Best run material?

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

  1. ScottLovelandCO

    ScottLovelandCO Chillin' With My Peeps

    155
    9
    83
    Mar 14, 2012
    Loveland, CO
    My Coop
    I built a coop/run that is 5'x10' total. They have the entire 50 square feet as their run and a 5'x4' coop that sits above one end. (I have 4 girls - 2 Buff Orps and 2 Ameraucanas) I can set the coop on my concrete patio where a hottub used to be and put some sort of material in the run or I can put the coop over some red 1" landscaping rocks where a flowerbed used to be. My landlord doesn't actually want the coop out on the lawn. The girls will be let out into the main yard throughout the day but they have to share it with the dogs. How much time outside of the run should I allow the chickens? I don't have the money to fence part of the yard this summer so we will just have to work out a schedule with the dogs. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. If you're going to allow your ladies to free range around the back yard there are 2 major problems.... The Dogs.... Can they be ABSOLUTELY trusted not to kill the girls. Second, if the landlord doesn't want the coop on the grass, how's he gonna feel when they absolutely tear up the grass? Chickens are cute and sometimes sweet, but they are also very destructive of landscape... They are honey badgers with wings and feathers. They don't give a rip if somethings nice and seem to be attacted to the very things you don't want them to rip up.
     
  3. ScottLovelandCO

    ScottLovelandCO Chillin' With My Peeps

    155
    9
    83
    Mar 14, 2012
    Loveland, CO
    My Coop
    The dogs are mainly indoors but they do run around for a few hours each day. The chickens/dogs would not share the backyard at the same time. That's why I want a decent run for the chickens to scratch around in while the dogs get time to sunbathe and do their business. As for the grass it is already splotchy at best. Grass just doesn't grow naturally in Colorado do to the arid conditions and sandy soil. It requires a great deal of maintenance and fertilization just to keep it green. I'm not so much worried about the lawn. The landlord just ask that I keep the coop/run off of the lawn area and I will abide by his rules. Theoretically I would let the dogs out in the morning before work to run around and do their business for a few minutes and then they go back to bed while I'm at work. The chickens would then be let out to run around the backyard while I'm at work. When I get home from work I would put the chickens back in their run and allow the dogs to play outside. At nightfall I would close up the coop and wish the girls a good night.
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I would put the run on the concrete rather then the red landscaping rock. The rock will be too hard on their feet all the time. Or, better yet, rake out the rock area and let them have a dirt run so they can scratch, dust bath, etc.
     
  5. ScottLovelandCO

    ScottLovelandCO Chillin' With My Peeps

    155
    9
    83
    Mar 14, 2012
    Loveland, CO
    My Coop
    Thanks for the advice. Aesthetically, I like the idea of having it where the red rock is. I was going to rake it out so that I could get it leveled up. I just didn't know if I needed to lay any other material. I don't want it turning in to a mud pit when we get spring rains.
     
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    If the area has good drainage a good layer of sand several inches deep will help keep the run from becoming muddy.
     

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