Ideas please??!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DarleneE, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. DarleneE

    DarleneE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have two hens. A Barred Rock and an Ameraucana. First time chicken owner. We are building a coop now for them. We've chosen to put the coop in our screened lanai. Reasons being.. protection from the elements and from predators. The coop will be 10' long and 3' wide. Questions are..Do they have to run loose in the yard or can they stay in this coop. We are planning on putting either hay or pine shaving down on one end and possibly putting some squares of sod on the other end so they can do their pecking. My worries on letting the out are.. them flying away, predators.. Cats etc, and the biggie.. Getting them back in the coop!! We have a large yard with a pool. I'm worried that they won't find their way back to the coop OR that I won't be able to catch them and get them back in it if they don't find their own way back. Can you give me some thoughts and ideas on this please!!!! Thanks so much for any insight on the subject!!!! Btw.... I'm just crazy about my Daisy and Olivia!!!! They're the sweetest chickens ever and will climb right up on me!!!![​IMG]
     
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Certain breeds can adapt to confinement. However, I find the birds to be more productive (better tasting eggs) and more fun when they are ranging freely throughout the yard. The major problem with free ranging is predators. Personally, I've never had any problems with cats and adult chickens. Now, chicks, that's another story. However, cats are devious and can be quite evil (yes, I'm not a cat person) and I would most certainly not put it past them to try something nasty with one of your birds. Foxes are the major problem for me. Getting them to go back to the coop requires them to view the coop as "home". This means that you do all of your feeding and watering in this general area, and you supply them with their roosts etc. The first few days of ranging are the most likely that they may get a little lost. This is when you should keep an eye on them and make sure they don't stray too far. If they continue to not come back to the coop for more than a week, keep them locked up for a day or two and try again. Hope I helped!
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
  3. DarleneE

    DarleneE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You did! Thank you for some good ideas!
     
  4. PimentoPlymouth

    PimentoPlymouth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have left mine put up for a couple of days at a time before. As far as free ranging mine always returned to the coop at night when it started to get dark. Its an instinct to goto roost at night. As far as cats i never had one bother a full grown chicken as stated above but just keep an eye one them. I have felt for egg production and kind of just overall health that letting them free range just works out better.
     
  5. DarleneE

    DarleneE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much for your feedback! I agree that does sound healthier for them and will heed your advice!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Regular window type screening will not deter predators.
     
  7. DarleneE

    DarleneE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They're not going to be loose in the screen! They will be in an awesome huge coop by husband is building them as I write this.
     

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