Chicken Yard Questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jenkassai, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. jenkassai

    jenkassai Songster

    Apr 28, 2011
    We are FINALLY starting our run and the renovations to turn a room in an old building into a coop. For some reason DH wants to do the yard first, and since he's doing most of the work I just go along with what he wants! The chicken yard will be fenced with 6' chain-link. I plan on covering the top with poultry netting to try and keep out aerial predators (chickens will be shut in the coop at night), and I know I need to wrap the chain link with hardware cloth (and bury the hardware cloth). What gauge should I use, and how high does it need to be? Just as tall as the chickens? We haven't seen too much wildlife since we moved to this property, some squirrels, bunnies and the occasional deer, although I am sure I will see more than I want to once the girls are outside! I would say raccoons, maybe the odd fox or coyote. Haven't seen any cats and we have had one loose dog wander over from the neighbor's property, but they don't live there, only camp there on occasion.

    My other question, is, if I put a couple of dogloos (dog houses), feed and water in the chicken yard when it is done, do you all think I could leave the girls out there during the day while we are at work and bring them back into the brooder in the evening? The days definitely seem warm enough, the chicken yard is shady, and the dogloos would provide shelter from rain. My chicks range from 5.5 weeks to 2.5 weeks. The yard probably wouldn't be done for another week. I've put them out for a few hours here and there when we are home, and they really love it. I leave the carrier that I use to transport them outside in their little pen and they wander in and out, sometimes settling in there for a nap, so I imagine they would grasp the point of the dogloos, especially if I put some shavings in it.

  2. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Songster

    Feb 18, 2011
    I put my girls out at four weeks so I'm betting you'll be ready for your babies to be out soon. As far as the hardware cloth you want the 1"x1" kind, I believe it's 16 gauge. You can wrap it around 36" high which is the width of the roll. That's what we are doing. it sounds like you'll be okay with that kind of setup knowing the girls will be going in for the night.
  3. Make sure you also put the hardware cloth down a foot beneath the pen. It will prevent rats, etc. from burrowing underneath.

    As far as height, I think ours goes two or three feet high and is very handy given that we have baby chicks right now - no place for them to slip through or nasty predators to get past.

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