Am I Going To Have To Find A New Home For My Pullets?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Brahmamama4, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Brahmamama4

    Brahmamama4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2010
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    I have 7 Cochin chicks that I bought with the intent of only keeping 3-4 for our backyard coop. My dilemma is that I cannot free range them because we live in a development and our yard is not fenced. There are also occasionally a few dogs that will wander into our yard [​IMG] My coop is 4x4 and the run is 6x12. Do all you wise chicken farmers have any suggestions for me?
     
  2. chics in the sun

    chics in the sun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your run is plenty big for all 7 of your cochins. Throw them some weeds and grasses and scraps to keep them occupied, and they will be fine.
     
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  3. mb poultry

    mb poultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 10, 2012
    Southwest Virginia
    i agree, your run and coop size is more than enough for bantams, especially if you can cover the run.( Easy to do with your 6 ft width, using standard 8ft material) Cochins have a tendency to gather mud around their bottoms and feathered feet if in mud. I keep 4 in a covered 4x8 pen, and it is the cleanest pen I have. My profile pic is part of it.
     
  4. Brahmamama4

    Brahmamama4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Washington
    Thank you! I just wanted to clarify that these are standard Cochins. Is that still going to be ok? I just want them to be happy. They definitely will be getting table scraps and any weeds and grass clippings that we have. The pen is 6 inches of sand on top of concrete and the pen is covered.
     
  5. afveteran88

    afveteran88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2011
    Deerfield, Michigan
    You have more then enough room. I would plant a nice garden this spring so you can feed the out of that. Or you can stop by your local farmers market at the end of the day and do some dumpster diving to get very good scraps. Enjoy.
     
  6. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 12, 2011
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    I would respectfully disagree with the previous replies. I have 7 chickens in a 30'x30' run and they still don't have enough room so I let them out to free range daily. In one summer they dug up all the grass with their scratching...though I see that you have a sand and concrete run. From my experience watching my chickens free range for bugs, seek shelter under a pine tree for a shady nap, peruse different kinds of plants for a varied diet....I would feel bad if my chickens didn't have this interesting of a life. The whole flock even goes to meet the school bus when my sons get home from school!

    Some people with limited area only let their chickens out two hours before dark so the chickens can't get far and will naturally return to the coop at dusk, so they don't have to be chased and caught. You have serious concerns if you don't have a fence and dogs are about. If you can make your run bigger I would encourage that, if not, please consider letting them out for even an hour or two in the evening when you can be outside to watch for dogs.
     
  7. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

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    I think a 4 x 4 is too small to keep 7 chickens. If for no other reason than the upkeep on it. It's a lot easier to clean up after 4 in such a small space than 7. Put an ad on CL and you'll find someone to take them. Stick with your original plan and you and the chickens will be happier for it!
     
  8. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my previous reply I was focusing on the run size but then I went back and reread your original post and saw that your coop is only 4x4. That is 16 sq ft, with some loss of space for the feeder and waterer and maybe nesting box unless it's off the floor with room to stand under it. If you have 7 birds in there that's down to about 2 sq ft per bird....which is getting in the range of how commercial battery hens live. Even if you live in a nice climate there still will be days when they want to stay in the coop, e.g. rainy days.

    You could be inviting problems like feather picking and cannibalism if you confine them in such a small area...not to mention the rapid and concentrated accumulation of manure you'll have to deal with. Three to four birds in that size coop will definitely make for happier birds and easier maintenance for you.
     
  9. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 11, 2009
    as a general rule 4 sq ft/bird in the coop if they have 10 sq ft/bird available in the run. Anything less and there may be social issues (pecking, feather eating, cannibalism). More is always better.
    I have a 96 sq ft coop. I used to have 20 chickens (standard) in there. I was always struggling with feather pecking. Even had to get peepers, which helped a little bit. I reduced the flock to 12 this past fall. All have regrown their tail feathers and look beautiful. No issues with feather pecking. Their run is 10x14.....it was not enough for 20 chickens.
    You will find what works best for your birds, always dependent upon their personalities, ofcourse. :) Good luck
    Dogs will always be a possible issue whenever you live around other people [​IMG] so make certain your run is WELL constructed (welded wire,bury a skirt around the bottom, proper door latches, etc....you know the drill)
    Cochins are such lovely and fluffy birds! Enjoy [​IMG]
     
  10. mb poultry

    mb poultry Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 10, 2012
    Southwest Virginia
    I think you will do fine with 4-7 standard size chickens in that size run. My cochins don't mind the cold weather, as long as it covered and they are out of rain and snow then you should be fine. Like I said I have 4 bantams in a covered 4x8 coop (32sq ft=8sq ft bird), and it is the cleanest pen i have. You have 72 sq ft, and your birds will probably only use the house for laying and roosting with the covered run available to them. All you can do is try, if it is not working for you, sell a few.
     

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