Unforseen change of plans - would this work?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dorte, May 23, 2010.

  1. Dorte

    Dorte Songster

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    I just found out today that my next door neighbors very much do NOT like my idea of having chickens. While they are not going to stop me (I have 4 few day old chicks in the garage) I do want to try to accommodate them as much as possible. The spot I was intending for the chickens is kind of in the front yard (we have an oddly shaped lot, so it is not so clear cut). It is not next to them and I like the spot because it is far from everybody's bedrooms and the neighbors to that side are all excited about us having chickens (and especially the chickens eating bugs for some reason). I was going to make the coop nice looking like many of the ones posted here and have plants grow in front of the run. I will put sand in the run so it wont get all muddy and dirty, and I think it would look real nice. However, they seem to feel that chickens should be in the back yard and even claim that it is a city law (which I am almost certain it is not). Because of our strange lot we can actually "convert" that area to back yard (or more accurately the side yard) by extending the 6' wooden fence out. I don't think it would look as good to be honest, but if that is what it takes to make them happy (we actually really like these neighbors).

    I dislike putting up the wood fence is because it cuts down the breeze that we typically get in the evening. We have real hot summers (90+ regularly, 100+ not unusual), but most nights are nice and cool because we get a sea breeze in the evening. A wooden fence will cut that breeze leaving the coop roasting hot for the girls. I was wondering if a solution to the hot summer problem could be to make the run as safe as I can (think of it as a coop with a dirt floor and a hardware cloth roof) and leave it up to the girls if they should go inside or sleep outside. This would be a good solution for us also because we are away every year for about a month, so this would make it much simpler for the sitters.


    1) Will a regular wooden fence offer decent protection against predators if I cover the lower part with hardware cloth and extend it to form an apron or should I wire the whole thing? If wire, does it need to be hardware cloth or can I go with a less $$$ option? (I am aware that a dirt floor can never be *really* safe)

    2) Will chickens change where they sleep based on comfort levels or are they so much creatures of habit that they would either roast inside during summer or freeze outside during winter based on what they got accustomed to?


    3) Other reasons that this is a bad idea....
     

  2. drunkdog

    drunkdog Songster

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    May 15, 2010
    Everett
    if you really want the coop in the previous spot I might try to spin the neighbors...this will look nice (i.e. decorated) and is the furthest spot from you along with prevailing wind pattenrs this spot tries to accomodate your sensitivities as best as possible....or look into some sort of privacy netting that doesnt cut the breeze instead of a fence if neither is palatable then verify the codes and do what seems best to you then offer the neighbors eggs in a few months [​IMG].....they will get over it then [​IMG]
     
  3. Dorte

    Dorte Songster

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    Apr 27, 2010
    Eggs are a good bribe, but I am not sure my little ones will provide me with any this year (they are just a few days old)
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2010
  4. illegal avian

    illegal avian Cooped up

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    Third World, Texas
    [​IMG] Try the FrontYardChickens Forum.
     
  5. Dorte

    Dorte Songster

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    Apr 27, 2010
    Just to clarify (and to bump the post). The question is if making the run on three sides out of wooden fence (with hardware cloth apron) and the 4th side and the top of hardware cloth would be safe enough that I can leave the chickens outside during summer (when my closed coop inside the run would be roasting), and if the chickens would actually change where they sleep based on temperature in such a setup?

    Sorry if it is a dumb question, I am still very new to this
     
  6. drunkdog

    drunkdog Songster

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    Everett
    not being a chicken expert....if you have predators in your area then you may want to address issues specific to them as a guide only I would guess based on your description alone that the run would be failry secure and as such in the end the decision whether to allow the chickens the choice to go in or out is up to you...many people it seems do not have predator problems and do just that while others seem to be more proactive in prevention.....but nothing short of putting them in a secure coop with a locked door can guarantee they are predation free...I wish I could give a better answer and many people may be staying silent because t is a judgement call of yours in the end ...good luck [​IMG]
     
  7. Dorte

    Dorte Songster

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    Apr 27, 2010
    I KNOW that it is not as safe as a locked up coop. Based on what I have seen people do around here I am willing to take the risk. My setup will be among the safest in the area, so I'd think predators would take the easy baits first.

    My question is more about chicken nature, will they actually adjust where they sleep or are they creatures of habit? Or does it totally depend on the flock?
     

  8. drunkdog

    drunkdog Songster

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    Everett
    my answer would be they are individuals so each may infact approach it differently....on the majority though they like to roost...if they have no roost in the run and only one in the house they should (dont hate me if I am wrong [​IMG]) return to the house for bedding down....
     
  9. Dorte

    Dorte Songster

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    Apr 27, 2010
    I would put roosts for them in the run. I can also make a little area which is more shielded like a little roof or something if they prefer somewhere where they feel hidden at night, that would be easy.


    I am not going to hold ANYONE responsible for their responses, I know that chickens don't all behave the same. Just looking for some opinions....
     
  10. Thundrr-Chicken

    Thundrr-Chicken Songster

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    my advice.. put up the privacy fence... build them a good coop... get plenty of ventilation in the coop... and make the run a normal predator proof run... i think you're overly worried about the "roasting" part... just ventilate the coop properly and you should be fine
     

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