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Uneven Ground and "Open" Run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tlriot, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. tlriot

    tlriot New Egg

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    Jan 12, 2014
    North Shore, Oahu, HI
    I am still weeks away from being ready to start with chickens, but I was interested in getting a few answers now, while I have plenty of time to plan. Eventually I would like to post pictures of the area I have to work with, but first, basic questions to get ideas going.

    How important is even ground for a coop? If I can build my own, or modify a pre-built one to be even, is that just as good as building on even ground? The space I am ready to move in to is butted up against a slope. I imagine if I could create some cinder block footings and build from there, I could still have a study 2-story set-up, but want to check. I only want 3 hens, so I am sure I can find a small flat area for a coop.

    My second question is probably a trickier solution. Ideally, I want my chickens to have as much free range as possible, and I also would like for them to have access to the area surrounding as much as possible, the base of our home. We have very large centipedes here that can get in, and the chickens I see here go absolutely nuts for them. I would allow free range, but we have large trucks coming through our property, and the landlord cares for a large garden he would not be pleased to find pecked through. Does anybody have an idea the best way to pen chickens in to an irregular area? Obviously, I wouldn't be able to cover the area, and it would probably be quite a large space. How high do you suspect the fencing would need to be to keep them in? I am less concerned with things getting in, since we don't have any common predators on Oahu. I do want to check with some local keepers to confirm I can be as relaxed about that as I am.

    Thanks a lot. I'd like to post some pictures of the space I have to work with (it has a lot of work first) to get some advice from experienced owners. This will be my first flock, and first real attempt with birds at all.
     
  2. chiknhurder

    chiknhurder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2014
    Cass County Missouri
    The lay of the land makes no difference as long as your coop is level. Pens/runs should be at least 5 to 6 feet tall. Mine is 5 foot and I haven't had any problems.
     
  3. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    They do sell electric chicken netting that looks like it would be easy to set up in any shape (never used it myself, just seen the ads)

    Big breeds don't fly as much, so a shorter fence would work, but the bigger slower breeds probably aren't as good with the bug patrol.
     
  4. tlriot

    tlriot New Egg

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    Jan 12, 2014
    North Shore, Oahu, HI
    Thank you both for the input. I have not put any consideration into breeds yet, that's more of a final decision to make at the end. Like I said, once I get backtrack here and take pictures, and clean the area up (lots of raking and machete work in my future) I'll share what I have and my ideas and hopefully you all can share some insight on what the best route to go is. I've been thinking up various options, including one with two pens, one with a coop, and a channel along the back of the house to get between them.

    I will look I to the electric netting, and knowing 5ft - 6ft tall helps immensely to find a solution.
     

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