1. MamacatPatch

    MamacatPatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2007
    We've put most of our roosters [8 of them] into a fenced in area in our woods behind the hen house. With winter fast approaching, we need a quick inexpensive idea to make some kind of shelter for them once the trees lose all their leaves and the weather turns windy, rainy, stormy, snowy and bitter cold.

    We thought we might use the back side of the hen shed as a brace, if possible. I was thinking of trying to build a shelter with bales of straw stacked about three high on the sides and put straw on the ground and a few perches made of thick branches wedged in between the bales at one end of it. I thought using straw would help keep them warm too. It wouldn't be closed shut, however, but have an opening for a door and so we can get in and out as needed. And use a large board for the top of it since snow and water would weight down a tarp, even a heavy one.

    What do you all think? Is that a good idea or can you offer other suggestions? Thanks.
     
  2. wildorchid053

    wildorchid053 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 12, 2009
    syracuse area, ny
    i would be afraid of predators... we did this but it cost about 300. we had to buy everything.. we added on to the coop just for the roos. we used one of the coop walls since it was already insulated and made a low house since it is only feed and roost inside.. we put it inside the run so we didn't have to put all the wire and other run stuff for them. they can take turns being outside this winter.. it is more finished that you see but you get the idea

    [​IMG]
     
  3. MamacatPatch

    MamacatPatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2007
    That looks very nice and would be great for a future time for us.

    In the meantime, we need something put up within a few weeks, hence the straw bale idea. Maybe next spring/summer we can afford to buy and build something more permanent like yours! [​IMG]
     
  4. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

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    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    Chickens have been spending winters in barns for a long long time. I think straw bales sound good, you know your predator situation better than anybody else so just prepare for it.
     
  5. delawaregirl09

    delawaregirl09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Heres a quick question: Why do you separate the roosters from the hens in the winter?
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  6. MamacatPatch

    MamacatPatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2007
    Katy, the wooded area is surrounded by high chicken wire, just like our hen chicken run. Not saying it's impossible to penetrate, but so far we've had no problems in the three years we've had chickens.

    delawaregirl, we have two hen houses/runs with a good mix of hens and roosters. These roosters are 'extra chickens' we bought as pullets who turned out to be NOT pullets! They are penned in on the acre of woods because when they run loose they tend to be a major pain to our dog, our cats and they'd sit on our porch and deck and poop all over it and If we put them with our hens, the ratio would be off and there'd be problems. So we made them a new play area. [​IMG]
     
  7. delawaregirl09

    delawaregirl09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh! I understand now!
     
  8. MamacatPatch

    MamacatPatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2007
    I just noticed you have quite a 'zoo' of critters like we do! In fact, we have two blue swede ducks, male and female and one female mallard. We had bought five from a local farm store and two drowned when they were young. [​IMG]

    We had to separate the mallard because the blue swede drake was just too big and heavy and he was hurting her when he mated with her. She's in with a few hens now and has her own little washbucket 'pool'. We are thinking of moving her to our other hen house/run with more chickens. She seems to do well with those she's around now but I'm not sure if more chickens would be more of a problem, esp. with a few roosters in the mix. I sure don't want to do anything to put her in harm's way. She did stop laying eggs once we moved her which bummed me out. I thought ducks lay eggs like chickens, daily, without a rooster around. This is our first year with ducks.

    Tell me about your ducks and any problems with mixing them with chickens or other animals.
     

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