Starting over - no more ranging

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jolenesdad, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. Melky

    Melky Spring has sprung!

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    Nice facilities. I keep mine enclosed in a chic house (included roosting bars two and nesting boxes) with suitable square footage per bird with connected run space both roofed for weather and predator protection. I like the idea of adding on run space covered in hardware cloth (19g 1/2 inch) Run space should be 10 sq ft per bird. It should also be roofed. Mine is shingled. I would also recommend roosting bars outside. Mine love the roosts for sleeping and staying up out of bad weather.

    I have not had a loss yet so prayers. I let mine free range under a watchful eye. They are only out when I am and my chicks know to stay in the back of my property and they are not permitted in the woods. They know the woods indicates as far as they can go. I will go out and make my chickens stay in the areas I want them and have only had to do this a few times to correct them meaning they are easily trainable to stay in a certain area if you train them to do it. Now that said I probably don’t have as many chickens as you or the amount of property. On weekends my chickens are out longer because I am home to watch and not usually working. They also go in their house at night like clock work. Good Luck!
     
  2. jolenesdad

    jolenesdad Crowing

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    Here are some clearer photos showing the wash stall, and also the covered overhang, as well as what this opens to.

    Since the chicks are just weeks old I’ll stick today to making the enclosure the size of the wash stall at 144sf. If they seem to need more I can add another 50 sf easily before looking to rehome anyone that’s uncomfortable in the space.

    My biggest question is does vertical space count? Should I make this as high as possible with different space options at different levels?


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    KikisGirls, DobieLover and EggWalrus like this.
  3. Criticalicious

    Criticalicious Songster

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    Yes, if they can get to it, vertical space counts.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My Coop
  5. jolenesdad

    jolenesdad Crowing

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    Yasssssss! Thank you @aart i was hoping you’d reply with links for me to read. :)


    It’s not secure and kind of open-air, so I went ahead and got hardware cloth for the entire top and front. (WOAH hardware cloth is expensive and everyone at the store thought I should be using 2x4 welded wire on the roof and I said no way.
     
  6. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    Ok, having seen your space... Instead of just covering the front of the opening with fencing, I would cover a few feet of it with something solid so that if the wind blows from the direction of the opening, they have something to get behind and drafts are prevented. I would have the roosts behind this partition as well as the nest boxes as they will want to roost and lay in the most sheltered part of the space. I think you have a great space to work with and a solid structure and this will be great when you are done. Chickens aren't picky about roosts or nest boxes so you can probably quickly put something together with found materials, a milk crate with straw or a 5 gallon bucket or an empty kitty litter pan or pail can be nest boxes, an old ladder or saw horse or even a lawn chair can provide roost space. Look around your property and be creative. There are things that can work in a pinch that can be permanent or temporary.
     
  7. jolenesdad

    jolenesdad Crowing

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    @aart your article is EXACTLY what I was hoping for and i so appreciate the link to @Ridgerunner s post on space within your piece. Good, good stuff. Thank you both for all of your hard work to help us all.

    I was thinking of making some stair step ledges up high, but, now that I’m thinking of it, it seems the highest height I have I should plan for roosting space, cause that’s where they’ll want to roost anyway?

    If they can easily get up there and want to jump down, does anyone know how much (typical) room you need for them to get down? For example, if the highest roost is 7 feet high, would they need that 7 feet from a wall or obstacle, 4 feet, or 10 in order to jump down freely?
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
  8. jolenesdad

    jolenesdad Crowing

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    @PirateGirl thank you, you give me confidence it will work out well! I was just thinking this about a wall because that open front faces west-northwest which I where our winter winds come from. (Houston to area, so not a HUGE deal, but they also are not used to it.)

    I think I will do that, create a “half” coop within this space that provides them additional shelter for roosting and egg laying.
     
  9. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    I think you can easily make a "half" coop and to build a fully enclosed box within a box is likely unnecessary in your climate.
     
  10. KikiLeigh02

    KikiLeigh02 Free Ranging

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    We moved in December and sold our old property, so I guess I'm thinking about this differently than everyone else. I would be much more likely to build them something like @aart's hoop coop. You could definitely make what you have work! I'm from Kentucky though, so I know how valuable horse stables can be especially since you have the ring! (and bleachers, so awesome!!!)
     

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