Do they have to have a run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by shadowman, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. shadowman

    shadowman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2010
    ontario
    I have a barn that is not in use anymore. My question is, can I keep chickens inside all year around if they have a very large coop? I can provide 10 square feet per bird. We have a major predator problem here, (coons, coyotes, skunks, foxes, weasles, hawks and owls!) The area that I want to build the coop in is on the south side and has cement floor and walls and windows for ample natural light. There is plenty of space to work with which would allow enough room for a lot of roosts, stumps ect. to keep them entertained. Any feedback would be appreciated.
     
  2. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    My opinion is chickens need grass and dirt to be really happy. Just watch a chicken all layed out in a sunbath or scratch around in the dirt for a yummy nibble is true happiness.

    Sure, cement is ok, but... you know? You do what you have to. [​IMG]
     
  3. shadowman

    shadowman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2010
    ontario
    I won't leave the cement bare, I will use pine shavings and add a dust bath area. And , since they can't go outside, They would have to be given special treats to scratch for.
     
  4. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    They would be fine. Might not be happy, but would be fine. I'd give some thought to giving them a run later if possible.
    All ours have pens and runs, but a few like the Faverolles and Sultans seldom go out very far anyway.
     
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    They won't like it without grass and dirt. Lollygagging around in the rain. [​IMG]

    Oh I see you are in Canada. If you are talking about wintertime with huge amounts of snow, then I would think they would like it inside. But during mild weather the above would be true.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  6. MamaChic21

    MamaChic21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 2, 2010
    Jackson, NJ
    I also have to agree with them. They would be much happier with grass and sunbathing and scratching for bugs. Why don't you do a run and you can put a secure chicken wire on top. I live out in South Jersey and our backyard is facing the forest, so I got snakes, possums, fox, owls, hawks, vulture, well you get the idea. So we made a run and trust me nothing can get in or get out without someone opening the door. But we will re-locate their coop/run for other reasons in the spring. Good luck on what you decide, but if you love them, you'll also enjoy and be happy when they're happy !
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  7. BWKatz

    BWKatz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    Columbia,SC
    U could always let them out when ur in the yard when it's nicer. That would make them happy. But for now in the snow barn would be great!
     
  8. shadowman

    shadowman Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2010
    ontario
    I guess if I build a run and fortify well enough they might be O.K. , The other problem is that if I build a run for them, I would have to build the indoor coop and the run on the north side of the barn because the run would have to go in the old barnyard ( which is now overgrown). They would get daylight through the summer, but not much direct sun. I can't build it on the south, east or west side of the barn because that is all manicured lawn.[​IMG]
     
  9. BWKatz

    BWKatz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    Columbia,SC
    They would LOVE an overgrown garden....lots of bugs and scratching. [​IMG]
     
  10. justtoni44

    justtoni44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2010
    oregon
    just wanted to add that we put achilds plastic swimming pool in the barn filled with sand....the chickens love it......
    You will have much better eggs if they can get out and add variety to thier diet.
     

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