1. Bellegerald

    Bellegerald New Egg

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    Oct 14, 2012
    My husband and I are very new to this and I'm looking for some advice. We have 17 hens and 1 rooster. Right now they have an outdoor run on the ground ( where I think it should be) but my husband insists on building one up in the air.  We plan on letting them out to free range once they are with us for a few weeks. I need to know if a pen build up off the ground is ok. It's made out of lobster trap wire. Will that be ok for them to walk on?  He believes that they will be invaded by mink if on the ground. Any advise would be wonderful :)
     
  2. moomoodiddy

    moomoodiddy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i dont think an off ground pen is a good idea on ground provides free range if big enough if u are worried about predators put smaller wire around the bottom andd top and burry some wire in the ground to prevent digging and by the way if u want fertile eggs u probably will need another rooster or 2 good luck!!!!!!!!
     
  3. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    x2 I would not recommend an off the ground run. Chickens love to scratch around and dig. They love worms and they need to eat little rocks and minerals (called grit) for their digestive system to work properly. They WANT to be on the ground to forage. Also If you are planning on them walking on wire that is not at all good for their feet.

    If mink are big diggers then bury the wire in the ground. Also I believe mink are nocturnal? I don't have actual experience with them so best to check with people in your area but if this is the case perhaps you can have a run with the walls buried a few inches but no bottom and then a very secure coop with solid bottom for night time.

    Good luck!
     
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Seems like that would be very uncomfortable for them, even free ranging for part of the day they are going to spend the majority of their time in the pen. chickens love to scratch, dig and sun themselves. To make your pen safe, bury the bottom 10" of hardware cloth, then use hardware cloth at least 2" up the sides. Cover the pen as well - heavy-duty poultry netting works great.
     
  5. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another vote here for the run being on the ground. Wire isn't good for their feet and they do need to peck and scratch; it's the nature of chickens to do so. Plus they need to dust bathe to keep their skin and feathers in good condition.

    Hardware cloth will keep the mink out (make sure the top is covered too, cuz they'll climb the sides) and bury it about 6 to 8 inches (or more) down the sides to discouraging digging.
     
  6. Bellegerald

    Bellegerald New Egg

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    Oct 14, 2012
    Thanks so much everyone for the information. Had to google hardware cloth :) I also was forced to say " I told you so" to my husband .... Ok maybe not forced :) He's really loving these gals ( as am I) and we are already planning on adding some new ladies.
     
  7. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    lol. Always build for more than you think. Everyone needs up getting more birds.
     
  8. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is your hubby thinking of using the lobster trap as a night time coop or a day time run?
     

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