Confinement Issues

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CheekyChooks, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. CheekyChooks

    CheekyChooks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2011
    Doncaster
    Hello,

    I'm relatively new to owning chickens and have been making all sorts of mistakes as I go. I think I may have stumbled upon another one.

    I have one of those standard coops/runs you buy from ebay/amazon with the little window in the house part. I think its one of the larger ones so maybe 7ft x 3ft. I have a L/F Buff Orp (had about 5 months), One medium/small Brahma mix and one small/medium leghorn mixed hens (had both about a month). The B/O I got from being a chick and didn't really realise she would grow so big so I have been letting them all out free range in our large garden. This was going well for a while and now the garden is slowly being destroyed. The hubby wants them locked up and Molly is finding this very frustrating being that I have let her out every day for the last few months due to her size. When confined she paces alot, she picks on the Braham mix (Louise) and cries out when she sees me to let her out. Needless to say I've given in and let them out. The other two seem fine being locked up except that Louise gets the brunt of Mollys frustration.

    So, now Molly is going to this nice chap who has a large farm and she can roam in a large enclosure to her hearts content. Do you think Louise and Thelma (the leghorn and brahama mix) will cope OK being confined once a bit of room has been free'd up? Is 7ft x 3ft a big enough run for them? I could always extend in a month or two if I needed to but for now do you think these two will cope alright considering space requirements. I can also let them out a little on a weekend but in reality because they never want to be herded back in this might be only when I'm cleaning them out etc ...

    We have decided to try and sell our house so unfortunately a garden of destruction won't be an option for much longer so we will need to work out a way of confining our two remaining chickens.
     
  2. annetteu

    annetteu Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2011
    Greenwood
    I am no expert on chickens, and depending on who you ask you may get conflicting answers. From what I have found on here and read in some books, you will need anywhere from 5 sq. ft. per chicken for housing and 10- 15 sq. ft. per chicken for a run... Hope this helps and like I said I am no expert just letting you know what I have read..... Good Luck!!!!
     
  3. itom37

    itom37 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2011
    I think you can get away with it ok with just two chickens, but more would certainly be appreciated. You can look at them in the run and get a sense of whether they seem cramped. Also, a small run like that devoid of anything to keep them entertained seems cruel. Perhaps make sure there is some enrichment to keep them entertained throughout the day.

    If you look at what conditions a chicken can live in, you'll be shocked (battery cages, sigh), so having even a small coop and run is preferred, but for the happiest healthiest birds, a little extra room is nice [​IMG]
     
  4. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Australia
    maybe you could have tried some pinless peepers for molly? Oh well bet she is happy now!

    Mine normally free range and will beg (pace, call out for attention) to come out whenever they see me. But they go back to their coop every night at sundown. My young girls weren't going in at first so I attached a solar garden light to the coop in an attempt to "guide them to safety", it worked and now they are reliable going to bed too.

    You need to make their coop a nice place to be when locked up. Give them 'toys' to occupy them. Put roosts or something else to climb on in the run, hang up some corn on the cob, a lettuce/cabbage/broccoli, or a pine cone covered in peanut butter and scratch, because it's hanging it will move as they peck making the treat more stimulating. I've also heard they love cd's hung in the coop and get mesmorised by the "shiny". If there's sand in the run put scratch down then cover it so they actually have to scratch around and find it. The will also dust bathe in sand. If you don't want it all over the run you could just give them a kitty litter box of sand to bathe in, that's what my quail have.

    I have two 2yr old hens and two 6month old pullets in one of these http://alwaysdirect.com.au/media/ca...hack-chicken-house-and-run-small-RS-709S1.jpg and they get along fine as long as they have their entertainment when locked in. Heather is my "mean" hen but, like I said, if she has something to do then she doesn't bother with being bossy to the young girls
     
  5. CheekyChooks

    CheekyChooks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2011
    Doncaster
    Hi, thats exactly the run/coop I have. I have soil and lots of treats in the run for them and they will go in at sun down, just not before. I really need to keep them locked up most of the day as they literally demolish the garden. Hopfully 2 chickens in one of those should be OK for now.
     
  6. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Australia
    Two full size hens should be able to deal with it, it probably helps that mine are all bantams.

    I'm planning on making things bigger soon by boarding up all the wire parts, removing the 'ramp entrance wall" and taking away half the top floor, then cut a new chook size door at the front, put in some mesh "windows" (from the mesh I'll remove) and vents and turn it into a much larger sleeping area that I can keep the food in too. Then I'm just going to make a tall fence around the corner of the garden the coop is in. I'm like you in that I'll be moving out soon so I can just take the small coop, roll up the fence and leave!

    I plan on getting more chickens every two years so need to extend! This seemed like a cheap way to do it.

    Try selling the little patch your hens are kept on as an "area of fertile ground for a veggie patch" [​IMG]
     
  7. BerrytangleFarm

    BerrytangleFarm British and Scandinavian Poultry

    We have three 10-week-old full size hens in that right now, just to get them out of the brooder. They are inseparable and are WAY too timid to integrate into the other two flocks (already tried). We plan on opening part of the mesh into a bigger run for them as we get the time. The coop sits on one of our out-of-season garden patches now and will be moved periodically to the other patches as their growing ends. Might as well fertilize!
     
  8. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Australia

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