Barnyard Layout-incorporating the chickens/ducks yard

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by carolynm, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. carolynm

    carolynm Songster

    Apr 5, 2011
    Bailey, CO
    I'm hoping to start construction of a multi-livestock barn for my sheep, ducks and chickens in the next couple of weeks. I have a decent idea of how I want to lay things out but have run into one layout problem-and that's getting the chickens/ducks from the coop to their outside run. Let me explain...

    I'm building a barn with sheep pens on one side and then an adjoining greenhouse structure to house my fowl and also a greenhouse. Greenhouse needs to face south. No problem so far. I want my duck run beside my garden as they do such a good job of eating all the bugs. I also let my chickens into the unplanted areas of my garden so they can turn over my compost and help in the bug control, eat my weeds I throw over the fence etc. I can't free range as my on-site tenant has dogs that will eat the chickens (and his dogs get out regularly). Currently my chickens/ducks run together but I do have some duck and chicken youngster to integrate so I don't know if that will be a permanent arrangement.

    Below is my quickly sketched rough draft showing how I plan to layout the barn and then the location of the garden/existing run. I could easily put up fence to get the fowl from Barn to Garden but I have two problems with that:

    a) My feed storage is going to be on the East side of the sheep barn so I'd like to be able to drive up to that for unloading.

    b) I imagine the connecting pen should be covered as we do have hawks around, that would make a) above a bit difficult without really high fencing/cover.

    I can't put my feed storage on the west side of the barn as that's where access to my sheep lots is so the sheep need to go in and out on that side.

    I had thought of building a portable chicken tunnel to get the fowl from the barn to garden but I"d have to step over it to get to my main barn door-not exactly practical. I also thought of just building the runs off of the greenhouse and putting the garden on the south side but I am pretty limited in space from N to S and have lots more room to build E or W

    I don't mind moving the garden and rebuilding the runs if I have to, but if anyone has ideas for better laying this out and where to locate the runs I'm all ears! I'm thinking after drawing this out that I need to put runs on the East side of the chicken/duck area and move the garden, putting a long narrow garden on the south side of the structure. The garden is a raised bed garden so that would just mean moving the dirt (uggh), and recutting the board frame.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  2. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    I would think your proposed building would have solid walls. What about the need for plenty of ventilation for the ducks and chickens?

    I almost want to build a chicken coop and duck coop hard by the garden where you intend to use them. These don't need to be the durable structure that a barn would warrant. You could make some sort of switching gate arrangement like I have seen used to move cattle from place to place.

    If you are intending to use poop from the ducks and chickens, you would not have to move it far to the garden.

    The coop would be close to the garden so the chickens could use it for shelter as needed.

    Perhaps consolidation might not be the best answer.

  3. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    We currently have 2 pairs of redtail hawks with babies now flying around, over and through our yard. I have been mightily concerned for my chick's safety (they're about 3mo old) but our 2yr old rooster is doing a fine job of making sure EVERYONE knows when the hawks are about. Our flock is Black Java's, so when they hide under a bush or tree or grapevines - they disappear except for their red combs!

    Because of coop re-construction, they are out in our 2 acres all day, everyday - now for 2wks while we're rebuilding coop. Haven't had a loss yet. Have had some fly-by's by the hawks....but they've determined that these chickens are too hard to catch! They're going after the squirrels!

    And yes, I've treat trained the chickens. So when they see me with treat pan in hand - they come RUNNING out of wherever they've been to come see what I've got. That's how I get them into their yard by dinnertime so I can lock them up for the night. Works fine.

    So don't worry about having chickens walk around the yard too much. They're smarter than you'd think.

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