how can i keep my chickens out of the barn?

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In the Brooder
8 Years
Oct 28, 2011
NW Oregon
I rent a house with property with a barn that people board their horses at. My landlord contacted me and said that my chickens have been going into the barn and pooping on peoples saddles and tack
I wasn't even aware that they were going into the barn. I feel so bad. I know that the acidity in chicken poo can damage some materials
so anyhoo she told me I have to find a way to keep them out or get rid of them
that just CANNOT happen!!! I have a very small yard of my own and cant build much larger of a run which she suggested I lock them in all day but that would just be cruel with the size run I could even build (I have a 8x4 run, and a 5x4 coop for 5 hens 1 roo). I feed them in my yard and try to provide as much foraging as I can in my own area. I am guessing they go to the barn (20. yards away) for the dry dirt for dust bathing and buffet of buggies.
Does anyone know of any tricks or have other suggestions?
ETA there is an 8inch gap under all the sliding doors which they typically leave open because there are horses stalled 24 hrs a day (sad)
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You've got to deal with the reality of being a renter, not the owner, of the property. 5 hens are kept in the cities, in small coops and large cages, for all intents and purposes, that serve as the run. Is it the romantic pastoral life envisioned? Sometimes we allow our visions of hens on pastures green, blue sky and all that color our judgement. The reality is what it is. Build the run as large as possible and keep them in it. You won't have much success keeping them out of the barn. Chicken have a sixth sense of going precisely where you'd rather they wouldn't. Be a good neighbor first and foremost. Throw interesting things into the run for them to tear up, scratch up and use their instincts. They will be just fine. Best regards.
Thanks for the replies. I think I am going to try to design a better run and only pet them free range for a few hours before dusk when I can be home. Living on 3 acres I thought I could live the dream of happy free chickens but, yes, I am a renter. Thanks guys!

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