maybe getting chickens sooner than I thought?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chicabee19, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    I decided to talk with people I know who have chickens locally.

    My friend described how she keeps 2 hens in a large dog kennel and lets them free-range around her backyard without a topped run or anything. Nothing bothers them and they roost on the railing of her porch or inside their kennel. They don't really have a nesting box per se, but lay eggs in the hay of their kennel.

    She says these hens are fine and happy, and were great during the winter without any extra care or warmth.

    So.... I was thinking rather than waiting until late Spring to build a coop and then get chickens, I could get two that are laying now --- if I can find a large dog kennel. That way we could have eggs all winter. We have 2 very protected places I can put the kennel if we get a cold snap, and a fenced backyard where they could range.

    Of course next Spring we'll go ahead and build the coop we have planned.

    Does anyone have thoughts on this temporary kennel idea?

    thanks much! [​IMG]
  2. CATRAY44

    CATRAY44 Lard Cookin Chicken Woman

    We use 2 large dog houses for our coops. My husband cut windows and vents into them. He made sliding windows with Plexiglas and we covered the insides of the windows and vents with hardware cloth (there is a link in the coop building section that tells how to do that. We put a roost and nest box inside each. We do have a dog run attached that we covered completely with hardware cloth.

    Here is a picture before we added the second coop.
  3. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    Thank you for replying!

    I was thinking of the "carrier" type of dog kennel, made out of plastic. That's what my friend is using. What do you think about that as a temporary coop until we get one built next Spring?

    Too bad I did not grab the huge doghouse sitting next door last summer, but I didn't have a clue I'd ever want to get chickens!

    Excellent coop/run.

    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I think it depends on how cold your winters get and what type of storms you have there. I wouldn't use a dog house as an 'only' escape for my chickens I just think it's too cold and the weather can so easily get into those dog houses. You'd want to make it really weather proof. A cold, wet chicken is likely to get sick and potentially die. Maybe you could do it and stack some hay/straw bales around it through the winter?

    Also, even though your friend has done this and it has worked for her... doesn't mean it's necessarily a good idea. I would be concerned about predators getting the chickens, especially at night when hers roost on a porch rail. If you want to protect your chickens you will want to secure them every night inside the crate.
  5. BayCityBabe

    BayCityBabe Songster

    May 1, 2008
    Hey, just build your coop! We northerners have at least 2 months until it gets really cold!
  6. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Songster

    Aug 8, 2008
    I have a sheltered porch enclosed by a cement block half-wall just off the yard where I can put the pet carrier when it is cold - we plan to enclose the top and put a door in.


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