Free ranging vs chicken run

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by AngeliqueR, May 6, 2016.

  1. AngeliqueR

    AngeliqueR Out Of The Brooder

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    What are your future plans for your chicks? Enclosed in a run attached to the coop or allowed to free range?

    I assume everyone has this debate before you buy your chicks. I had planned on an enclosed run but am having second thoughts and thinking free range might be possible when they are a bit older.
     
  2. 0wen

    0wen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Both. My coop is part of my run for the most part - cattle panel hoop coop, but with an added huddle box that will be closed as a normal coop in winter (possibly). I generally allow free range, but my new flock consists largely of small breeds and bantams so will likely restrict them to supervised free range due to an abundance of feral cats, hawks (+corvids), and the usual predator list to boot. It's also nice to have an enclosed run for times when you need to be away for a day or three - it's easier to get someone to just pop open a door (or install an auto opener) than it is to get someone to chase free ranging chickens...
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ditto Dat^^^
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    There are times, you will want to have them more secure. Predators find you and snatch your favorites, and you will need to keep them safe for a while, until the predators move on.

    If you are gone for a couple of days, it is safer to have them confined.

    I have a very nice totally enclosed run/coop set up, when I want, I let them out, but mine are completely comfortable if I don't.

    MRs K
     
  5. AngeliqueR

    AngeliqueR Out Of The Brooder

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    I just installed a coop with a 32 sq ft run (4 X 8) for 6 medium/large birds. I am hoping that is enough for them to be comfortable when I do not let them out. Still debating whether to free range part time or add a daytime run...
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  7. AngeliqueR

    AngeliqueR Out Of The Brooder

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    It is the size of the run including the portion under the elevated coop, which is probably 3 X 4 with a 4' long roost. I can easily open the door into an enclosed wider area or add a chicken door to an extended run.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. DuckGirl77

    DuckGirl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Whatever you do, I would advise against letting them free range when it starts getting later in the day. I don't know what predators are like in your area, but I just saw a fox next to my chickens' pen about an hour ago. I was going to let them free range, but, after that, they can only be out of their pen when either my dog or I are outside with them.
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    If that were my setup, I'd attach a larger run to what you have. That way, you can have the option - as others have said - to either keep them penned, or let them free range. My chickens are primarily free ranged, but are kept confined if we're gone for a few days, have predator issues or have family visiting with their dogs. My coop is more like a shed - 8x16' with a 12x16' run attached. I prefer to have a larger coop because we live where it's cold in the winter and they spend much of their time inside during the winter months.
     
  10. kgb6days

    kgb6days Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Enclosed in a run(7X12)/coop setup. We have dogs that look on the chicks as a snack thats growing. Besides we have hawks in the area - see them all the time so don't feel safe letting them free
    range

    [​IMG]
     

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