Questions on coops/runs

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Beckymca, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. Beckymca

    Beckymca Songster

    Jul 4, 2010
    Hi, I sound like a broken record but I'm very new to chickens. After reading some of the posts I'm getting nervous about the safety of my chickens. I converted a horse stall into a 8x8 coop, this currently houses 6 hens. Also have 14 little birds in a 6x8 area. But I have the little birds in all day, no run in for them yet. 6 hens have a 15x20 run in pen, the fencing is not super secure and only 4' tall. I thought because they were locked in at night they'd be safe, but now I'm concerned that maybe a preditor will come during the day. A neighbor just told me that 30 of her ducks were slaughtered by a weasel, who chewed through the chicken wire, it happened at night. Do you think my birds are okay if locked in at night??? I'm hoping to cull the roosters adn move all the birds into the 8x8 stall with the run in, will that be big enough? I know I have at least 5 roosters, thinking I may keep one but still not sure on that either. Thansk for your thoughts and advise. Becky

  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Daytime predators are mainly hawks (only take one bird at a time) and loose dogs (can easily kill 100% of your flock). Occasionally there will also be daytime raccoons, foxes or coyotes, but not a major issue. I have yet to hear of daytime weasels.

    IMO loose dogs are the main threat that a day-only run needs to defend against. This means a fence at LEAST 4' high and strongly built -- not chickenwire!! -- on strongly-set and strongly-braced posts.

    As far as hawks, the best defense is a totally covered run (even just plastic garden netting or deer fence or chickenwire will pretty well keep hawks out -- however note that nighttime raccoons or snowstorms can easily collapse those kinds of tops) but if you don't want to do thta, you will get some reasonable value out of stringing lotsa string back n forth n back n forth over the run, or even just making something in the middle of the run that the chickens can run underneath when a hawk passes overhead.

    Good luck, have fun,

  3. SoJoChickens

    SoJoChickens Songster

    Mar 9, 2009
    Fountain Green, UT
    Your coop should be large enough for 16 chickens (4 sq ft per chicken). The run could hold up to 30 (10 sq ft per chicken). Dogs are the worst daytime predator in my area. My neighbor recently lost his entire flock to a dog. Make sure the run is dog proof.

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