Penning up my chooks and turkeys for good, tommorrow -- freaking out!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickenannie, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The landlord doesn't want my birds (laying chickens and turkeys) free-ranging anymore because someone new is moving in next door on same farm. AAccckk. My birds have free-ranged for 4 years!! Landlord is helping me change things around tommorrow, but I'm freaking out because none of the solutions I can think of will work very well, especially for my turkeys. I can't stand the thought of keeping my heritage turkeys in a pen and run all day. They will hate it.

    And, if I have to keep my chickens "out of sight", they'll end up on the north side of the barn where they won't get much sun (the south, sunny side faces the new neighbors).

    I'd love to put the birds out in the pasture but its' too cold out there for them with just a wire coop and no insulation over wintertime. And the cows in the pasture will surely knock over their coop, if it's there, if I don't put up a lot of extra electric fencing (which I don't have the resources for -- those Premiere nets are expensive! Including the electrical source, you have to invest like $350-$500 just to get the smallest length of fence netting.

    I'm going to go look at the coop designs and see if I can figure anything out. I welcome any advice!!!

    Also any suggestions for turkey runs? How high/wide do they have to be for 11+turkeys?
     
  2. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does anyone know if these hoop coops can be use all winter long?
     
  3. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:If you clip thier wings, 4 foot fence will hold them in, if not mine can fly to the top of the coop (15ft?)
    I had 4 hens and a tom locked in a 40x40 pen while breeding season was in full swing, now they get 4 acres to roam. They know where they need to go at night, but roost on the swingset till I go out then they hop down and go to thier coop.


    I would talk to the new neighbours, and find out if they would have a problem with the birds being loose. If they do, make thier life misserable till they leave, after all you were there first. [​IMG]
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:FWIW, if all you want is to keep the cattle away from the coop you do not need electronet, you just need a couple strands of regular ol' fence wire on some step-in posts (and a charger of course), probably $150 *tops* and you could do it for less. This will provide only minimal predator protection for the chickens, and won't keep the chickens from roaming the cow pasture, but if it is a big enough area they might well stay there in hte pasture rather than going to other peoples' yards etc.

    Best of luck with your dilemma,

    Pat
     
  5. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, both of you. Hmmmm, I hadn't thought of clipping the turkeys' wings again. I had done that last year and it was a huge chore -- took 2 people minimum -- one to hold, one to clip, and with so many turkey wings... ahhhh (almost 20 birds). I grew to dread it and I had to do it every 3 weeks, not every 6 weeks like people said. Marlin, is it easy for you? Do you do it at night? How long does it last?

    If there were no predators... this would all be so easy. Just plunk them out in pasture, set up a range feeder and outdoor roost with a hoop coop for the chickens, run a double wire to keep the cows out (I found out I can electrify it by clipping on to the existing cow fence and don't need my own charger). but no... mr. fox means I have to pay for Fort Knox to be built.

    Well, I met with the landlords tonight and the conversation went pretty well. I definitely have to pen them up, but the WHERE and HOW is much more flexible than I thought. I might invest in some Premiere netting, and just keep the birds in their 2 little night-coops since it makes my chores soooo much easier if they stay put. However, the netting would give them a run around to the back of the barn buildings -- where the sun don't hardly shine. They'd have a little strip of gravel/grass facing south... Knowing my birds, I'm trying to imagine them all squeezing into a little tunnel 2 foot wide area trying to preen in the tiny strip of sunshine every morning. Hmmm... wonder if that would work. The negatives are that the lawn there (behind the barns) would turn completely poopy and mucky and potentially wash downhill towards my yard on snowmelting days. Hmmm... So many issues to resolve.
     
  6. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I dont have a hard time, it is easier with help, but I have done them by myself by holding them by thier feet and when thier wings spread, I clip thier feathers. I only clipped them a couple times, whenever they got to where they could fly over the fence, I got out the scissors again. Didn't take long before they stopped trying. Funny birds have to walk through the gate to get out of the fence, but once outside they can fly good up onto roofs, and onto the swingsets.
     
  7. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I dont have a hard time, it is easier with help, but I have done them by myself by holding them by thier feet and when thier wings spread, I clip thier feathers. I only clipped them a couple times, whenever they got to where they could fly over the fence, I got out the scissors again. Didn't take long before they stopped trying. Funny birds have to walk through the gate to get out of the fence, but once outside they can fly good up onto roofs, and onto the swingsets.

    That is funny, about walking out the gates, before flying. So, I guess you've trained them not to fly out -- great job. If I put up a 48" electrified Premier fence netting I wonder if they'll attempt to fly over it? I should probably just try it. Maybe in combination with the wing clipping several times. I'm such a sentimental sap... I don't like to hold the birds by the feet because I always feel like I'm going to yank their legs out or that I'm hurting them. I do the "hold the wings down" grab around their body, but I've gotten whapped by some powerful wings more than once, by doing it that way. It doesn't disable them the way it does when they are flipped over.

    I also hate to see beautiful heritage birds penned up in a cage. I guess that's why I've put up with their porch pooping for so long.
     
  8. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You might start to make the rounds of dumpsters at construction sites and let the people there know what you are doing and why. Would be a way to accumlate raw materials for whatever. Also call remodelers for getting scrap lumber from when they redo a deck. You might get a ton of pr treated decking that way for free. [​IMG]
     
  9. PeeperKeeper

    PeeperKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do a search on hoop coops either her on the web. I read an article last spring about hoop coops being used in Wisconsin during the winter.
    We built our first hoop coop this past summer and are giving it a try this winter.
     
  10. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I called Premier and got an estimate on the fencing stuff. Not cheap! I also called some farm friends and they said as long as the hoop coop is free of drafts that is the most important thing and heat is not needed. They stack bales of hay around the bottom of their mobile hen house (under the wagon that holds it) in winter to give the hens a place to be in winter that is out of the wind. It is amazing that chickens can survive in cold weather.
     

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