Free range chickens - do they need a run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Aeropennchick, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. Coop and yard only (no run)

    0 vote(s)
  2. Fenced in run

    3 vote(s)
  1. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2012
    Southern PA
    Hi everyone!

    We are new chicken owners and I was hoping to get some insight on this from experienced people. We have (for now!) eight chicks which are going to be living in an old pull-behind-camper-turned-coop. It is about 5 feet by 14 feet. We are going to be setting it back by the tree line about 100 yards from our house and the road (only local traffic, top of the mountain stuff), and we have three acres cleared and the back 20 are wooded. None of this is fenced - we have an invisible fence for our dogs.

    Do we absolutely have to build a run? There are hawks around here but there is plenty of cover, and our dogs have run off most of the other local predators - haven't seen a fox on our property in years.

    I have seen people in our area with coops only, but most have runs...none of them have the amount of space that we have or are on busier roads.

    What do you think? Run or no run, and if the answer is run, what size?

  2. chadrodeo05

    chadrodeo05 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 24, 2010
    all kind of predators will take chickens.If the dogs r like ours they protect the chickens and less predators come around.
  3. barbiegirl

    barbiegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2012
    The Poconos Pa
    Hi and welcome from the Poconos. [​IMG] I am new to chickens too. I have my chickens in a covered run. Didn't want to loose and due to predators. There are alot of predators that will eat/or kill chickens in Pa. Good luck with your chicks. [​IMG]
  4. Jakl

    Jakl Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 26, 2012
    I am a newbie here, but not to chickens.
    Our chickens are free rang, but I do suggest a run of some sort. There are times when they may need to be penned up. If you are planting small plants, if they need to be medicated, if the foxes/neighbor dogs move in (temporaraly you can fix this problem), and for many other reasons, you may need a run.
  5. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    if your the kind of person who wants every bird to live as long as they can, and cant take the emotional distress <big werds fer me lol.. of loss along with your gains, then you will need a run. no matter how many good dogs you have, no matter how MucH cover you have, if you have free range birds there WILL be losses. the trick is to have more chicks ordered to replace ones lost,,if you lose 3 birds i would suggest getting like 50 to replace em,, hehe ;)

  6. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2012
    Southern PA
    Thanks guys! I'm such a sap, I'll probably cry for a week whenever the first one dies...thinking of adding a run the size of the coop onto the front (~5x14). We are gutting the trailer now and starting our "coop project" - look for the pics when we're done!

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