Designing a new coop and run..

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by vymichelle, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. vymichelle

    vymichelle Hatching

    Oct 2, 2011
    We currently have a lovely little mixed brood of three chickens that we got as a hen and two tiny chicks. We built them a standard style broody coop and run but since they got big enough they've just been sleeping in the coop at night and free-ranging the garden in the day. They got used to this freedom very quickly and now freak out if they are shut in their run for even a short-time, if we are going out before they're gone to bed for example, we put them in the run so we know they will go to bed and be safe till we get home (they are partial to trying to roost in the apple tree if we don't guide them!). So because they won't tolerate the restriction they are out the whole day, which is fine as our garden is safe and secure. We move house this weekend to a place with a much bigger garden, with no real fencing and surrounded by woods - definate fox risk.. Having free-range is not going to be practical when we're at work and stuff as I'd spend the day worrying! I want to get a fourth member and build a new bigger house but I don't know how to make them a safe enclosure that will not make them feel too restricted!? Do I a) try and build a permanent, fenced enclosure and hope it's big enough that they approve, b) make some kind of movable structure so they can be moved to different places, c) electric poultry fencing or something?? I know they will probably get used to whatever they have but I don't want them to not be happy about the move!
    If anyone has a set-up they think would suit my guys then I would love to see photos or hear your advice and ideas! [​IMG]

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    There's a coop section on the index page at the top, plus this forum (Coop and Run) has multiple ideas for secure housing, moveable or not, though a moveable run is much harder to make predator proof. There's an often quoted rule of thumb on here of 4 sq ft per bird in the coop and 10 sq ft per bird in the run, and another that they can never have too much space. This is a very rough guideline. In my climate they need less coop space but lots of air movement. In Canada or Alaska they may stay in for weeks at a time, and benefit from a much larger coop. In either case, though, they always like a lot more run space than this. If you get a lot of snow, you should probably make a snow roof for at least part of it. Also, they may object to being confined to a run, but they will accept it in time.

    Here are a couple of links that might help. When you can, after a few more posts, it would be good to give a general location in your profile, perhaps just a state or region, or even just a country if you are not in the US.

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