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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MW72Bay, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. MW72Bay

    MW72Bay New Egg

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    Sep 9, 2010
    I have a couple areas where a coop would be most convenient to me (ready access to electricity and no need to shovel snow to get to it - which we get a lot of). One is at the back of my carport. Both sun and shade available. I plan to let them free range (when I'm home). I have three concerns with this spot:
    1) my vegetable garden and berry plot are also in the vicinity. The garden is fenced about 3' high. Will the chickens fly over this?
    2) will they strip my small berry bushed clean of berries?
    3) will they cause much damage to the lawn?

    The other site is on the north side of the house. The 3 concerns above are not an issue here. However, it is in constant shade from the house and trees. Do they need much direct sunshine?
    Thanks for your opinions [​IMG]
     
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SouthEast Texas
    If it's very cold where you are, i would want my girls to be able to bask in the sunshine.

    Whether they will get in your veggie garden depends some on what else there is to distract them, but probably, yes, they will jump the fence.

    Berries? yes, probably so.

    Lawn? that kind of depends on your ratio of chickens to square feet. If it's very crowded, they'll do more damage to it. This is why most people's enclosed runs are stripped bare of vegetation. If you have lots of space in your yard for the chickens, then they'll do much less damage.

    P.S. [​IMG]
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes, chickens will fly over a 3 foot high fence. But if you're free ranging them anyway, they are going to fly over this fence no matter where you put your coop. Ditto for the berry bush, and again it won't matter where your coop is if your chickens are loose and are able to get to this area. Damage to the lawn depends on how many chickens you have, how big they are (bantams tend to scratch things up less than the big girls) and how big your yard is.

    Chickens enjoy sunbathing, but they don't have to be in direct sunlight in order for them to stay healthy and happy. They'll be able to get enough sun from the times you let them free range. In the summertime, you'll probably appreciate the shade, because a closed coop tends to heat up inside quite a bit in the summer sun and can frequently get too hot for chickens to be inside. On the other hand, since you mentioned your snowy winters, having a coop that gets winter sun is a benefit.

    One other thing to consider is drainage. I didn't think about this when I placed my coop/runs, and I got lucky with one placement and unlucky with the other. We just had torrential rains the other day (courtesy of Hurricane Hermione) and my winter coop run got flooded, while my summer coop run stayed just barely above the water. Whew.
     
  4. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My girls free range during the day. The fence that seperates them from my backyard, koi pond and dog is only a 3' picket fence which they have never flown over. I know they could but as of yet they have not. When I'm out there my dog runs up to the fence barking wildly and the girls simply walk away from the fence. I think they have gotten used to his bark.
     
  5. MW72Bay

    MW72Bay New Egg

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    Sep 9, 2010
    Quote:Just how far will chickens travel from their coop when free ranged?
     
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:As far as they feel safe and the most intrepid chicken of the flock will lead them. I live on an acre, but only one third of it is my yard; my flock has covered two thirds of that acre - my back & front yards, my land-lady's back yard, and the driveway to the gate. They are starting to migrate into the last third, which is adjacent to my part, but which has no tree cover. One hen made it all the way to the far fence line, where she found a nice cache of bugs living on our side of the fence from a neighbor's pumpkin patch. She hasn't told the others about it yet, sneaky thing.

    She had to cross the open space of dead, mowed crappy grass stuff overgrazed by the land-lady's three sheep. There's an old wire fence with big wood posts down the middle of that other third; she followed the fence line to the end of the lot.

    Everybody else stays pretty much around my house and the land-lady's back yard. But my chickens may be "chicken." Your mileage may vary.
     
  7. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Mine have explored pretty much every square inch of our fenced back yard. We have a six foot tall board fence, and even though they could easily fly over it (they're bantams), they have not shown any interest in doing so...although I only free range them when I'm out there to watch.
     

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