How much outdoor space, etc Q's

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 1dog1cat6chicks, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. 1dog1cat6chicks

    1dog1cat6chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 9, 2014
    Our chickens are now about six months old, and are (mostly) laying eggs. Their outside space was expanded a few weeks ago to about 50 square feet. After that I noticed that Lucille was bloody on her back, in front of her tail. We thought maybe they needed more room, and added more outside area, probably doubling what they had. Well, today she was bloodied again, so we put a chicken saddle on her. (She looks very cute :) )

    Right now they are loose in the yard and seem so happy. I think THAT is the ideal situation, but I am concerned about the yard. My question is, about how much space do 5 chickens need, to not peck each other to bits, yet to not destroy my yard? We have a large fenced back yard for the dog, probably 1/3 of an acre or so, and that's where their coop is.

    Any advice?
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
  2. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Couple of questions:

    You mentioned you have 5 chickens. Are any roosters?
    What breed(s) do you have?

    Space: min. of 10 sq ft of outside space and 4 sq feet inside per bird is recommended

    If she is red/bloody on her back, you will want to buya product (inexpensive) called BluKote. it is purple and covers the red/blood color so the others wont peck at it. Chickens tend to peck at anything red and it will continue to get worse if not disguised.
     
  3. 1dog1cat6chicks

    1dog1cat6chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No roosters, all hens. They are 'assorted red pullets' from TSC.

    We did have at least the minimum of 10 square feet per bird, but still Lucille was getting pecked. [​IMG] She's sporting her chicken apron now, so it covers the bloodied part. My daughter also gave them a shallow bin of dirt, and they really loved dusting themselves--but maybe the novelty has worn off and now the bullies (Tess and Opal) are back to pecking on Lucille, and Maude also to some extent.

    I would ideally like to just let them roam around the fenced part of the yard, which the dog also uses, but I don't really want the entire yard ruined.
     
  4. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    I hear you. I have a covered run (bird netting over it) but as soon as I get home, the dog goes inside and the flock is let loose for a couple hours. (We are on 40 acres but our yard where they go is just under an acre. We have had minimal issues with them free ranging in the yard. The main issues have been under the bird feeder, or under bushes where they like to dig. You could probably let them out for an hour in the evening when you have time and just keep your eye on them, shoo them away from your landscaping? Keep us posted how her back is doing. Good luck! :)
     
  5. 1dog1cat6chicks

    1dog1cat6chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 9, 2014
    Well, the girls have had free run of the fenced yard (dog yard) for a few days now. They love it, are mostly messing up the mulch in the flower beds but not doing much damage to the actual plants. Lucille had her apron off for awhile (daughter took it off) but it's back on now--DD noticed her 'boo boo' was red, and we thought it best to cover it. (That's her in the avatar picture.) Lots of poop in the yard, though, which I am not crazy about.

    Phoebe, our greyhound, pretty much ignores them. Of course, greyhounds are NOT bird dogs, which helps! And the hens don't seem to be very intimidated by her.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
  6. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Thats awesome-I am sure they are loving it! My SO gets frustrated with the mulch being kicked all over too but I figure they have one spot in our 40 acres-we can deal with it! LOL Unfortunately we have a hunting dog (Drathar) so we have to keep her in while chickens are out free ranging.
     

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