From Free Range to Run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by turtle1173, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. turtle1173

    turtle1173 Songster

    Apr 26, 2008
    SE Missouri
    I got my first chickens back in April. I have a fenced backyard and was hopeful that they would just stay in this large 150'x150' area. Well the chain link fence is a little over 3' tall and of course about 7 of the 10 chickens think the grass is greener on the other side.

    They tend to get a little farther away from the coop around mid morning. Then they come back and lay some eggs. Closer to evening, they venture off again. Then of course, when it starts getting towards dark, they come hurrying back to the coop.

    My neighbors don't mind them coming in their yard but it certainly makes me feel uneasy. So I started constucting a run.

    Essentially the run is 40' by 25'. The fence is 6 1/2 feet tall. My plan is to basically keep them in the run most of the day and let them out to range maybe an hour or so before dark. That way I can be sure that they are still able to range, eat bugs, stretch their legs, etc. but also know that their time is limited.

    I am putting the finishing touches on the fencing and finishing up with building the gate right now.

    I was curious if you all thought this was an acceptable plan. Also I was wondering if they will transition to this easily enough.

  2. My chickens have an 18'x 8' x 8' roofed run, and I think you're going to be far more relaxed about yours. They'll adjust and be far safer especially with winter predation looming!
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  3. I think that as soon as they know where the door is that they will pile up in front of it until you open it...

    and then after a few days they'll likely figure out WHEN you open the door if you stick to a routine and then they will pile up just before you let them out each evening.

    a tip-- chickens tell time by the sunlight... so the same time every day for them is the same sun position or light... not necessarily the same hour on the clock [​IMG]
    or maybe it was just me who this didn't occur to... I missed their bedtime snack for a couple of days following the wall clock [​IMG] [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: