Pictures & Advice on Chicken Yards Please

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by loralei, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. loralei

    loralei Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2009
    New Caney, Texas
    Hey ya'll!

    Having given much thought I have decided to go with a gianormous uncovered yard and provide the girls with little "pullet pavilions" for shelter from the hot Texas sun and flying preditors. I was planning on an approximately 6' high fence, 5' 2x4 welded wire mesh with a 4" top rail and an 8" base board, with the wire mesh over-lapping the top rail and base board by approximately 2" each. Well the laborers came today and set the 8' 4x4 posts that I had purchased in concrete. After seeing the posts set I realized that perhaps a 6' high fence is insufficient. [​IMG] I think I should have purchase 10' 4x4 posts, but it is too late for that! Will my little darlings be able to fly over, or at least to the top of the fence?

    Preditors that concern me and precautions intended to take:
    Hawks... provide "pullet pavilions" for shelter from the dreaded dive and dash
    Snakes... provide a "hot wire" around the parimeter of the yard approxiamtely 7" above the ground (this was my darling redneck husband's idea... he says snakes will not go over anything and that it is their instinct to go under and when they do they will be zapped) [​IMG] Now regarding snakes: I have seen 3 of the deadliest snakes in Texas on our property, cotton mouths, copperheads and one coral snake. I have also seen the common gartner snakes and rat snakes. DRH says we also have something called a "chicken snake" that will go after eggs and not the chickens. I would freakin' die if I reached into a nesting box and encountered one of these repulsive creatures![​IMG]
    4-legged preditors (dogs, coons, bobcats, opossums, and anything else I have not yet encountered)... that 7" hot wire previously mentioned

    I believe the coop itself is relatively preditor safe and I intend to keep my girls on lockdown from sunset to sunrise until they are 18 years of age! [​IMG]

    Here's where you come in. I need the valuable advice of my fellow BYCers and pictures of your yards. I know ya'll can be a little shy when it comes to sharing your opinions [​IMG] but please don't hold back!

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    No advise... just a pic.

    My coop is in the corner on the left. I keep feed in the one on the right.

  3. MissCluck

    MissCluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm up North but I've found the hawks to be very much so that I've purchased pheasant netting and covered the entire back half of my yard 40' x 40'! My chickens have a 12 x 12 chain link covered run attached to their coop and I can shut them in there and in their coop if needed but in order to get the better egg quality they needed the range of the rest of the yard.

    The hawks would stalk the smaller chickens and I found that it was just too worrying.

    I don't have a snake problem (knock wood), but coyotes and foxes and other fuzzy predators might be a problem come winter. It's pretty much an enclosed compound with picket fence, the covered yard, the chain link and the secure coop so I might be mostly OK.

    Edited to add: My big chicken girls can't get off the ground more than four feet or so without a running start or something to jump off's the banties that can fly very well.

    My three little'uns could easily go over the 6' run without a cover. My little roo is constantly flying up to my shoulder, which is adorable, but which also made me really consider the covered run.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  4. txchickie

    txchickie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    Depending on what kind of chickens you have, 6ft may be sufficient. My marans and EE's have a 6ft tall run and no one has escaped yet.

    You could also try deer netting or bird netting over your run if you do find you have escapees [​IMG]
  5. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2009
    SE Iowa
    Well here is a picture of my yard, 5 foot high, never had a predator of any kind, never had a bird fly over (except a duck will every now and again but they want right back in with the other ducks). I live on a farm and have hawks, coons and everything else and never a problem, lock all birds up at night.


    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
    1 person likes this.
  6. loralei

    loralei Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2009
    New Caney, Texas
    OMG guys! Thank you! This helps so much! My yard will be very similar to yours, Snakeoil. Glad to hear you have had no preditor problems!

    And txchickie, I wasn't even aware there was such a thing as deer or bird netting. Now I have googled it and am an expert! OK not really but it looks like it could come in handy if that bad ol' hawk decides to come calling again! I think I ran him off. I didn't shoot to kill but I think I put the fear of remmington in him!

    My gang is pretty fat an happy. I doubt I will have any flying over. The laborers set the posts too far in the ground though and I made em rip em out and reset them. Boy they are not pleased with me! Looks like I'll be buying them lunch to make ammends!

    Thanks again for all the great info!

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