switching from coop/run area only system to pasture free range system questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by goodolsurvival1, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. goodolsurvival1

    goodolsurvival1 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 26, 2015
    we will be moving to 4.9 acre out in the country (buying my aunt and uncles family home)

    right now we have two flocks of buff orps.... our last hatching produced two roosters (which allowed us to weed out our really mean one) we like both of them the one moonie (was called luna cuz for the longest time you would have sworn he was a hen up until he actually started crowing before the one we knew was a rooster by looks and then he started to fill out lol) comes to get petted and attention... roadrunner (gets his name cuz he runs like the cartoon) is tame but if you need to get him you have to chase him once he realizes its just to pick him up (to tend to him for what ever reason) hes calm... thankfully they didn't get the mean gene lol but once they started to mature i had to separate them because moonie doesn't tolerate anyone having fun with any of the hens other than him lol...

    so our 6 hens were divided among them with roadrunner getting the b*tch pack (these are the hens that will bite you if you try to pet them, are mean to any of the other hens but not each other lol, and aren't safe around hatchings when we let a hen hatch) as we don't want any chickens from this flock so to not keep breeding that gene if that is possible to give to new chicks lol

    then moonie is with precious (was part of the 3 hatchlings that moonie and roadrunner was and almost lost her life because the mean rooster and the b*tch pack almost pecked her head in... thankfully found her in time and was able to safe her you wouldn't know it she has no scars etc. and is a love bug lol) 2 of our original hens (one of which hatched them) and our new hatching by the one we call blue sky (has a blue band) and we knock on wood are soon that chick is a hen...

    anyways back to the point of the post lol

    right now they are in a setup that is a 10x8 shed as a coop (which they only ever bother to go in and lay eggs and roost in at night) and 2 10x10 chainlink dog kennels butted together to make a 10x20 run with netting over it and a tarp at one end, this is moonie's flock... roadrunners flock has a bit of a smaller coop area and their run is 5x10 + the size of the coop (don't know the size off hand)... so they aren't free ranged, we do put moonie's flock in a pvc tractor that I made and let roadrunner's flock then out into their 10x20run area (their run is accessed by the bigger run) so they can stretch more. I don't put them in a tractor system because all of them you have to pretty much chase down to get and we live outside of city limits right now and if they get out we could get in trouble as the law is they must not be on the road.

    when we move each flock will have a 4x8 shed that we will convert (im guessing on size without measure as they are 2 wood sheds already there that is smaller than the metal one that we have now that will become storage for the feed etc. since there is no garage out there yet till we build a pole barn) and we will do a pasture padlock system similar to the image i drew up:


    each flock will get the 10x10 kennel as part of a coop/run setup for when they are locked up at night until i let them out or if we need to go some where... we don't want to let them free range unless we are home till we know what type of predators we may be dealing with (right now we have zero lol). we do the deep litter method even tho the draw up says dirt floor lol.

    at first till we get the fencing up they will just have the coop/run and i'll rotate between the flocks during the day to allow them both free range time with me outside to make sure they stay to the property and safe from predators

    both are roosters are really good at protecting their flock right now (there has been a few neighbor cats around but no longer get close to the run area lol) minus protecting them from us and our two dogs (we only let our silky with them as they like him and he heards them if we need him to if they rare occasions get out the run door past us and they are use to this, plus precious and him are buddies lol... but our amstaff mix he make sure he respects them and their space since hes still a pup our silky we don't have to worry about because he gives them that already and the chickens respect him).... we will be expanding our flock for eggs and weeding out the "bad" ones for stocking the freezer or any extra roosters that have bad tempers (by "bad" i mean like the b*tch pack that bite us etc.)... we will be adding barrocks so we can sexlink and sell them etc.

    any ways my question is for any one that went from a closed never left out to free range setup to a free range setup...

    Did your flock adjust okay or did you have to do anything special so that they staid safe? We want the transition to be a good one and not lose any original chickens if we can before we work at expanding the flock.

    since we don't have predator issues where we are right now will their instints kick in out there specifically with the roosters and protecting the flock from these new things? (we plan on helping out by also protecting the best we can and always being home when they are free ranging so we can keep an eye on them)

    any other tips for being a free range flock, predators, etc. is very welcomed :) since we have had it pretty easy where we are right now with most of those things like predators etc. and so have our chickens.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016

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