Newbie questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 2DogsFarm, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    I'm kind of jumping the gun since I don't have chickens (yet). [​IMG]
    But I do have a lovely henhouse left by previous owners who kept chickens & turkeys.

    I'm going to get started clearing out the junk from the henhouse this weekend and was wondering:

    1-door is held closed with a hasp that is secured with a wooden pin. It is about waist-level for me (5'5") and I wondered if a raccon would be able to reach that high. As much as I like the rustic handmade wooden pin I'll replace it with a metal carabiner or padlock if it woud let a varmint get at the hens inside!

    2-I have been using the henhouse as a garden shed. I have tools - rake, shovels, etc - hung on the wall. Can I leave these there?
    Whole shed is probably 8X10 and tools are hung on the wall farthest from where I'd put roost & next boxes.

    3-I am having the fencing replaced as it is falling down. From hints here I'm going to use hardware cloth to enclose & roof the yard.
    Since I work 4 days a week my hens will be able to free range only when I'm home & on weekends. Otherwise they'll stay in the yard - about 20X20 by my guesstimate.
    Previous owner setup a door from the yard into the coop so they'd be able to go in & out but not roam the rest of the acreage.
    Is this enough room/freedom for 4-6 hens?

    4-yard is now overgrown with weeds, grass and mulberry saplings. I can mow, chop, etc to get it fairly cleared & level.
    Can the hens coexist with some weeds?

    I eagerly await your wisdom
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  2. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    First off, I would replace the pin with a padlock. Raccoons are not the only thing you need to worry about. It seems that chicken thieving has become a problem in the past year or two.

    You could leave the rakes and shovels hanging on the wall as long as they are secured well enough that they don't fall off and hit the chickens and as long as you don't care about them being covered in chicken dust! [​IMG]

    The run should work just fine for 4-6 hens. [​IMG]
     
  3. Sam The Yam

    Sam The Yam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2009
    Arizona
    I would definitely secure the door as indicated. A ounce more of protection is certainly worth a pound of cure, and I wouldn't want to see the racoon the one with the pound of chicken!
    In regards to the tools, as long as they were securely hanging, I would think that it would be okay. You just wouldn't want something to fall on them. They may not bother them at all.
    It sounds like the space you have for 4-6 hens is ample. I am sure that they would be very comfortable.
    Good luck!
     
  4. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Thanks ggirl & carlton- I just added question #4 [​IMG]

    Also: will getting out of the yard just a couple times a week be enough?
    I live at the intersection of two roads and worry about them wandering if I'm not home so would limit free range time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  5. Sam The Yam

    Sam The Yam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, the hens can co-exist with the weeds. They will eat what they like. Chicken salad!? [​IMG]
     
  6. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    That's right! The hens would definitely treat it as chicken salad! There won't be weeds in there very long! [​IMG]

    If a couple times a week is all they can get out to free range, then it's better than nothing. You'd rather have them safe inside the run, where you know they won't get run over, than in the road. [​IMG]
     
  7. Sam The Yam

    Sam The Yam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2009
    Arizona
    Oh no! You set yourself up for this one!
    Why didn't the chicken cross the road?.............
    It could make up it's mind because it had two to choose from!

    Or....
    Which road did the chicken cross?.......

    You have to complete that one!
     
  8. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Michigan
    Your set-up sounds perfect. Huge amount of room for less than 10 birds. You could keep them in the coop & run, if you feel that it is safest. My chickens never get out of the run and they are just fine. I throw grass clippings and garden scraps into the run - snack delivery. I often speak out against this knee-jerk assumption that one *must* freerange. I have good reasons not to do so. We live in a residential area with dirt bike kids on one side and cranky old people on the other. I let my chickens out just once and they made a straight shot for the cranky peoples' house. I had to climb a tree to get my Phoenix back - ugh!
    Good luck with getting that henhouse up & running! [​IMG]
     
  9. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    [​IMG]
    Thanks all - looks like my future chickens will have it made once I get things setup the way I want..

    Carlton - I'm not touching that line with a 10ft pole!

    I'm sure I'll be posting with more ??? once I get my hens home [​IMG]
     
  10. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Quote:Very good! That's what we are all here for. [​IMG]
     

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