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Planning the coop and run but we have questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mels95yj, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. Mels95yj

    Mels95yj Just Hatched

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    My wife and I have decided to go ahead and get some chicks in the next couple of months, so the planning starts now. We are looking to get 4-6 chicks with a mixture of Black Australorps and SLWs. We currently have a 6 ft. privacy fence around our yard. I'm planning on creating a 4 ft. privacy fence inside of this that measures 16' x 16' for the chickens. I'm making it a privacy so that our dogs cannot harass/harm the chickens. Basically, a restricted free range. We had planned on a coop/run like the Wichita Cabin, but instead plan on building a coop like below. My questions are:

    1. Even if they can't fly, can they make it over a 4ft fence?
    2. Since there isn't a covered run, where should I keep the food/water outside of the coop? I'm thinking a closable box that I can lock up each night and open when I let them out.
    3. How bad will they destroy the yard inside of this area?

    I'm sure we'll have more questions, but this is all I can think of at the moment. Here's the coop we're planning. Thanks for the help!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. I can only answer the "flying" part. Our almost 7 week old RIR's can fly 5'. They hop up from the ground to my shoulder whenever they are ready to go back inside the house to their brooder haha
     
  3. Yaychicks

    Yaychicks Just Hatched

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    The yard will basically be dirt. Don't expect to grow anything in there with them.
     
  4. Mels95yj

    Mels95yj Just Hatched

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    Well, it may end up being a 6' fence then because I don't want to take a chance on letting the dogs out only to find out there's a chicken on the wrong side of the fence.

    So, basically all the grass will be dead? A huge mud pit is the last thing I want when it rains.
     
  5. Yaychicks

    Yaychicks Just Hatched

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    yep. It needs to be in an area that drains well/tends to dry easily. Theyll spend all day scratching around, so it'll be dirt/mud until it dries. There are ways to manage this, of course, such as throwing straw or sand down and whatnot, but esentially it'll be dirt.
     
  6. GoldGirl12222

    GoldGirl12222 Just Hatched

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    They will probably jump over that fence[​IMG] I know they LOVE taking dirt baths, so don't expect any grass in their area. Good luck!
     
  7. Mels95yj

    Mels95yj Just Hatched

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    Man, every time I think I have a way to do this cheaply, I always find out differently. I was trying to keep from spending so much on the hardware cloth for the enclosed run and give them some more space to roam. Maybe I can do a 4 ft privacy fence with 2 ft of lattice on top. I'm just trying to be able to see them while on the deck, but keep them safe from the dogs.

    What about ideas for food and water locations? I'm hesitant to just leave them out in the yard since it will attract all kinds of critters. Maybe some kind of covered box that I can open/close everyday? I appreciate everyone's help.
     
  8. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure how you handle your dogs but I have 4' and 6' tall fence around my run and I simply look outside to make sure there's no chicken on the loose before letting my dogs out. Or at least, that's what I'm supposed to do. [​IMG] I got lucky the other day as all 4 chickens were out and wandering the lawn and I had let my dogs out without checking but as they were waiting to go for a walk they stayed on the porch, awaiting leashes, instead of running out towards the grass.

    I have my food and water in the coop so can't advise how to handle that part.

    And yes your nice lawn will be a barren mud pit once the chickens move in. It won't happen right away but you'll start seeing grass disappear and more brown creeping in, until next thing you know, there's no grass at all. To help with drainage at that point you can put down some gravel or a combination of leaf litter, wood chips, garden clippings, hay, etc.
     
  9. Mels95yj

    Mels95yj Just Hatched

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    Maybe I can divide the area in half and rotate them around to keep from constant scratching. Of course, I may just be dreaming a wishful dream.
     
  10. et22

    et22 Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree with everyone else. It will be a mud pit. You could try to switch them between two but I'm not sure how well that would work.
    As for the food and water question; do you have food and water inside the coop part?
     

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