Retrying chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Alumentum, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Alumentum

    Alumentum Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2011
    Fernandina Beach Florida
    Well, it's been a long time since I've been here and after 5 months without chickens I can finally get more. My last four were rehomed to a family that lost their home to a fire. This time I am only getting 2-3 and I want to try and avoid the mistakes I made and innovate a little.

    My first question is how much space do two hens need in a run to keep them from turning it into a mars scape?

    My second question is if it is possible to create a coop and run with a 1ft-2ft deep bed for planting plants on top? By plants I mean things such as melons, cucumber and tomatoes.

    Also, does anyone have some neat DIY ideas I could use?
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    Well, the general rule of thumb for runs is 20 square feet per bird, if you never plan to free range them. And I suppose you could try planting plants in there - the trick would be to keep the chickens from eating them! They love cucumbers, tomatoes, and watermelon. what kind of coop would you like to build? There are lots of neat DIY ideas for coops in the coops section. Just click on coops up at the top, next to breeds and reviews.
     
  3. Alumentum

    Alumentum Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2011
    Fernandina Beach Florida
    Well, I want them to be as free range as possible while also containing them in a safe area and not killing all the grass. I was thinking maybe a 4 foot tall plastic mesh for a fencing that is 150 ft long. If I created a square area out of that it'd give me about 1,406 sqft. If I'm only getting 3 birds at max that would be 468 ft per bird. Along with that, I plant to move it to 3 different areas in rotation.

    Would this be enough space to keep them from killing all the grass as well as keep the smell down?

    As for the coop I'd like it to be comfortable and be able to keep the small down. Would 6 share feet per bird be ok if the coop is only meant for sleeping in? Also, what litter should I use in the coop? I heard sand was good for poop boards.
     
  4. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    Wow, that would give them plenty of room! My birds are all free range, but they like to stick to an area probably not much bigger that those dimensions most of the time, and with over twenty birds they don't kill the grass, so I think you would be fine. And six square feet per bird is more than enough. They'd be very happy with that. Sand is good for poop boards, but look into something called Sweet PDZ. You find it in the horse section. It's amazing for keeping the smell down.
     

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