Run Under a Spruce Tree? Coop Inside or Outside the Garage?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Yanna, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Yanna

    Yanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Illinois
    Hi there,

    I don't have any photos yet but Plan A is that the coop would be going on the end of our cement patio and the fully enclosed run would be running under/around a spruce tree (or that is the plan so far, at least!). I'm wondering if the chooks would eat the needles and get sick?

    Our yard is really small - on a 25' x 125' Chicago lot - and there isn't really another place to put the run, unless (Plan B)I just put a larger coop in the 2-car garage and put a smaller run along the back of the garage - but I'm not sure that I can spare the space in the garage.

    I do like the idea, though, of them being inside of an actual building at night (I don't really trust my coop-building skills) and going through a dog door to their run during the day. But then, I don't really trust myself to cut a hole into the garage and properly weatherize and rat-proof it, either.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks in advance! [​IMG]
     
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    I agree that a solid building is better for predator control.

    The dog door is easy. We took one off our house and installed it on the hen house. We have an old glass window (non-opening) that we brace against the outside of the door at night so that predators can't get in. This is an old picture... Eleanor is sitting in front of the door. http://www.flickr.com/photos/keljonma/page3/

    Weatherizing
    is easy. You just have to make sure you don't make it air tight, or you'll lose the ventilation that is so critical to healthy chickens. And you have to make sure it's covered, or they'll peck at it.

    Our chickens sit under a blue spruce during the heat of the day. I've never seen them eat it. Of course, young chicks will peck at anything. But I don't think they'd eat the needles for long. They will scratch in them to discover what yummy bugs are hiding below it.

    If they are going to be penned up more (as opposed to running free in the yard) then the run should be larger for happy chickens.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008
  3. Yanna

    Yanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Illinois
    Thanks for your feedback.

    We have to have the run closed in - cats, rats, raccoons, city hawks and our hunt-happy pit bull demand it. Our back yard area is only about 25' x 20' - I was thinking of putting in a 6' x 15' run along our privacy fence on one side and parking a 4' x 6' x 6' tall (or maybe 4' tall, still not sure) coop on the patio against the (brick) house.

    In my neighborhood, it's nice to be able to offer a parking space in the garage when a friend comes over, so I'm thinking ixnay on the aragegay (think: gang disputes).

    Thanks for telling me about the spruce. I was reading elsewhere on the forums that pine needles eliminate odors in the run and coop. Maybe spruce does too?! [​IMG]


    Yanna in Chicagoland
     
  4. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    So you're going to have to supply a house for the darlings, since the garage is already being used.

    You might try your local craigslist or yahoo freecycle group - look for a Wendy house or small shed someone just wants to get rid of for free or inexpensively.

    I have large breed birds, so figured 4 to 5 sq feet per bird in the house. Bantams can get by with a smaller space. Space is really important for birds confined to a space.

    One of my friends got two Little Tykes playhouses and joined them in the middle with a run. She put some old stepladders in for roosts and used milk crates on their sides and filled them with straw for nest boxes. It was pretty neat.

    Keep Chickens! Tending Small Flocks in Cities, suburbs, and Other Small Spaces by Barbara Kilarski, published by Storey Publishing is a great book for people with small city backyard flocks. She raises a flock of 3 birds in Portland, OR.

    Good luck
     
  5. Yanna

    Yanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Illinois
    Quote:Thanks for this - I will have to get a copy of that book.

    After discovering that, indeed, chickens ARE illegal in my town after all (they somehow managed to put the prohibitory language everywhere BUT in the "Animals" section - nice, eh?), I've worked out what seems like a fairly doable idea for a compact 4 x 8 coop for the inside of the garage. This would be attached to the run via a dog door. I'm stumped, though, as to a design for a "discreet" run that doesn't ruin the placement of my vegetable beds. I like the idea of their being shaded under the spruce but the spruce isn't immediately adjacent to the garage.

    Cheers,
    Yanna

    P.S. Here are a couple of unexpected bonuses from the feed store today - week-old "miscellaneous" banties:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Maybe you should contact SeaChick about changing that rule....... [​IMG]
     
  7. angels4

    angels4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Yanna,

    Check out http://www.awindycitygal.wordpress.com about the legalities of chicken keeping in Chitown...I think this young lady has made alot of progress with big changes in your area.
     
  8. Crisses

    Crisses Out Of The Brooder

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    May 30, 2012

    How cute!

    You could make a covered chicken tunnel between the coop and a discrete run...so along a fenceline you'd have a chickenpath and at the end of the pathway, a larger run under cover....
     

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