Help for chicken yard design?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by juneauchickens, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. juneauchickens

    juneauchickens New Egg

    Oct 7, 2010
    Juneau, AK
    I’m doing a bit of research on the best possible options for chicken yards. The criteria for the yard are:

    • ease of access to the yard for cleaning/maintenance
    • ensuring the flock is contained
    • protecting the flock from predators
    • providing year round access to the yard for the flock
    • ensure the yard will survive a heavy snow load
    • minimizing cost for construction of yard

    We’ve had chickens for several years. Each winter I’m faced with the same problems, the snow load becomes too heavy for the protective barrier over the top of the yard to support and the fencing collapses & my chickens spend too little time foraging. I’m looking for ideas & suggestions that may have worked for you or others chicken owners you may know.

    One added condition is that the area where the yard is located is unlevel.

    My plan of attack for this winter is to build an “A” frame enclosure that I can tarp in heavy snows/rains.

  2. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Welcome to the forum!

    Sorry but I can offer no help on the question of building for harsh winters. Where I live, we rarely see snow. But there are many others here who do live "up north" and hopefully some of them will chime in shortly.
  3. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Too many variables that depend on where you're located, so nobody can help you much because you haven't listed your CITY/TOWN, STATE under your NAME yet. Please go to (click) Profile (on the dark-blue line above) and then to the list on the left hand side titled Profile Menu. Going there and choosing the second item on the list, PERSONAL, you can type in the name of the city or town and state where you live.
  4. BWKatz

    BWKatz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    Joe- Juneau is in Alaska. Check her name. The A frame sounds like a good idea.
  5. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Well, yeah, but... Mmmm... Never mind.
  6. MaKettle

    MaKettle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Well, yeah, but... Mmmm... Never mind.

  7. UGAchick

    UGAchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2010
    Athens, GA
    This may seem stupid - but must you cover the chicken yard? No need to worry about it collapsing then!
  8. juneauchickens

    juneauchickens New Egg

    Oct 7, 2010
    Juneau, AK

    We live in southeast Alaska - Juneau to be exact.

    A covering over the yard is necessary because eagles and hawks are frequent visitors to our yard. They spend a lot of time free ranging in the forest but we like to be able to keep them in a protected yard when no one is around to shoo away the eagles.

  9. ND Sue

    ND Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2009
    I'm in ND and we have heavy snow loads also. I haven't done mine yet... but my plan is to also go with an A framed run and put metal roofing on top. We have all the supplies and the tin, but just haven't had the time to get it up yet.
    The sun on the metal will keep most of the snow sliding off and you should also be able to use a broom to pull it off when needed.
    I can tell you from experience, your tarp won't last the whole winter! But then mine was too big of an area for a tarp, so the snow was just too heavy.

    Maybe check your local craigslist or place a wanted ad and see if you can get any used metal roofing for cheap or free.
  10. juneauchickens

    juneauchickens New Egg

    Oct 7, 2010
    Juneau, AK
    Thanks for the advice, Sue. I think I will go with your suggestion and try to scavenge metal roofing from somewhere.

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