1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Am I asking for trouble?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by shandea, May 30, 2007.

  1. shandea

    shandea Out Of The Brooder

    74
    0
    39
    Mar 17, 2007
    I think I have the happiest chickens in the world, but having read some of your stories I wonder if I'm being irresponsible.

    First of all, let me say that I live in the middle of the city in a subdivision with no woods close by. I have never seen any wild animals close to where I live except for squirrels, birds, rabbits, etc. There are houses on all sides within 20 feet away. We have a 6' privacy fence.

    I have a small coop with a very small run. I discovered early on that the guy who built my coop built it way too small even though he acted like he knew the size it should be for my four hens. I can't spend the money to get a new one.

    So I feed my girls in the evening to get them to go inside the coop. I leave the coop door open that goes into the run. The run is quite secure. In the morning before leaving for work, I let the girls out and they free range all day in the backyard. They are SO happy!

    I don't feel good about making them stay inside beside it's really hot here now, and it's so small. They can't fly around and go crazy like they so love to do.

    I know that I have to worry about hawks, but I haven't seen any lately. A while back, there was one circling and the girls all ran back into the run.

    Should I continue on with my current routine? What would you do?

    BTW, I know I'll probably get all kinds of differing opinions and that's what I want.

    Oh yeah, and when I go on vacation I just fill up their food and give them an extra water. When I don't make them go in the coop at night they roost on my deck railing. No problems so far... knock on wood!
     
  2. suburbanchick

    suburbanchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    106
    0
    139
    Apr 7, 2007
    Raleigh NC
    Is this an annoying post, er somethin? :| I'd love some advice. Tonight I can't even get them to go in with food. They're all about sleeping under the stars. My whole family has to chase them around the yard for 30 mins to catch them.
     
  3. blue fire

    blue fire Chillin' With My Peeps

    891
    3
    171
    May 2, 2007
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I would be concerned about you not locking them up at night, and dogs. so far they seem ok
     
  4. suburbanchick

    suburbanchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    106
    0
    139
    Apr 7, 2007
    Raleigh NC
    Maybe I'll just wait till just after dark when they're asleep. It's easy to grab them off the deck rail then and put them in the coop. I just worry about stressing them out too much. I don't want to harm them.

    As far as dogs go, are you thinking of the possibility of them digging under the fence? I think that's the only way they could get in. And I really never see loose dogs around my neighborhood.

    Thanks for your input. [​IMG]
     
  5. michellerene

    michellerene Chillin' With My Peeps

    208
    0
    139
    Apr 23, 2007
    Graham, WA
    Well, no matter how secure you believe they are, no one can say for sure that a dog or other predator isn't going to get in & hurt your girls-- there's just no guarantee. Even in the suburbs there are racoons, possums & definitely dogs. You have to decide if the risk is worth it-- no one can decide that for you.
     
  6. suburbanchick

    suburbanchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    106
    0
    139
    Apr 7, 2007
    Raleigh NC
    Yeah, after thinking about it I'll continue putting them up at night. I don't understand why they won't get used to sleeping in the coop and going on their own. I have been putting them in there every night for at least 6 weeks. And they still won't go in on their own. When I put them in there, they won't roost, but they just pile up on the floor.

    What's up with that?
     
  7. suburbanchick

    suburbanchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    106
    0
    139
    Apr 7, 2007
    Raleigh NC
    Sorry, I was shandea but changed my name to suburbanchick a while back. My home computer still had me logged in as my old name.

    Just didn't want to confuse everyone... [​IMG]
     
  8. apbgv

    apbgv Chillin' With My Peeps

    697
    0
    169
    Jan 13, 2007
    Iowa
    your set up sounds like mine, my chicks free range all day in the yard, they have a pretty good size run but Red carries on all day if she is in there when it is nice in the winter they stay close to the run. I have seen a few hawks but they get mobbed by the black birds that have nest around the neighborhood. If a stray dog tried to get in the yard my dogs would be all over that and let me know someone is invading their territory. so far my set up has worked and I know I have more chickens than I probably should but they do good even during the major ice storm this winter where they were in the run coop a lot plus it took 2 days to even chip the ice away from the door so I could get in!!! Environment enrichment can help with problems of some crowding ie hay to dig threw, I have bought some bird edible toys at petco for the chickens in the winter, kept em busy, veggies, branches to climb on gives them mult levels of area for activity. things like that.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by