New Coop and Run Considerations...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by thebulletranch, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. thebulletranch

    thebulletranch Hatching

    Jul 31, 2013
    Hello, and thanks to all who contribute to this site!

    I have been browsing heavily the last few days, and am really interested in raising chickens (probably 6-10), primarily for egg production but perhaps a few for meat as well.

    I will try to not look like a complete newbie, as I have tried to look for answers before I ask, so bear with me :) I built my house, so I will have no problems building a coop and hopefully utilizing some of the great techniques I have seen on here.

    A few ?:

    1.) Due to neighboring dogs, I don't think I'll be able to truly "free range" my birds. I see many coop designs with small runs attached... is having them in a run such as this still considered a "free range", that is, if I build a 15 x 24 fenced in run, will the birds be happy and content? I don't really plan on keeping chickens as "pets" per se', but at the same time I don't want to create an environment that is unnatural or uncomfortable for them.

    2.) Is overhead run protection a must? We do have hawks in the area as it is, so I am going to assume "yes". If so, is it possible to utilize a netting of some type for this, rather than fencing? Any particular product you would recommend?

    3.) Is there one book on the subject of raising chickens you would recommend?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. TheSpeckledRoo

    TheSpeckledRoo Chirping

    Dec 10, 2012
    Hello, welcome to BYC!!!!
    1) A coup with a small run attached is considered a coup with a pen. You could consider doing a chicken tractor, that way your girls can go to different places.

    Many say your pen size should be 4 square feet per bird. With a pen with your size it would equal 360 square feet, that is plenty of room. They will be happy.

    2) Overhead protection is a must, at least where I live, until they are a few months old. Every once in a while a owl will snatch one of my girls who got caught outside. What breeds of hawks and owls where you live? People do use netting for this purpose. I could just use any cheep netting. The preds will see this and keep flying. It isn't worth the hassle.

    3) I bought Keeping Chickens by Ashley English. It is a nice book for when I started.
  3. thebulletranch

    thebulletranch Hatching

    Jul 31, 2013
    Thanks for the reply!

    I'm not sure what variety of hawks they are, but I live about 1/8th of a mile from a river, and they seem to congregate there for the most part. In any case, I will definitely be proving overhead cover for them.

    I've got all winter to plan this out lol, just want to make sure I have all my bases covered. Luckily, my father has a sawmill and some experience with raising chickens, so I'm set for materials and probably some hand me down equipment.

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