Can't keep everyone happy

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Honey65, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. Honey65

    Honey65 New Egg

    Jan 4, 2014
    Pinner, London - UK

    I'm new to BYC and fairly new to chicken keeping. I live in outer London in a rented suburban semi. Our garden is about 20 by 10 yards excluding a patio.

    We got our 4 ex-battery hens in November and since then they've had the following homes:

    1. Coop with enclosed small run on a wood chip bed. (pic 1)
    [​IMG] Good for cleaning out, not having to plodge on wet grass, secure for hens
    [​IMG] Bad for chickens - they kept knocking their feeder and water over as not enough space for them


    2. Total free range in day, then in coop at night
    [​IMG] Good for chickens - all VERY happy
    [​IMG] Bad for garden (poo EVERYwhere), not safe as we're out all day

    3. Electric fenced pen plus coop at night (pic 2)
    [​IMG] Good....Its a compromise, right??? chickens are safe, still have about half the garden an have grass and soil
    [​IMG] Bad for garden - still poo all over half the garden and what happens when we need to move it to fresh grass? We'll be left with no usable grass. Also chickens not happy about being penned in an shout quite a bit if they see us.


    I'm a bit fed up. I really wished we'd not let them free range as they'll go mad if I put them in a smaller pen. You'd think they would remember they used to live in a cage the size of A4 sheet of paper, but no! Now they've had freedom they are quite demanding [​IMG]. I'd love to get something like this as it'd be easy to clean and keep them safe.


    My concern is they'll be noisy (neighbours will not be happy / could complain to the house's owner) and also would it be hard to install in a garden we're not supposed to make changes to?

    But.. if we don't move them, the garden will be trashed and the owner will be unhappy, plus we have no grass left for the kids to play in the summer ...

    [​IMG] help [​IMG] Is there a solution I haven't thought of?
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Make your fencing area half the size you have now and move it to other half each week. That way you've only 1/4 your lawn poo filled each week. Let that 1/4 section grow back and move the fencing again. But this is a some work to do each week. Battery hens or no, they will get used to the confinement. Which if half what your doing of half your yard is what? Still a 5X10 yard run for 4 chickens. More space than mine get by far.
  3. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    If there is sufficient space, 10 square feet per chicken, in the run, they will be fine. Mine champ at the bit to be let out in the morning so that they can forage. When I am out of town, they stay in the 16 x 20 foot run and get along fine. 8 chickens. Sometimes, they fuss whether they are in in the run or out foraging.

    Some want to entertain the chickens, but they seem to be busy enough with the task at hand. When mine spend the day in the run, they scratch around and dig the same as when they are out foraging.

    I would be inclined to make this arrangement work for you, then the chickens can fall in line.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by