get in the coop?
    What about dusk? Will you be out there in time for them to go in or will you end up having to carry each one in (from whatever random place they roosted)?
     
  4. NNYchick

    NNYchick Songster

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    If you can do second coop that would be my choice. You don’t mention what breed your large fowl are but many times Silkies get picked on by other breeds because they are so docile. I see a lot of people end up scrambling to figure out how to house them separately because of bullying issues.
     
  5. Aunt Angus

    Aunt Angus Crowing

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    That's kind of what I was thinking, too. I might be able to build backward, too, and put a second run behind the coop with a coop or nest boxes for the littles. Hmmm.... Gotta plan....

    The big girls have lots of places to hide: a dog house (that I may just go ahead and convert to a second coop instead), some low tables, bushes, a yucca tree they love, chairs, and a couple of beach umbrellas. And a bench they dust bathe under.Good questions. Gotta keep all of this in mind as I plan.

    I have 4 11-month olds - a Buff Orpington, a Buff Brahma, a White Cochin, and a Barred Plymouth Rock. I also have an 8-week old Welsummer. The BPR is a bit of a bully to the Wellie. But I've intervened and she's much better now. The other are all pretty friendly, esp the Cochin. And that's exactly why I asked. I want evaluate my options should integration not go well.

    I am leaning towards making separate coops and runs unless I can integrate them successfully. Ideally, they'll be one fluffy, happy flock. I'm also thinking I might be able to let them forage as a whole flock occasionally, as long as everyone is safe, and then have them go their separate ways at bedtime.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
     
  6. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

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    If they can forage as one flock roosting as one flock should be a breeze.
     
  7. ocap

    ocap Crowing

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    I have had silkies. They love to brood!!!
    I had a way to fence their nest away from all others and they loved raising their chicks without interference. four of your large fowl eggs under a silkie is perfect. they will brood in every season, plan on four broods if you take their young away at six weeks.
     
    trumpeting_angel and Aunt Angus like this.
  8. Aunt Angus

    Aunt Angus Crowing

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    See, now, that makes sense, but I found that not to be the case when the Wellie (who was raised by my BO) was finally big enough to roost with them. They would free range no prob, but the BPR would try to run her out of the coop come bed time. I've learned a lot from thatsituation, though, so hopefully this second flock expansion will be easier.
    :fl

    Now if I can stop worrying about the Sebright flying the coop - literally.
     
  9. Aunt Angus

    Aunt Angus Crowing

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    Looking forward to it... assuming I've got girls! Lol!
    :lau:fl
     
  10. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

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    Sebright?
    Not sure I would free range that tiny one. :hmm
     

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