Building My Run - But also a Question.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Connorrm, May 30, 2011.

  1. Connorrm

    Connorrm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well...I am starting to assemble materials for my run. But I do have a few questions:

    1. Is a run necessary if I'm going to shut the coop every night?

    2. Can they just free range? I do not have a dog issue as I'm the only one on my road

    3. Are Cats a threat to a full grown chicken?

    4. If I do have a run, should I just let them free rang on the weekends when I'm home for a few hours a day?

    5. Is it better to just build a chicken tractor for my girls, and put them in that on nice days? (And still have a run of course!)
     
  2. C&Rman

    C&Rman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I think free ranging would be the easiest way to go!
     
  3. CatDaddyAlbert

    CatDaddyAlbert NoFeathersRuffled

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    I have found that Free Range is fine for my Guineas but I have lost some of my most favorite birds to hawks and Rcoons during the summe months. As for the cats and a full grown chicken...in my experience I doubt it. I have a one eyed cat as a result of it getting to pushy with a Roo. I am sure others have had other experiences but my chickens are now in 4 10X10 wire covered runs. I sleep a lot better this way. The Guineas go to roost by themselves at night and during the day they do let me know if something is amiss. Good Luck
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:You mean, with them free ranging during the day?

    Not *necessary*, obviously, but can be real desirable. Sometimes you may develop a sudden need to shut them up for a while -- during the a.m. while training pullets to lay in the coop rather than "wherever", or if there is a loose dog around harassing them, or if you want to have a family picnic with less poo on the lawn chairs, or if you go away and can't find osmeone to shut them in every night, etc etc. People who free-range and *also* have a run do seem to find it awfully handy at times.

    2. Can they just free range? I do not have a dog issue as I'm the only one on my road

    Certainly they can free range. You will have some mortality from hawks. But also you would probably be surprised how many loose dogs there are floating aorund out there that you never notice/see UNTIL they get interested in your chickens and start chasing/eating them. Also most parts of the US have coyotes and foxes; and raccoons sometimes hunt during the daytime too.

    I'm totally not trying to discourage you, just pointing out that if you free range there ARE predators around and likely you WILL lose chickens from time to time. There is no way to predict in advance whether that will amount to one chicken every few years, or all your flock sometime next month. It's a cr*pshoot.

    3. Are Cats a threat to a full grown chicken?

    Not most cats. Very tough and hungry feral cats maybe.

    4. If I do have a run, should I just let them free rang on the weekends when I'm home for a few hours a day?
    5. Is it better to just build a chicken tractor for my girls, and put them in that on nice days? (And still have a run of course!)

    Those things are up to you. There are a bunch of different ways to keep chickens, each with their own pros and cons (to you, *and* to the birds). Personal choice.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  5. ccshambhala

    ccshambhala Chillin' With My Peeps

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    two things I would add to everyone else's responses
    Chickens get up EARLY - with the dawn - then they start moving around. A run gives them extra space to run around in the morning until you get there to let them out.

    It can be tricky to "round them up" from free ranging to put them away. Mine free range all day and put themselves away at night - then I close the door.

    one thing I would add - even tho I free range mine I now want to build a coop on wheels for use in the summer so my "permanent" coop and run can "rest".


    I love that my chickens can free range but you will find some breeds are better at that than others - you might want to get at least one (like an Ancona) that can watch out for the rest. It is great to come home to chickens (and guineas and turkeys) wandering the yard [​IMG]

    ENjOY!! [​IMG]
     
  6. forestrymom

    forestrymom Out Of The Brooder

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    We have a very small run (like the very bare minimum), but they free range most of the day. The run is there as most people suggested, to allow them access to it before I get up to let them out, and in case I have to be gone for the day. Our cat has attempted to chase the chickens, but they put her in her place right off the bat and she's not interested in anything but bird watching, as far as I can tell. I think she would eat a chick, if she could get past mama hen, but so far we've been okay.


    And it is hard to round them up at night, or any other time of day, if they don't want to be rounded up. LOL So be prepared for that.
     
  7. Connorrm

    Connorrm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess I'll just go ahead and make the run. Better to be safe than sorry. I was wondering how well the free ranging would work out - but you guys are right....better to just not risk it.

    I am keeping the girls shut up in the coop for the next several weeks while they get used to it, and they grow a little more. They get fresh grass, bugs, and oats everyday though. The door does get opened but it's closed off with a wooden screen door. The hottest it gets in there is about 75.

    I'm hoping by doing this they will know where "home" is when it comes time for the run. I guess then I'll give them till the run turns to moonscape, then let them wander when I"m home and doing yard work. Hopefullly that will really get them knowing where home is.
     

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