Using an existing barn, or building a tractor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by weliveintheforest, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. weliveintheforest

    weliveintheforest Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 26, 2009
    Hi everyone, I'm new here [​IMG]
    We are renting a house, and included in our rent is a pasture and barn. pics here

    We are allowed to have animals and plan to start with 6 chickens this year, and possibly get goats or sheep next year after more research and experience with the hobby farm lifestyle.

    We would like to use the barn for the chickens rather than build a coop, but we would be okay with building a separate coop or tractor if that seemed like a better idea. DH has built nesting boxes but we haven't installed anything.

    I would like the chickens to be free ranging, but I am worried about them getting into my garden as well as the land-owner's garden. The land owners are only here weekends from april-oct, probably more in summer, but they are using some of the land to grow potatoes, as well as they have their own little gardens in the yard around their cabin. I can't fence in their garden, so I should fence in the chickens.

    Since we plan to get more animals next year I think we should house the chickens with that in mind, but everything is flexible.

    Where would you put your chickens?

    I'm thinking of putting them in one half of the barn with some kind of moveable fencing around their outdoor space but am not sure the best plan and would love your perspective.

  2. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    What is your weather like?

    Is the barn predator-proof?

    These are the first two questions I'd be considering.
  3. Zahboo

    Zahboo Simply Stated

    Feb 3, 2009
    Hope Mills, NC
    I would go with the barn personally. Why not use what is already there. I would also put them in a run. It protects them from predators and keeps neighbors happy. You also don't have stray eggs! I would spend money on making sure the barn is predator proof, doing what is needed to make it easy to clean and I suggest deer netting for the roof It's like 7'x100' for 15-20 dollars. Great deal compared to other things..

    But first, you should ask:

    Which is better for me?
    Which is safer for my birds?
    Will the birds be pests to neighbors?
    Is it easy to clean and easy to maintain?
  4. Starwalker Fallen Angel

    Starwalker Fallen Angel Out Of The Brooder

    Deer netting![​IMG] I was trying to remember what it was I have over the ducks. Thats it.[​IMG] It's tough stuff and it's been over the duck pens for about 3 years now and still strong.
  5. weliveintheforest

    weliveintheforest Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 26, 2009
    It gets cold here, but the barn is insulated and predator proof, and can be heated as well if needed. It has power and water to it.

    would you just attach the run right to the door?

    the only neighbours we have are the owners of the property, so if I can just keep my birds out of their garden everything should be fine in that respect.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    [​IMG] I agree with the other posts. My birds got into my compost piles and spread them out. I was constantly raking them back into piles. Also they were scratching up the newly planted plants. I start everything from seed so it was becoming a pain to keep planting. I decided to either fence in my gardens or the chickens. I decided to fence in the chickens.
    I think the barn would make an excellent coop. Does it have a pop door or can you put one in? I would add a run also
    There are pictures of my setup on my BYC Page. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009

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