1. hungry4eggs

    hungry4eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    137
    9
    83
    Jan 29, 2013
    Cataula Georgia
    I will soon be building an 8x8 coop for when the chicks get grown, I built a smaller one for them to mature in. I plan to build the runs 8x20 and put one run on each side of the coop to alternate the use. I can not free range due to my dog's penchant for birds of all types, and the family of hawks that nest across the pond.

    I am hoping by alternating run use I can keep the grass growing and bugs around for them. They will be near oak trees and have plenty of acorn in the fall and winter.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,878
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Sounds like a really good plan. What is the question?
     
  3. hungry4eggs

    hungry4eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    137
    9
    83
    Jan 29, 2013
    Cataula Georgia
    Lol sorry the question was if it was a good plan or would I be better off building one big run. I may make it mobile with a master carpenter helping me do the construction.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,646
    4,158
    526
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It’s as good a plan as any and better than some I’ve seen. I like the flexibility the two runs give you to deal with problems you can’t even envision you might have.

    I don’t know how many chickens total you are planning on having or the type of sod and soil you’ll have. I have an idea of your climate which is not too bad for getting grass to grow. There is a real possibility your chickens will wipe out all vegetation in both runs if you let them. They don’t just eat the grass; they scratch out the roots and eat those too. It’s possible you can keep some grass but not very likely unless you sacrifice one run and let the other recover.

    I don’t know where that smaller brooder/coop is but if it is attached to one of those runs so the chicks or chickens in it can have access, that is even better.

    One thing I suggest you consider. If the runs are on opposite sides of the coop, the chickens can’t see each other if you are raising younger chicks in the future. It could help integration if the runs were set up where you could keep then side by side where they can see each other and get used to each other. I don’t know what your management plans are about adding replacement chickens in the future.

    Several people use the mobile coop idea, usually with a chicken tractor but there are other methods too. Some challenges with them are that if they are very big, they can be hard to move. If you have nests they can get a bit heavy unless you are careful how you do the nests. The smaller they are, the more often you have to move them or they totally wipe out the grass and the poop can build up and get stinky. It’s sort of a catch-22 but many people manage, especially in the good weather months. There are a lot of clever, hard-working, ingenious people on this forum. Using PVC instead of wood to keep the weight down comes to mind.

    Some other things. It can be challenging to make those mobile runs truly predator proof, especially if your ground is not real level. People do it, it just can be challenging. Another possible concern. How do you get the chickens to and from the coop? Hand carry them morning and night?

    I tried a chicken tractor one summer and decided it was not for me. But others so it and are real pleased with them.
     
  5. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    2,238
    516
    251
    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    It depends on how many chickens you are going to have out in the yards, and the amount of time the yards are going to have, to recover from the chicken traffic. 8X20' is not that big of a run. Chickens can really chew down a small area fast.
    .
    Jack
     
  6. hungry4eggs

    hungry4eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    137
    9
    83
    Jan 29, 2013
    Cataula Georgia
    I currently have five pullets a couple weeks old or less, I will soon add a roo, and want to possibly add four to five more hens. They will have to stay in the runs due to hawks and my two labs, free range is not an option.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by