Truth needed

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by honoramj, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

    Jul 11, 2014
    Orrock township, Minnesota
    If you did free ranging there would be some lost to predators, it happens.

    However, if you can even let them out for short times, you would see how happy they are. Life is always a trade off, complete safety and no freedom or complete freedom and no safety. Most of us that free range try to find a mid point we can live with.

    My DW and I sit with our birds every evening. We feed table scraps or scratch while we have a beverage and watch them. Someone on another thread was mentioning watching free range chickens is as calming as watching the waves in an ocean. I have to agree. I do not feed my birds until evening,(bedtime) then they rush back into the fence and coop then.

    To me giving in to predators is like giving into terrorist, I refuse to do it, Live free or die!!!
  2. honoramj

    honoramj New Egg

    Love to see there are others like us.
    My husband and I love sitting and watch them in the evening.
    One particular hen after all have gone into coop comes back out and hunts for and chases any bug she can find. Her nickname is little bugger because the Roo then comes back out and gathers her back in.
    Then we close the drop door.
    Right now we are making arrangements to expand our coop (double for roosting).
    It would be perfect for the 6-8 we planned but I just can't bear to remove 7. How could I choose?

    Once they are older there will be more freedoms afforded. They are enjoying their 60+ ft safety run now.
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    Nov 7, 2012
    I can't say anything to add to what the others have posted about your coop size. Even adding more roosts in that space will not solve the problem. Chickens need space to be able to spread their wings to even get up onto the perch. A good word picture would be having you try to jump up on and down off a chair or stool placed close to the wall while landing without any part of your body touching the wall, or your elbows spreading outside the foot print covered by the stool. Even if you have room to land on the stool, you can't do it without bumping the wall, or spreading your "wings" to bump the person standing on their stool which is RIGHT beside your stool! Once you have a problem with aggression in your flock, it may not be possible to cure it without using an axe. Better to give them the room they need, right from the start. IMO, a small flock of contented birds is much more fun than a large flock of stressed birds. And even though you love them all, and couldn't imagine letting any of them go, unless you can provide the recommended minimum of 4 s.f. in the coop per bird, you're asking for trouble with stress, aggression, and disease.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Emma Miriam

    Emma Miriam Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2015
    New England
    Hi! I completely understand that you don't want to part with any of your chickens, and I don't blame you! You mentioned that your husband can expand the coop, and I would HIGHLY recommend that. The absolute minimum coop space is 3 square feet per bird, so with 15 birds you should really double the size of your coop. Is that feasible for you?

    The reason I'm saying 3 feet and not 4 feet is that you have a very good sized run. Thumbs up to your husband for building that! :thumbsup

    So, everything others have said about the importance of coop space is absolutely correct. 4 nesting boxes and 15 feet of roosting space is important, but your birds will grow and will need more floor space and room to fly inside the coop. Really, see if your husband can add an addition onto your coop. It will be more than worth it.
  5. honoramj

    honoramj New Egg

    Thanks for helpful direction. Spent the weekend looking at options.
    Plan 1:
    We are thinking to simply remove back wall and bump it out 3 ft and expand the width to 8 feet which will make it approx 48sq ft.
    We are suspecting 2 possibly 3 roosters are present.
    Only one ever is seen crowing but before I open coop in morning when they hear me coming I hear a distinct second crow?
    One is such a beautiful bird hard to believe it is not a roo also.
    I am contemplating giving 3-4 hens to farmer neighbor which lent me a brooder.
    So I should end up with 9-10 hens so figure that will be good. No roosters.[​IMG]

    Plan 2:
    The run (present coop) both sit 10 yards from barn.
    In that barn the eastern wall closest to coop and run we have what was used as a shower room for horses at one time. The floor space in barn is over 3000 sq. ft.
    It is a two stall horse barn that also houses our fainting goats but they are separated from this side of barn.
    it would be easy enough to cut out an exterior door entrance and create a new coop.
    The room measures 12 X 15 has perfect flooring for a coop and roosts and boxes would be easy to add.
    Sliding barn door to the room would make for easy cleaning etc.
    Husband thinks to keep everyone safe he can add a cylindrical (like a tunnel) small run to connect to present run and then new barn coop area.
    The present coop would be "bonus area" if we go with plan 2

    We got caught up in the cuteness of our present coop when we saw it at local Amish stand.
    They told us 8-12 hens. Well, now we know. Like you have said the 4 nesting boxes perfect but 24 sq.ft. Floor space is way too small.

    The funny thing is we also have a 60 X 100 ft indoor arena (former owners used for horses)
    We use it to let the grandkids run around and play!

    Thanks again for all "truth"

    The pics show
    1) how close to barn we are
    2) huge arena in background (non issue, just a tease for space)
    3) barn door on left shows side of barn that would be used. The coop room would be in to the left.
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I would certainly use the horse stall, that would give you the room you need, they all look adorable now, but sometimes crowding will bring out the worst in chickens, you can let them run with your goats as long as the goats can't eat the chickens feed. Winter will come and you will be grateful your chickens aren't in that coop, it's is cute, but it's not practical. You have a really nice looking place.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I'd go with using the stall....and move the run next to the barn, instead of using a tunnel(which might be an impediment to 'traffic' in the area).

    PITA to have to 'rebuild' but better to just get it over with.
    That small coop is not a loss at all, it looks well built and will come in mighty handy for raising chicks, segregating rogue cockerels, hospital coop, etc.
    I planned two sections in my coop and wish I had one...or two... more.
  8. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

    Jul 11, 2014
    Orrock township, Minnesota
    I have to agree with the others, the barn room sounds great. I would love to have a barn room like that to use. All the feed would be inside, lots of room etc..

    And as aart said the cute little coop will come in handy. A lot of people never plan a second housing area for quarantine, introducing new birds, locking up roosters you do not want with the hens, and a ton of other uses. You are very lucky to have that coop too.
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    "I'd sooner be a small bird in a hawk-filled wood than a caged chicken on a factory farm." Quote by Simon Barnes

    X2, I've never been mad about having 9 separate housing units.
  10. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

    Jul 11, 2014
    Orrock township, Minnesota

    I have five and not counting the guinea gulag. And I need a few more.

    We still end up using a tank in a shed, the basement, living room and dining room during hatching time.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by