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OK to keep chickens inside all day?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MeadowBrookFarm, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. MeadowBrookFarm

    MeadowBrookFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    We recently moved a batch of chickens from a tractor near our house to a stall in our barn, which is farther from our house. We did this because we could make the stall much more secure as well as house more chickens. The downside is that we can't see the run from our house, and so I can't monitor the run for predators like I used to. The new run is surrounded by electric fence, but it doesn't have netting on top yet, and I'm worried about hawks. I'm skittish on letting the chickens out into the run yet until I'm comfortable that it's secure from daytime predators.

    So....for the last month I haven't let them out. There is a small window in the barn stall that lets in light and air. And I open up all three large barn doors during the day to help with ventilation and bring a little more light in. But, it's definitely not as bright as outside. My question is: is it OK to keep them inside their coop always? How much lighting do I need to supplement what comes in the window? The stall is about 130 square feet and I have 13 hens in there.
     
  2. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they will probably be okay, but they would be much happier with outdoor access- will you be able to put up netting anytime soon? The lack of light may effect their laying also.
     
  3. krcote

    krcote Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:This.
     
  4. MeadowBrookFarm

    MeadowBrookFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    How much supplemental light do I need so as not to affect their development? They are only about 10 weeks old.
     
  5. TammyP

    TammyP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At 10 weeks it will not effect them for future laying.... [​IMG]

    ~Tammy
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I agree. At 10 weeks they'll be okay. It's kind of like a giant brooder right now. But I'd be working on getting them outside soon, as there's no substitute for having access to the outdoors IMO. Old barrels or dog houses, big tree branches rigged up, etc. can help provide ground cover. You can always try hanging old computer discs around the run area - the reflected lights are supposed to deter hawks.
     

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