Decisions, decisions, can I get your opinions? pics included

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mackenziesmomma, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. mackenziesmomma

    mackenziesmomma Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2008
    I have 12 chickens and a rooster. I have 2 tractors that I keep them in full time. I move them around our land usually every day. It isn't a ton of work, but it is work none the less. I want to get more chickens. Letting them have access to grass is important to me.

    I have read (and read) lots of threads on free range vs. caged. I have such a nice area for free range- should I do it?

    Here is my set up-

    These are my chicken tractors-
    [​IMG]

    This is a small pasture where I could let them out. I could put chicken wire up a few feet to make getting out a little harder. I do have dogs- but looking at a chicken results in an unpleasant sensation from their collars. They are kept up when we aren't out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Whataya think? Keep em in the tractor or let em out during the day in the pasture?

    TIA for any comments
     
  2. hoosier

    hoosier Chillin' With My Peeps

    Unless you don't have any hawks or other predators, I would keep them in the tractor and let them free range while you are there.
     
  3. mackenziesmomma

    mackenziesmomma Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2008
    We do have the occasional hawk. Ugh...

    As far as letting them out just when we are home- they are so hard to catch. They will put themselves up at night, right?

    Would you just open the cage and let them roam around while we are right there? Are there any secrets to get them back in?
     
  4. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:OPINION AND SUGGESTION :
    IF you have the area , and want more chickens , I say build them a Large run area and protect tehm form Hawks , ETC.


    I would NOT keep them locked up in a tractor most of the day . Dont know about your area , BUT its HOT here and I sure would NOT want to find any of mine suffering from the heat or gettign sick if it can be prevented . I leave mine in the protected run 12 x 32 ft. ALL day and they have total access to go under the coop area for shade and a way to get out of the rain .... They go in the coop ONLY to lay and come right back out .

    Naturally they go in coop LATE EVENINGS before dark to roost and sleep .

    I dont even have to go let them out in early mornings . 1st. sign of day light , here they come out .

    they have their own entrance and exist door .

    I have a full size door to enter for collecting eggs and cleaning out coop , ETC. but it is fully locked if I have to leave during the day .
    The more freedom and fresh air the better . BUT , predator protection is a MUST .

    Hope this helps . AGAIN , its only my opinion and suggest .

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    I'm only letting mine free range on days I'm home all day, not even while I'm walking the dogs in the woods. Otherwise they spend all day in the covered run. Mine seem to only want to go in if there is food offered (in the run) or at dusk. Then it's no problem getting them inside except that they still haven't figured out where the door is!
     
  6. BayCityBabe

    BayCityBabe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2008
    I think your fenced pasture would be a nice place to build a covered run.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. mackenziesmomma

    mackenziesmomma Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2008
    Thanks for the replies! [​IMG]

    I am in Texas and it does get hot here. The tractors aren't closed in all the way- the sides are open and it is covered. While I wouldn't call it cool (nothing outside is), I would say it is the least hottest place outside as it is shaded. Probably the only thing cooler would be in here in the ac.[​IMG]

    I guess there are not any secrets to catch em in the day but that at night it is pretty easy.

    I guess I could let them out in the morning and just keep an eye out on them during the day... then at night just shut the door after they put themselves up.....
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  8. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    You could also try just letting some of them out and (assuming you can tell who is who) letting the others out the next day. I notice mine will hang around the coop if anyone is left inside.
     
  9. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:Where in Texas ? I am in South Louisiana . ( Lafayette ) Texas and La. usually share around the same temps . [​IMG]
     
  10. mackenziesmomma

    mackenziesmomma Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2008
    Swamp- great idea, tfs [​IMG] I think I will try that!

    Liz- I am in Ft. Worth. Pretty much the same temp as LA, but I think you are more humid. We moved here from FL. which to me is even more humid. [​IMG]
     

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