Portable vs. Permanent Coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Moselle, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. Moselle

    Moselle Songster

    Jan 17, 2008
    I need help thinking through this. I have always assumed that I should have a portable chicken tractor-type coop. I don't have a fenced-in yard (although I plan to make a temporary fence w/deer netting or some such thing that I could put up for some supervised "yard time".) It seems like it would be easier to care for a temporary run w/less cleaning out necessary and seems a bit healthier with new ground to scratch in.

    However, we are in a suburban neighborhood and our yard isn't all that big. It's also mostly sloped, so there are few places we could move the chicken tractor to begin with.

    There is a nice little area toward the back of our yard that I think would be a fairly good spot for a permanent house/run. It's where I thought we'd set the coop up initially, anyway. I would also feel better about making the coop a little bigger (since we wouldn't have to move it.) It might also be easier to preditor-proof the run (although we don't have any large preditors around.)

    What do you think? Any other things I need to consider?
  2. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    In our small yard, I've used cheap lightweight fencing to make seperate areas for the girls to use, seperate pens if you will, during supervised free-range time. That way they won't kill all the grass in one area (hopefully!). It's pretty easy to carry or "herd" them into the area I want them to be in.

    Then they have a permanent coop and 11 x 6 pred-proof run for the rest of the time. We thought about doing the tractor thing but had the same concerns you do. PLus people told us we'd really need to move it every day not to kill the grass. To make it big enough for 6 hens and move it every day seemed difficult. Plus harder to winterize for our cold months here in maine...
  3. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    Quote:SeaChick--can you give details on the type of fence? Or maybe a link? Thanks.
  4. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    I would go with permanent!
    (I love being able to walk in & hang out with mine)

    Use DE in run & have a chicken garden for fresh greens to give them!
  5. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    On the fence we're using: it is simply the cheap vinyl-coated garden fencing sold at Lowes and Home DEpot and the like. It's 36" high and it is good at standing up by itself if you curve it gently. Our yard is small, so to span the 25' or so between the house and the 36" chainlink fence on the neighbors side is easy. I have also made circular "paddocks" our of it as well. It's good when you want the chickens to weed/aerate/de-grub a particular part of the garden!

    This summer I am going to attach those metal fenceposts to the ends, and sink 2" diameter (or so) PVC tubing about 10" into the lawn in various spots. Then I can simply roll up and move the fencing about to create different "pastures" for the girls so they won't wreck the grass. Last year I didn't have the PVC but I think that'll make it easier and neater.

    The nice thing about the green fencing is that it's nearly invisible in summer, really blends in.

    here's the stuff I mean:
    and the posts:

    Obviously this is not in the least bit pred-proof. We only let the girls out to free-range when we are watching them, gardening nearby, etc.

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