UK lock-in for flocks - advice...

Dee the Feather

In the Brooder
Sep 13, 2020
35
19
39
Oxfordshire, England
Hello UK small flock owners, I have a flock of 13 and from Monday will be putting them in a cage (which we will roof) about 4 metres by 3 metres, a bit crowded unfortunately but the best we can do. It's on muddy ground, wondering if to put straw down weekly. Also wondering if they will need separate coop to sleep in or whether they'll survive (so long as it's moderately mild) under roof cover but open-ish sides.

Advice? Thoughts? There's a lot of us out there!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,776
144,248
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Where did they sleep before?
What are your overnight temps?
They need to be protected from rain and wind.

Best bet for muddy ground is the coarsest wood chippings you can find...
.....and correct any drainage issues first.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Premium Feather Member
Jul 31, 2018
19,041
156,742
1,592
Catalonia, Spain & UK
My Coop
My Coop
Hello UK small flock owners, I have a flock of 13 and from Monday will be putting them in a cage (which we will roof) about 4 metres by 3 metres, a bit crowded unfortunately but the best we can do. It's on muddy ground, wondering if to put straw down weekly. Also wondering if they will need separate coop to sleep in or whether they'll survive (so long as it's moderately mild) under roof cover but open-ish sides.

Advice? Thoughts? There's a lot of us out there!
It's a major problem for a great many people in the UK.
Oxfordshire, what's the wind chill like?
This could be for a while. Wet and wind is likely to be your problem rather than below freezing temperatures.
A coop and enclosed run is best, mainly because of predator security. You'll have foxes even in the towns.
If they had a coop isn't it possible to attatche the covered run to that?
Can you put perches in the cage?
 

Dee the Feather

In the Brooder
Sep 13, 2020
35
19
39
Oxfordshire, England
Where did they sleep before?
What are your overnight temps?
They need to be protected from rain and wind.

Best bet for muddy ground is the coarsest wood chippings you can find...
.....and correct any drainage issues first.
Hi Aart,
That's handy as we are just creating some wood chippings....
Do you then clean out the cage or just let it pile up?
They were sleeping in 2 coops but the coops won't really fit in the cage.
Overnight temps can dip below zero occasionally, for the most part just above.
 

DustyDivas

Songster
Aug 17, 2020
190
825
186
Cambridgeshire, England, UK
My Coop
My Coop
Hello UK small flock owners, I have a flock of 13 and from Monday will be putting them in a cage (which we will roof) about 4 metres by 3 metres, a bit crowded unfortunately but the best we can do. It's on muddy ground, wondering if to put straw down weekly. Also wondering if they will need separate coop to sleep in or whether they'll survive (so long as it's moderately mild) under roof cover but open-ish sides.

Advice? Thoughts? There's a lot of us out there!

Hi there :frow
My girls live in a 5x4m run, fully enclosed (chain link sides and clear tarp roof with chicken wire over the lot). Their coop is also inside the run.
I had been using a movable extension run with netted roof, but don't think I will feel comfortable using it for a while.
I only have 3 small hens, but they can make quite the noisy fuss when they want my attention! :rolleyes::)
Before I had a roof on the run, it got very messy & difficult to access properly, so would highly recommend prioritising the roof. Wood chips as base is a great idea, worked well for mine and dries out the ground nice and quickly.
My girls love a straw bale to rip to pieces and it gives them a nice layer under foot (esp. for winter), not to mention it keeping them busy/distracted :)
I do turn the run ground regularly with a garden fork; mixing in the poop, straw, wood chips and soil. Then dig it out and use it in the garden and start again.

If you can't get the coops in the run, could you attached them to the outside of the run? Hens can then access the run through the pop door.

Tough time ahead for those of us in the UK!

Good luck
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,776
144,248
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Hi Aart,
That's handy as we are just creating some wood chippings....
Do you then clean out the cage or just let it pile up?
They were sleeping in 2 coops but the coops won't really fit in the cage.
Overnight temps can dip below zero occasionally, for the most part just above.
I just keep adding as needed, the wood should decompose the poops, depending on bird to space ratio, so no need to 'clean'.

My runs have semi-deep litter(cold composting), never clean anything out, just add smaller dry materials on occasion, add larger wood chippings as needed.


 

Dee the Feather

In the Brooder
Sep 13, 2020
35
19
39
Oxfordshire, England
Hi both, super helpful comments and answers - Much appreciate the help, feeling so lucky that I happen to have a pile of wood chippings ready at hand just at the right moment... I'll try your tips including the haybale to play with, and see how we go on. It's sad to lock them up but your ideas should help. Thankyou.
 

Perris

Still learning
Jan 28, 2018
4,520
19,881
777
Gower, Wales
You may find this useful if you haven't already seen it, as it was "designed to support you in meeting the mandatory measures introduced as part of an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone, in particular."
https://assets.publishing.service.g...ata/file/941139/biosecurity-poultry-guide.pdf and see esp. p. 12 for backyard chicken keepers. All the welfare rules still apply, so we must try to strike a balance between protecting them from AI and inflicting excessive stress or suffering on them while doing so.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom