Does a chicken run NEED to be covered?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by AnimalsComeFirst, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. AnimalsComeFirst

    AnimalsComeFirst Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, we have a hawk in our neighborhood who has never taken any of our chickens. We live near a busy road but do have some woods next to us. No raccoons, skunks, dogs, coyotes or any other animal has been seen in our neighborhood for 2 years.... not many animals can get into our yard because: We have a dog who is outside most the day, we are in a (tall) fenced in yard and we are home most the day. As of right now we have a 2 1/2' tall fence with a net ontop. Its VERY hard to clean... we have to rake out the poops and whatever else. In my circumstances, is a net/covered run needed? My chickens are disabled, one is partially blind and one has a broken foot ( but she can move fast!). They do have access to a dog house in the daytime for shelter. (Our run and coop are not attached.)

    Thanks in advance....
     
  2. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

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    as long as they got a place to hide, like a bush or a run under shelter they are fine. My grandma lost less than one chicken a year due to flying predators
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    We have about a 70' x 70' fenced yard, not covered, attached to the coop. There are places to hide in this yard: bushes, etc. The fence is 6' high and buried a ways. There are hawks nesting in trees maybe 100' away; there are also coons, fox, coyote and who knows what else around. We have 3 dogs who roam the property around the chicken yard. The only losses of adult birds have occurred when the chickens were let out of the yard and roaming the property or even into the woods. Probably a hawk did take some young chicks out in the yard one day. We did chase a hawk off one day that was perched on a fence post.

    Not that the yard is secure, of course. I think a lot depends on what else the critters have available for food; there is a healthy population of field mice and rabbit here, for example. Other meals may simply be easier to get at.
     
  4. rebel-rousing-at-night

    rebel-rousing-at-night Chillin' With My Peeps

    Since you live in Mass. I don't see how you could have a net in a place with much snow just like I can't.

    If you can have a rooster they help protect your flock.
     
  5. AnimalsComeFirst

    AnimalsComeFirst Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I put tarps over it in the winter
     
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I put tarps over it in the winter

    Wouldn't the tarps collapse?
     
  7. AnimalsComeFirst

    AnimalsComeFirst Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I put tarps over it in the winter

    Wouldn't the tarps collapse?

    I put them over sturdy bushes.
     

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