How much sunlight??? and should I feel GUILTY?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nhchickmom, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. nhchickmom

    nhchickmom Songster

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    So my chickens (we have 10 in total) have been such pests to our neighbors and OUR gardens that we finally decided to close them in. Up until this point they have free ranged over 3 acres of land, but they were really getting into stuff. They have a coop that is about 5x5 and is 8 feet tall with plenty of room to roost from top to bottom. We also added a 5x 8 run that they can freely go in and out at all times of the day. The spot is real shady because I didn't want to have them get too hot, but I think they might actually need more sunlight. They have been "in" for a week and their comb color seems to have dulled a lot.......would artificial light work? or is this something else. I feel so bad fencing them in, but I can't have them bothering the neighborhood. Any suggestions thoughts? Should I feel guilty?
     
  2. Artificial light works, especially in winter. Is there a way to give them more natural light- window, clear vinyl roofing in the run? The best layers usually get 14 hours or more of light per day. Coop is a bit small for 10 birds.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

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    That's really not a large enough space for that many chickens...I fear they'll begin picking at each other. They need the vitamin D that natural sunlight provides, too. Is there any way to move the coop or enlarge the run?
     
  4. nhchickmom

    nhchickmom Songster

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    ok I just meausured the space and the square footage of the coop is 35 sq. feet and the run is 45 sq. feet. Don't chickens need approimately 3 sq. feet per bird? If I am correct then it should be big enough right? Also their coop has three windows and the run is very fine fencing on the top sp they get a lot of air, and nautrual light (but as I said it is very shady. I guess I am answering my own question that I would feel better if I added onto their run but I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't "missing something."
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Crowing

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    The recommendation on here is 4 sq ft per bird in the coop and 10 sq ft per bird in the run, but these are minimums, and they certainly do better with more, especially if they are confined at all times.
     
  6. nhchickmom

    nhchickmom Songster

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    Thanks all. I I am just going to add another section of run that can reach the sunny part of our yard, probably another 50 sq. feet or so. I will sleep better at night knowing my chickens are happy.
     
  7. rhodiegal

    rhodiegal Songster

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    I would not feel guilty. We keep ours penned up most of the time and let them out once in a while to free range. I've noticed that leaving them out every single day to free range teaches hawks that there is a ready supply of food - so I like to throw them off a little. You could let them out once in a while - they probably won't go so far since you are not doing it every day.

    We live in a densely wooded area and our coops are also in the shade. They get dappled sunlight during the summer and in the winter, they get alot more due to the pines being the only trees with any vegetation on them. This is a blessing begin located in the hot and humid south! We have no problems with laying or paleness - I wonder if the paleness could be caused by something different?
     
  8. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

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    Quote:An addition is a really good idea. I only have 2 (gentle roo and hen) and they have a run that is more than 750 square feet (one that is 8' x30' and an addition that is approx. 20'x30') and they go cuckoo wanting more to explore, literally pacing with anticipation and full of such joy when the gate is opened. I add supervised free range time with my heart in my throat because of the seemingly endless irresponsible people with dogs on the loose. In the summer the run areas are pretty shady so they can't wait to go play in the sun. The little lady does like to dig stuff up but she's so happy doing it that I don't care so much. Their coop is small (only about 6' x 4' x 8' high) but it resides in a much larger building (~22'x22') that they can access in the daytime and that comes in handy in inclement weather.

    JJ
     
  9. nhchickmom

    nhchickmom Songster

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    Quote:Thanks for your support. I am going to leave things as is for now and let them out for an hour or two in the evening about every other day. Thanks
     

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