Hello from Vancouver Island

Canucklehead

In the Brooder
Jul 6, 2021
8
43
41
I'm about a week into my new chicken operation hobby. So far it's going fairly well. I spent about 6 weeks building my 4' x 4' coop with a 200 square foot run and then lucked out by finding 8 - 9 month old Rhode Island reds that someone no longer wanted.

I think the run is secure from predators but out of an abundance of caution I am still locking them in at night. As of now they make their way inside around 9pm and I let them out before 6am. The food and water are in the run only and by 6 they are anxious to get out.

There is a raccoon in the neighborhood that caused quite a commotion at 6:30am yesterday (woke the neighbour up) before I chased it off, so I am trying to balance getting them as much time in the run without exposing them to the stress of the raccoon, even though it's on the other side of the fence. I'm considering making some feed and water available in the coop so they are a bit more content with staying inside longer.

Not sure what adjustments I'll have to make in the routine when the darker winter months come around. I know I'll have to get a light for the coop, but don't know if I should plan on extending their mornings or evenings, or both. And how to deal with that raccoon!!

If anyone has any tips on things I should or could consider to keep my hens healthy, content and alive it would be appreciated.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
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Hello and welcome to BYC! :frow Glad you joined.
Does your run have a solid roof on it? Is your run covered with 1/2" hardware cloth? Can you run a hotwire around your coop and run? Your coop is too small for 8 LF birds. Putting the feed and water in there will make it that much worse.
 
Last edited:

N F C

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Dec 12, 2013
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:welcome

Hi, congrats on getting your backyard flock!

As far as dealing with the raccoon, some people trap & relocate and some exterminate them. They are persistent poultry predators and very wily.

Are you thinking of adding a light to your coop in the winter to extend their laying? I don't do that myself, but if you are going to, I'd make it come on early in the morning rather than extending light into the night.

Best wishes!
 

Canucklehead

In the Brooder
Jul 6, 2021
8
43
41
Hello and welcome to BYC! :frow Glad you joined.
Does your run have a solid roof on it? Is your run covered with 1/2" hardware cloth? Can you run a hotwire around your coop and run? Your coop is too small for 8 LF birds. Putting the feed and water in there will make it that much worse.
Thanks. What's an LF bird? How many hens do you think are appropriate for this setup? The run is covered with 1 inch hex wire only.
 

Canucklehead

In the Brooder
Jul 6, 2021
8
43
41
:welcome

Hi, congrats on getting your backyard flock!

As far as dealing with the raccoon, some people trap & relocate and some exterminate them. They are persistent poultry predators and very wily.

Are you thinking of adding a light to your coop in the winter to extend their laying? I don't do that myself, but if you are going to, I'd make it come on early in the morning rather than extending light into the night.

Best wishes!
Thanks. Yes, the light will be to extend the laying season. May I ask why you suggest the morning extension?
 

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