Coop without a run?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rachel2015, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. rachel2015

    rachel2015 In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2014
    South west vic
    Is it ok to lock the chooks in the coop at night with no outdoor access but let them out for a few hours everyday free ranging through the garden? How many hours a day outdoor access should they get?
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    They'll destroy any garden they get into, but are a great garden asset in the off season. I would never try to keep chickens without a run because of the risk of predators. And there are times that you'll want to keep them confined to a run, like when you have new layers, and want to train them to the nest box, or you're leaving home for a few hours. They'll feel confined if locked in a coop most of the day, and you might end up with behavioral problems. The recommendation is 4 s.f. in the coop and 10 s.f. in the run/bird.
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I have runs attached to my coops so when I feel the need to keep them locked up I can, but they can still go outside. I don't think it's healthy for them to be kept in the coop for most of the day, only to be out for a few hours at a time. And as Lazy Gardener said, they will destroy your garden if you have anything growing. They'd dig it up quite nicely after you harvest, though.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Free Feather

    Free Feather Songster

    What if you cannot let them out? They need to be outside. Mine are incontent having to be locked up with a run, let alone being stuck inside.
  5. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    Our chickens get 9-15 hours of "outdoor time" everyday, depending upon the light cycle of the year. Our runs are fairly predator-proof, so we don't lock them into the coop at night and they can enter the runs as soon as it is light enough. Winter time most of that time is in the attached covered runs due to the snow. I could never imagine not having a run. They need more than just a few hours of outdoor time everyday, whether in a run or free-range. And yes, they will likely destroy your gardens if you don't take sufficient measures to protect everything you want to keep (think chicken wire over or around everything). You'd be surprised how quickly a chicken can tear up prized flowers, shrubs or veggies, especially veggies.

    If you can have a covered (or partially covered) run, all the better, as they will be happier and dry during wet weather.
  6. rachel2015

    rachel2015 In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2014
    South west vic
    Thanks everyone, we have made a run today so they have access 24/7 to a safe outdoor area.
    1 person likes this.

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