Emergency chicken move need advice!

Our house burned down last weekend. We are new 'chicken parents' of 3 lovely sexlink hens. We built them a nice coop and seriously predator-proofed it as there may be raccoons, coyotes, etc in the area.
We may have to move the chickens to another property over the winter till the house is rebuilt. We need to keep them safe. We lost a dog in the fire. We can't bear it if we lose the chickens too. They are tame & follow us around. Unless we are willing to move them twice we may be staying 2 miles away from them over part of the house re-build time. Any thoughts about best pre-fab coops for the short term or ANY other advice would be welcome.
 

Folly's place

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Welcome, and I'm so sorry for your losses! How horrible, and it's understandable that you need to keep your pullets safe.
Prefab coops are generally pretty poor quality in every way, so it's hard to recommend any of them. Moving them twice, if it improves safety, might be a good option. I'd avoid having them in any other flock, because of biosecurity/ disease risks to them.
If your home coop and run are safe, locked up, and you are visiting daily (watching construction!) that might be a reasonable choice. If your coop is too close to the mess as it's being cleaned up and rebuilt, not so good.
Can a neighbor help?
Mary
 
Thank you for the warning about combining them with another flock...
We may be able to move them to a neighbor across the road (in his 80's), or to our temporary housing, but that would mean getting a new coop or trying to move their current coop - it has hardware cloth / chicken wire buried down all around it for safety.

I'm nervous about being 2 miles away during the cold months when the critters that want to eat them are hungry. We haven't seen much sign of predators so far, but they've only been living in the coop since mid-May.
 

Folly's place

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'Predator proof' is a pretty high bar, and many of learn this the hard way, because of losses. Everyone loves chicken, and every possible 'bad guy' will show up sometime, including bears if you are in bear country.
Pictures of your coop and run as they are now may help the rest of us evaluate it's safety.
Often a garden shed can be modified to make a nice coop, and would be large enough for your pullets to be in all the time, which might be a good option during this time.
Mary
 

MROO

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'Predator proof' is a pretty high bar, and many of learn this the hard way, because of losses. Everyone loves chicken, and every possible 'bad guy' will show up sometime, including bears if you are in bear country.
Pictures of your coop and run as they are now may help the rest of us evaluate it's safety.
Often a garden shed can be modified to make a nice coop, and would be large enough for your pullets to be in all the time, which might be a good option during this time.
Mary
I'm SO sorry about your fire losses! What an awful way to "start over!"
But ... X2 on the shed idea. Even if you don't need it as a coop when you move back home, doesn't everybody need an extra shed?
 
I'm intrigued by the idea of a shed. The 8'X8'X8' "yard" (in the picture if it attaches) could be removed and put near a shed so they can come out on nice days. We only free range them when we are with them. That yard is NOT very secure.
What do you think might be a good "footprint" or base square footage for 3 hens? (they are very nice to each other, at least right now.)
This is not a great picture - their 'night coop' is in the back and has hardware cloth and chicken wire buried around the outside to 6-9 inches. They are locked in and surrounded by hardware cloth in the night coop. We were prepared that they were popular with predators & told not to name them because of that - so they are all named "Larry" But we ended up loving them. If the house hadn't burned down, I was planning on maybe a couple more next spring once we had a better idea what we were doing.
coop.JPG
 

rosemarythyme

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So sorry to hear about the fire, the loss of your home and the loss of your dog as well :hugs!

I understand that you worry that something might happen to the chickens if you're away from them, but I think if you're planning to stay close by during the rebuild, it might be easiest simply leaving them where they're at, reinforcing it as well as you can (since you mentioned it wasn't very secure - what do you feel is lacking?) and visiting a couple times a day to take care of them. The chickens will still remember you as long as you can spend a little time with them each day. Maybe have a neighbor help out with keeping an eye on them as well? You obviously will have a lot going on with dealing with the aftermath of the fire, so the less you can complicate the situation, the better, IMO.
 

ValerieJ

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Hi! :frow Welcome to BYC! I'm so sorry for the loss of your "best friend", the family dog. And of course you don't want to lose your chickens. I do think they will do better where they are if that's possible. To my thinking, the biggest danger is the actual construction debris. Hopefully the contractor will be respectful of your property and the chickens' space, but I have heard stories. Keeping stray nails and screws out of the run will be important.
 

bobbi-j

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Our house burned down last weekend. We are new 'chicken parents' of 3 lovely sexlink hens. We built them a nice coop and seriously predator-proofed it as there may be raccoons, coyotes, etc in the area.
We may have to move the chickens to another property over the winter till the house is rebuilt. We need to keep them safe. We lost a dog in the fire. We can't bear it if we lose the chickens too. They are tame & follow us around. Unless we are willing to move them twice we may be staying 2 miles away from them over part of the house re-build time. Any thoughts about best pre-fab coops for the short term or ANY other advice would be welcome.
I am so sorry to hear about your house! We lost our home and dog in a fire 16 years ago this October. I don't have much advice about moving your chickens. I just wanted to say that I'm glad you and your faily are safe. Things can be replaced, people can't. If you ever need to vent, please feel free to PM me.
 

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