Coop question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by vwmomof3, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. vwmomof3

    vwmomof3 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 7, 2010
    Poulsbo, WA
    We are planning on getting chickens, we just moved to WA and are renting and we've asked the owners if we could have chickens and they approved it on the spot! They are farm animal lovers and basicly said we could have what ever we wanted on the property! woo hoo!

    So here's my experiance, I've raised hatchlings for a few weeks... and thats it. LOL But my mom has a farm where she raises (amongst other things) chickens. On her property she has a number of different style chicken coops and none have runs, they have the coop with space enough to get some exercise while inside, but after the first few weeks/months they are let out during the day to be freerange and then put up at night. She said they usually don't wander more than a few hundred feet from the coop once they know that is home. So I was looking at other ideas on here, but it seems like I've seen mainly coops with runs. What are the advantages of having coop and run over having a coop and an open door during the day, and what are the disadvantages?
    I'm only going to plan on having between 6-10 chickens and have no plans as of yet what type of coop to make.
  2. Iheartchicks<3:)

    Iheartchicks<3:) Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2010
    Mount Vernon, WA
    There is hardly any disadvantages to not having a run.. the main thing is safety.. they are open to predators.. but besides that... they would love it!!
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Safety is probably the biggest advantage of having a run. Obviously a covered run is the safest, but even an uncovered one protects against stray (or straying) dogs, plus all of the wild predators. Unless you freerange within a fenced yard or fenced property, your chickens are much more likely to be picked off.
    Neighbors: If you have neighbors within a few hundred yards of you, your chickens will most likely end up on their property eventually. This often times does NOT make for good neighborly relations, especially if your birds dig up their flowers or poop all over their yard. If this happens, complaints could be filed and fines issued.

    Now if you're in the middle of nowhere and don't mind losing chickens here and there, free ranging is great! Chickens love it! But just do so knowing the risks.
  4. mamichi

    mamichi Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 4, 2008
    I don't think you need a run if you plan on free-ranging them daily. Are you still planning on letting them loose once there's snow? That's something to think about. Also, how big is your yard? Is it fenced in? etc. We have almost 1.5 acres fenced with 5' tall chain link. If I didn't have my own dogs, I wouldn't need a run and I would just let them out daily b/c of the safety of the chain link fence. I live in south Florida though where we don't get snow [​IMG]
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Hi there,

    Where in Washington are you? It's an extremely varied state, from rain forest to shifting desert sand dunes. Urban, suburban, agriculture, and deep woods.
    That might make a difference.
    I'm in the Seattle burbs (Renton) and free range all day, everyday, without supervision. Some places I wouldn't do that.


    BTW- come visit us on the Washingtonians thread in the Where are you forum. Lots of nice people there.
  6. vwmomof3

    vwmomof3 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 7, 2010
    Poulsbo, WA
    Thanks for all the responses! We live on a little under an acre and a half and my back yard takes up about half an acre. The area I would like to put the chickens is in our side yard, it's unfenced but 2 sides of it are lined with thick black berries and one side is tree covered with our back yard fence behind it, the other side is the road lined with trees. So while it's a bit secluded it isn't fenced in. Our neighbors are across the road, everyone is on property the same size as ours or larger, so it's quite a bit of space but I do understand what you guys are saying about the possible neighbor issue.
    I haven't seen any stray dogs at all in the area, a few cats but that's it. I have two dogs, I'd put the chickens in the back yard if I didn't have them. (they are hatchling lovers but chicken chasers, they haven't connected that chickens are hatchlings all grown up. So I'm hoping to train them to not be chicken chasers.)

    We live across the sound from Seattle in Poulsbo, I've heard our winters are on the mild side but haven't experianced one yet. I'll go check out the WA thread!

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