Chickens tearing each other up, need a small bit of recs for new run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CieloAngel, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. CieloAngel

    CieloAngel Just Hatched

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    Jul 27, 2016
    Hi all. I have 9 chickens that live in a small coop/run combo. Now that they are all at least 8 months old, I have been having some major troubles that started about a week ago. Long story short, they are pecking each other's butts and I have one chicken who has been at the vet for the week because so much of her skin is gone, one that went to the vet but came back quickly because she wasn't as bad, one that had a small tear, and one with a miniscule tear. The 2nd and 3rd one listed are currently living in separate dog crates in my son's room getting frequent care, and the fourth I learned that blue coat would help deter the other chickens from biting on her. So far so good, but now I am at a race to build the large run I have been wanting to make. I was going to wait until my tax return comes in a few weeks from now, but time is of the essence and I had to borrow a bit of money from family to get this run started. I know for a fact it is the chickens causing the problems and nothing else, and I know it is my fault for them being in a small coop, being bored. I used to let them out almost daily for several hours for free range in my decent sized back yard, but after a falcon tried to pick up one of my ducks and my neighbors pit bulls have attacked people 3 times and broken through my fence, I have been keeping them shut in.

    Anyway, I think I am planning on around an 18x32ft run. It will be pretty simple, but my question is what should I do for the top? I live in an urban area near New Orleans, so I don't have to worry about foxes and coyotes and the such. My biggest concern is the hawks/falcons overhead. The sides will be hardware mesh, and I was thinking of poultry netting over the top, but I was wondering, is this the most economical? And when I was looking, there were so many different thicknesses, spacings, etc. Again, to describe what I need better, there are no large eagles or anything here. Mostly smaller falcons (which was funny seeing this tiny falcon swooping in on my giant male Rouen duck). There can be at most 3-4 circling overhead occasionally, but most days there are none at all. I almost wonder if it would be cheaper to put hardware mesh over the top, or if I was just looking at the wrong netting.

    As for the sides with the pit bulls, that is a whole other story. I have contacted animal control but they have not gotten back to me. The pit bulls the people currently have are not the ones that attacked anybody, as after the last attack a couple of weeks ago, the husband of the wife who got attacked shot and killed the two dogs (which was a horribly traumatic day for me). The court date won't be for at least another month, and I guess they get to keep the other two until then at least. I contacted animal control to see about them enforcing the code that states pit bull owners have to make sure they have sturdy, reliable fencing. They said they would call me back when an agent could come over, but they haven't yet. I have not really pushed the issue yet though, because I am worried they could report my chickens for noise (although the only noise they make is when they each make their egg call, and that lasts only about 5 minutes).

    Anyway, any recommendations you can give on what to put over the run, please let me know. Links would be great as well as sites that can ship quickly. Thank you!!

    P.S. My girl at the vet did get a minor surgery yesterday and I could have picked her up today, but I am leaving her there until Monday to be sure. Just realized I didn't finish telling what would happen with her. She will have to be indoors for at least 3-4 weeks and healing is not expected fully for several months, but she should be good. She is a buff brahma.

    P.P.S. I know I am not the only one to spend so much on a chicken, but it would be good to hear there are more out there. So far, she has cost me close to $500. My ex and most other people think I am crazy, but she is our baby, and I love all of our chickens and their personalities.
     
  2. CieloAngel

    CieloAngel Just Hatched

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    Jul 27, 2016
    Never mind. I found some info about the netting on other threads, but I may go with chicken wire over the top. I dunno.
     
  3. Jeepnut58

    Jeepnut58 New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2017
    Use dog kennel panels to build you chicken run and put chain link fence over top of the run that will keep birds from trying to attack your chickens.and give you bird chopped up lettuce I bought heads or bagged salad for our chickens beings it is winter time. chickens get bored during the winter or when they are shut in shed to long.I buy bags of frozen veggie cheap priced or on sale of course and let them thaw out and give the veggies to your chickens. I give them pieces of bales of hay also spread it apart by hand to place in their run.and around on floor in their shed to give them something to do.
     

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