Hoping to Get Chickens Soon, Any Help Appreciated

clafisher

In the Brooder
Jun 12, 2017
6
3
12
Indiana
Hi! My family is going to be moving to a new house that is on 7 acres of land and I saw this as a great opportunity to finally get some chickens, something I have always wanted to do. I was wondering if there are any rules of thumb or guidelines when it comes to chicken coops? I also am unsure of how much space I should fence off for the chickens? Finally, are there any precautions I need to take in order to protect them from hawks or other predatory birds? Any other advice is much appreciated as well! :)
 

the.whole.crew

Chirping
Jun 1, 2017
43
28
64
New Jersey
Before I say anything I have a few questions.
1. How many chickens would you prefer to get (even just a range is fine).
2. Since you mentioned fencing off, I'm going to assume you're not free-ranging. Am I correct on this?
3. Do you plan to raise from chicks?
4. Are you getting all hens or roosters, too?
 

meetthebubus

Crowing
Mar 28, 2017
2,060
5,122
417
For a breed suggestion I ALWAYS vote buff orpington although that wasn't one of yourquestions lol

For space I had 10 chickens to a 1/4 acre run size I think 20 chickens could do well in a quarter acre run also a coop size I have 4 by 8 by 4 for 10 chickens and next time I would do triple that size for 20 because for hot season they can spread out and cold they can still squish together it may depend on your weather though
Chickens at night can peck a lot before going to bed so space helps that

For predators I can show you what I did for the enclosure I would only change one thing, put harware wire on bottom for snakes which I will do soon
 

Doc Schoepp

Chirping
Apr 18, 2017
65
29
51
Colorado Springs
There is a lot of good information on here for coop/run designs and space estimations. Also if you can put your location (even general such as just the State/Province/etc) that would help with recommendations. As for the run, free-range versus a chicken run would change how you set things up as well.

Welcome and hopefully we can help you out as you start.
 

clafisher

In the Brooder
Jun 12, 2017
6
3
12
Indiana
I live in central Indiana, I'm most likely gonna start out with 5-10 hens, no roosters, and I'm probably not going to free range because I feel like I'd worry about predators too much. I would like to raise them from chicks and also want to get a variety of breeds. Thank you so much for any help!
 

Doc Schoepp

Chirping
Apr 18, 2017
65
29
51
Colorado Springs
Two main avenues for predators will be air and ground. Air is easy enough to prevent using some kind of netting/wire fencing that prevents hawks/vultures/etc from diving in for a snack. Ground predators are a little more tricky and take a little more work. You need to take into account tunneling as well as their ability to reach through and grab a hen. Raccoons are known to reach in, grab what they can and rip. They dont care if they get the whole bird, they just want as much as they can pull through. Putting stone around the border of the run and/or burying fencing can help with that and running hardware cloth along the bottom few feet of the run fencing can help protect. A major way to protect them would be to lock them in their coop at night as many of those predators are more inclined to hunt under the cover of darkness.

There are a bunch of good threads with discussions about pros/cons of different methods.
 

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