Coop size ? and free ranging

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by srd5757, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. srd5757

    srd5757 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2012
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    So, we will have 5 chickens. This is my first chicken experience. I plan to have our chickens free range in our backyard during the day with the coop/run open so they can come and go as they wish. Then to put them in at night to keep them safe from predetors. Questions: Is it ok to skimp on size of the coop if they are going to be free ranging most of the time anyway?
    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    I wouldn't especially if it snows or rains a lot.

    Expect to build bigger, chickens are very addicting. Last year we were only planning to have 2-3 hens and ended up with 8. I bought 3 more this spring due to running out of eggs. Our coop and run fits 12 standard size chickens very comfortably.

    We spent triple what we were expecting to. I don't free range all day due to the dogs and hawks. I carry a stick and stand over my hens, the hawks are plentiful once our hens moved in and attacked my neighbors flock with her just a few feet away. We've even seen 3 owls recently as well.

    During the winter we cover the run in plastic. We put a corrugated steel roof on top and 1/2 of the side for shading and protection from the rain.

    Even with our coop being big enough, our hens still peck one another.

    Also, chicken wire does not keep the predators out. A stronger wire is a must. Hardware cloth is optimal.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  3. srd5757

    srd5757 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2012
    Manhattan, Ks
    We are in a sudivision, technically outside of town so we can have chickens but most people consider us on the edge of town. So I think we will have fewer predators to worry about, plus we have a fully fenced backyard so I'm not too worried about them being out during the day. I'm more concerned about potential racoons as a fence will not keep them out... That's what I have heard from local people are the biggest risk to chickens here, other than coyotes.
    Ok... so I guess we'll make it for 6-8 birds. I can't go to crazy as we do have neighbors that might not appreciate too many birds.
    Thanks for your imput!!!
     
  4. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    They can fly over the fence.lol. Even the big breeds can fly. Sometimes the flap their wings and climb up the side.

    My EE's which are medium size fly really high. I've seen them fly well over my head when heading to the woods.

    You'd be surprised about hawks. Raccoons are only out at night.

    Good luck! Raising chickens has been a really positive experience for the children and I. I'm not sure what type of chickens your planning on buying, but there are several breeds to choose from. I have 8 different breeds out of 11 chickens.
     
  5. srd5757

    srd5757 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2012
    Manhattan, Ks
    We've already got our chicks and 2 chickens, but just out of curiosity: What breed is your favorite?
     

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