1. hungry4eggs

    hungry4eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    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. I currently have five pullet chicks all are layers or duel use and will add a roo soon. Any offspring will be for meat and will add atleast five to the layers to join the original hens and roo. The meat birds will be kept in the smaller rearing coop until they are processed to prevent over crowding the layers. So after all the rambling (sorry) Is alternating 5 to 11 birds in these runs ok or should I just build one big run and just clean it and plant portions of it on occasion.
  2. DraigAthar

    DraigAthar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Plainfield, NH
    My first thought was that it doesn't matter what you plant in either run, your chickens will destroy it eventually. It's darn near impossible to keep anything growing in a chicken run, haha! I just put sand in my chicken runs and throw them fresh grass and garden treats all the time. And I let them out into the garden when I have the electroweb fencing up. But 5-11 chickens will decimate every scrap of vegetation in an 8x20 space in no time at all. Don't fool yourself into thinking you'll ever keep the grass growing, even by alternating. You could spend six months getting the grass to recover on one side and the birds will still destroy it in a couple of weeks. ;)

    Anyway, having two runs to alternate with might come in handy for other reason, like if you have to separate two groups of birds for some reason. But it's really up to you! Build it how you like it! :)
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I agree with the previous post. What they won't eat they will trample.

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