Decisions on chicken accomodation

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Daisygirl, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. Daisygirl

    Daisygirl Songster

    Nov 10, 2009
    New Zealand
    So, my family are debating on where to have the chooks. [​IMG]
    I have 6 10 week old brown shavers, in a small run in my back yard...
    The question is...shoud I keep them in my back yard (is very small [​IMG]) and upgrade the coop, or send them to a large, spacious paddock where we can make a bigger coop and they can freerange??
    The problems I see with moving them is that

    a) I will only be able to see them once a week (someone WILL be out there to look after them...but not me)
    b) They will be nowhere NEAR as spoiled as they are here
    c) Security - - I know all the flock can take a neighbourhood cat down anyday, but people do walk their dogs offleash in that area. I'm also worried about hawks, etc.
    d) I would miss them [​IMG]
    e) It would encourage me to expand the flock...not a good idea right now. [​IMG]
    f) They wouldn't be able to be locked in at night/let out in morning

    The problems I see with them staying here...however hesitant I am to admit them

    a) This is a VERY small yard.
    b) The lawn is getting very thin - - many bald patches
    c)I can't use my vege patch
    d) My cat is terrified of them!!!! [​IMG]

    Please post your opinions...I need advice. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009

  2. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

    Nov 4, 2008
    Cross Lanes, WV
    I guess I to answer, I need to know why you have chickens. If you have them as pets, sending them to live away from you doesn't make much sense. If they are just for egg production then sending them away makes sense. Can you compromise and just keep 2 or three?
  3. StupidBird

    StupidBird Songster

    Apr 8, 2009
    I have 5 standard to heavy sized hens kept in a little tractor setup. They free range under my direct supervision when I can be out, which is most but not every day. Our yard is not fenced, a problem - roaming dogs, some quite large judging from the paw prints in my poor seed beds.
    I am looking for a small cost to free fencing solution to keep the chickens safer or my veggies safer. I don't know which I need more - their eggs or their company or their bug eating. Right now I'm using empty tomato cages laid on sides staked around the garden beds still growing things, greens like collards, turnips, cabbage - hens' favorite.

    Yes, the ground under the tractor is demolished in just a few days; muddy, pitted, scalped. But I'll be turning those places into more garden and eventually just be moving the tractor around from spent garden bed to the next. Not ideal, but what I've got. I won't part with the stupid fluffy butts now. I've only had them since spring, and are surprisingly important to me. I dream of upgrading their setup when I get extra for the "good" types of fencing - no halfway measures.

    our cat gets chased by the flock too, but he always hangs out just out of range anyway.

    it's the lawn in the back getting thin? then don't fret about it. Figure out some way to fence the veggie beds. I've been putting grass clippings in 1-2" mulch over the bare spots and that's now their favorite scratching place. guess i'll plant something there springtime?

    I don't know how small your small is...I'd keep them close.
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Both previous posts make sense!! Just how tiny IS your back yard by the way? You can fence a garden patch (just w/chicken wire and those green metal posts). I get the feeling that they're kind of pets, or pets w/benefit of eggs. As someone earlier said, I would consider reducing your flock to just 3 birds or so before I'd send them off somewhere else if they ARE pets.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Personally I'd build a run and keep them at home. If you make the coop so that the indoor portion is atop part of the run, that saves a lot of space. For six chickens you could get away with as little as a 6x10 footprint (tho if you could make it bigger that'd be awfully good). Instead of letting them loose to ravage your garden and lawn all the time, you can let them out for just an hour or two a day, or every few days, with supervision; and you can bring greenery and other entertainment to *them*, so they will stay busy and happy in the run.

    Good luck, have fun,

  6. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Songster

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    I say if you love you birds that much, make better accommodations and keep them at home. If I had to send mine somewhere else and could only see them every now and then, I would just find them a good home.

  7. Daisygirl

    Daisygirl Songster

    Nov 10, 2009
    New Zealand
    Quote:You're right - - they are pets/layers. As for how big my yard is, I'd say about 10 metres from on end of the fence to the other, then about 5 metres from the house to the back fence. I'm still going to try and get this proper coop set up...but it's always good to have a backup plan. I do only let them out for an hour or so - - one in the morning, one in the evening. Then in the weekends I sometimes let them out for longer...What type of greenery -- just veges that I've grown, or something else???
    The vege patch is not much of a problem, I've got other places where I can grow the veges, and we've all got to make sacrifices, right? [​IMG]

    As for keeping just two or three I'd:
    a) have two little brothers who want to have "their" chickens
    b) a couple of neighbour's kids have grown attached to another two
    c) My Daisy...I'm not calling myself Daisygirl for nothing [​IMG]
    d) Separation anxiety. I take two away from the flock, and the rest go bonkers after a couple of hours. In their minds, they come as a set.

    Thanks for the really good advice everyone, it's nice to get another couple of opinions... [​IMG]

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