Newbie Design Help

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by grotus, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. grotus

    grotus New Egg

    Oct 19, 2009
    Hey All,

    Total newbie here who is planning on getting 4 chicks in the spring. I'm starting to get my ideas about coop design and am wondering about something.

    I have a city lot, which is completely fenced in. My question is about building a run. Do I need to? Seems to me that if I set the coop in the corner of the yard and make sure the gate is closed, the whole yard becomes the run.

    Or am I misunderstanding the whole concept? Any help would be appreciated.

  2. RioLindoAz

    RioLindoAz Sleeping

    Jul 8, 2007
    Yuma, Arizona

    You could do that, but you rusk your chickens jumping over the fence to your neighbor's yard. (Yes, they can) Also, if someones dog gets lose, it can come through the fence and get a hold of your chickens. And lastly, I think its generally a bad idea because they are eye sores. There will be poop on your porch, they'll be digging out your garden, and your guests will think your crazy. ([​IMG]) If you live in a city lot, don't even bother making a coop. Just have a medium sized run on the side of your house where they will not be a bother and they can't be viewed from your porch. I used to have chickens loose on a city lot, and trust me, It will be a disaster.

    Good Luck!
  3. lauriruth

    lauriruth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi! I'm also a newbie ( chickies are 8 wks old). i have a Catawba coop that i built myself with help from a really great neighbor. I too, live in a neighborhood with privacy fence; lg. corner lot. I let the chicks out when i'm home to "free range" in the back yard. Yesterday I almost died when i heard one of them making a strange noise. i looked over to the rose bed where they were scratching and they were all looking up and frozen...they looked like plastic chickens they were so still. a HUGE hawk was soaring (really slowly) just ten feet above. i saw him twice over the weekend. [​IMG]
  4. 2ndtimearound

    2ndtimearound Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 26, 2009
    Hello, It's just my opinion, but in town it seems predators are the biggest danger, so not only am I fencing around my run, and sinking sheet metal at least 12" into the ground and attaching it to the chicken wire, but I'm also covering the run with wire securely to keep the predators out. But if you feel secure with your fenced-in yard, there's no reason you can't use the entire thing as a run - just teach them to stick close by! I believe a tree in the yard will give them a place to roost on the low branches and to hide from predators too. Good luck, and send in coop construction pics if you can!![​IMG]
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Hawks can also pick your chickens off if they're free ranging in your yard (even in urban areas).

    If your chickens are bantams, they're also in danger from cats roaming around the neighborhood (fences don't stop cats, either).

    I only let our chickens out to free range in our fenced yard when I'm there to keep an eye on them.
  6. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    Yep you can do that. I do it, but we have a huge yard and live way out in the country. They have lots of room with shrubs, a woodpile, a sort of lean to thing to shelter under if they want, places to hide from predators and all. It's a bit of a wildlife habitat without even trying.

    Thing is, they also do come to the door occasionally, because they know that's where the treats come from, so yeah, poo. They also snoop around any shrubs and bushes in near the house, especially in hot weather so... yeah, poo. They scratch around in any flowerbeds that aren't fenced off, yeah poo. (they leave alone the ones that are even minimally fenced because of all the other room they have) They come into the carport area just in case anyone left treats there too... yeah poo.

    It's not much poo really, again because of all the room we have, but it's definately there. I have to sweep it or scoop and dispose of it, usually into the flower beds. Depending on how much room you do have, it might be ok for you too, or be very messy. We have hawks, but lots of cover for them to hide, and they do it well.
  7. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    Rio, what fun is it if you can't watch the chickens from the porch? And most places need some sort of coop, we don't all live in Arizona. [​IMG] But I agree they need a run so you can limit the free ranging.
  8. newchicksnducks

    newchicksnducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Free range of the whole yard will be great while you are home to watch our for predators, but a secure run is really nice to have them in while you are away from home or busy inside the house. Dogs, coons, weasels, etc lurk in areas you may not suspect. And a coop is even more secure...I would make sure they are locked behind wooden walls at night - IMO:)
  9. grotus

    grotus New Egg

    Oct 19, 2009
    Thanks for the help, everyone. I live in Atlanta, and we definitely have predators around (even seen a fox in the lot across the street), so it looks like I'll need to build something solely for the security aspect.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by