Keeping chickens without a coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by matimeo, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. matimeo

    matimeo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2010
    I search but couldn't find anything on this topic. I already have a coop, but at times feel like it is just a place for poop to collect. I live in an urban setting and I'm wondering if chickens can be kept without a coop, the way they do in nature. I suppose there would have to be a designated place for them to lay... Just wondering if anybody else has done this on a small backyard scale, and if it can realistically be done without significant predator loss.
  2. ZombieChickens

    ZombieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hmmm...I vote no. I'm kinda newish, but I think they need somewhere to go to get out of the weather and to be safe from predators.
  3. welsummer4

    welsummer4 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 16, 2010
    Don't do it! Your chickens will be some predator's supper for sure. [​IMG]
  4. sheps4her

    sheps4her Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2008
    Guilford County, NC
    There is an old man that lives near me who has Soooo many chickens and he has NO coop for them. He has "laying boxes scattered here and there, but no coop to speak of. The chickens roost on his back porch, but that is as close to a coop as they have. I am sure he loses a few, but he has so many I guess it doesn't bother him. There are new babies every spring and summer. Probably not the best set up, but seems to work for him. [​IMG] . He also has no pens, and not even a fenced in yard and he lives on a busy road. He has kept them this way as long as I have lived here ( 9 yrs) and probably has kept them this way before I got here. I have seen maybe 5 that have gotten hit in the road, but thats it as far as I know. He also claims that he does not feed them either. Animal control has been to his property and he told them that they are not his chickens. They just live there. [​IMG] Go figure.[​IMG]
    skw9 likes this.
  5. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    I'd say absolutely not. ESPECIALLY in an urban type setting.
  6. patman75

    patman75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    My neighbor had 10 chickens that he let free range 24-7. He had a shed that he kept open all the time. Sometimes they would sleep there, other times they would sleep hundled together on the front porch or sit there to get out of the rain and snow. Their porch was covered in chicken poo. He lost one to a hawk and then started losing them to some sort of nighttime predator. He then sold them off.

    Chicken poo in the coop is better than chicken coop all over the yard.

    I would not do it.
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Unless you have an alternative predator control method, like dogs.

    Lots of folks, in snowy climates even, used to keep chickens in three sided coops, just a place where they could roost out of the rain and wind if they chose. Of course they also put nest boxes in there. I used to do it in this area, in town, and did not lose any to predators, but we only kept them maybe 9 months. You'd have a time finding eggs unless they are trained to nest boxes, but then, some people don't care that much about the eggs.

    I really think some sort of roof with nest boxes and roosts would be kind; one can only get so wet til it gets old; you can see this on the faces of wild animals on TV. Otherwise, as per my sig line, I prefer that they do as they choose, too.
  8. ginznchix

    ginznchix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    South Jersey
    I know several people who let their chickens free range 24/7 but they have many chickens, open outbuildings and lots of property. Some have feed out and some don't. They accept occasional losses to predators and cars and they hunt for eggs. In the spring they buy new chicks and some of the hens hatch chicks. It's not the way I do it but it is pretty common around here. We're "in the country" though, not in an urban setting.
  9. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    I would never keep any kind of animal w/ house safe housing! Even if you live in a town w/ houses all around you==YOU have predators.. cats, dogs, opossums, raccoons are everywhere. I have a friend who lives in the largest city in NC, w/ houses so close you couldn't drive a car between or behind them w/ out being on someone else's property! She had three coyotes in her backyard and the neighbor had a hawk fly into their window! I have friends that say they have possums eating their cat and dog food.. You can read on here all day long about a neighbor's dogs chewing thru the fence and killing their chickens..

    You would also have to have an Easter Egg hunt daily... Your chickens will start venturing to other places to roost, eat..Will your neighbors be happy w/ chicken poop on the pretty green grass, on their cars, will they like your hens scratching in their flower beds???

    Sorry, if I sound mean but people not keeping their animals at home is one of my PET PEEVES!
  10. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    I would of course say no, especially in an urban setting, but I have to ask. . . If you do plan on having no coop, then -

    Where will they go for shelter from wind, rain, snow?

    How will they keep away from predators such as raccoons?

    Where will they roost at night without getting snatched away or rained on? Or frozen?

    Those types of questions are ones you really should ask when wondering about such a topic. [​IMG]

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