Is my space suitable?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by huntsman, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. huntsman

    huntsman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2010
    South Africa
    I have an existing fenced area which I am considering using for chickens, but would like to know if it's suitable...

    It's around seven foot high, and set out in an L - shape around the corner of our home. Each length is around 12 foot long by six foot wide.

    Because of overhead trees, the one section of the 'L' is almost always in shadow, while the other section gets dappled sunlight.

    Would this be at all useable? My idea is to get fresh eggs for my family of four, and perhaps sell the excess at the local Farmers' Market.

    Thank you. [​IMG]
     
  2. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    new zealand
    How dry is the area in winter?
     
  3. huntsman

    huntsman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kia Ora -

    Winters are dry over here, but the fenced area will certainly need walls and roofing. No snow, but we do have frost.

    We have summer rainfall with thunderstorms.

    Hope this helps?
     
  4. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    new zealand
    tena koe...

    wetnes is one of chicken's worst enemy, if the area is dry and the chicken can have enough light for their sun/ sand bathing ritual then I say the place wil be suitable..... if not, you can probably add some clear sheets to replace some parts of the fencing.
     
  5. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

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    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    Ditto from previous .....Is the fencing directly against the house....Lookout for chickens picking on your siding.....Couldn't do that on our house as the siding is hold and has asbestos

    Best of luck
     
  6. huntsman

    huntsman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, folks.

    Yeah, the fencing creates a corridor around the corner of the house and is indeed attached. This a major concern, bargain? We have about six lines of bricks from the bottom up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  7. SilkieTime

    SilkieTime Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Joelton Tn.
    Having your fence next to the house saves half the fence I understand but do you really want the chickens so close?
     
  8. huntsman

    huntsman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The fenced off area is already in existence, so I thought it might be useful to incorporate, silkie, but I don't have any preconceived notions, or even know if the area is big enough.

    What would you suggest? I did read on the forum that the birds don't smell, but is that a fallacy? That's the only reason I can imagine it's not a good idea to have against the house, or have I missed the boat?

    I'm clueless, so any help is appreciated...[​IMG]
     
  9. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2009
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    Quote:hehe

    With particular maintenance, and depending on how many chickens you plan to keep in your space, you can definitely keep the odor down to a minimum. But chickens definitely smell. [​IMG]

    How many eggs do you think your family goes through in a week? Or how many do you want to produce (if you're also wanting to sell)? That will help you decide how many laying hens you need - and therefore how much space you need for them.

    As to your fenced-in area. Keep in mind that predators are persistent. I would not plan to permanently house chickens anywhere that isn't designed to keep the predators out. At night, in my opinion, they need to be able to go into an area that has a roof and you can lock up against predators. That means you make so predators can't dig under to get to your chickens and that 1/2 inch rabbit wire or something similar in gap size and strength is used if you don't make a wooden enclosure.

    I think that it's very plausible that you can use your area to help make something for a few hens. As i look at your numbers, i think i would suggest building a small above ground coop where the chickens can sleep and lay their eggs. Making it above ground allows the chickens to use the ground underneath it for daytime run space. If you did that , and if i am understanding correctly that you have about 140 square feet available for them, i think that you could comfortably care for half a dozen - or more - laying hens. I think that i would be likely to start with six and see how comfortable they are in the space - sometimes the breed makes a big difference - and then decide on whether you would like to add more.
     
  10. huntsman

    huntsman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We're actually not big egg eaters, but would certainly be able to eat or sell six per day (I guess!).

    We've just finished our first ever veg garden and kinda just like the idea of having chickens to be honest, so the egg idea is really a way of justifying it to ourselves! [​IMG]

    Regarding predators, we have no regular ones here, other than our own four domestic cats, and the fenced area is from a gauge far stronger than chicken wire, so provided we close it up tightly, it should keep cats and dogs out. It also has a fenced roof...

    Wow, as many as 6 - 12?! I was hoping to learn that the space would be enough for one or two, but six to 12 would be great! I will certainly start with just a few, though, and work from there...Thank you!
     

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