Very small yard! Anyone else make it work?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CautiousVenturer, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. CautiousVenturer

    CautiousVenturer Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 30, 2011
    I've been interested in backyard chickens for the last couple months and have been stalking the forums here for a while..... I finally decided to register to see how other people with small yards are making it work. Even though lots of members here live within city limits, it seems like most have fair sized lots. We have 0.11 acres, with the house situated squarely in the middle, with the driveway and garage pushed into the back yard. Between trying to figure out where to keep my garden and not wanting to take too much room from the dogs who like to run laps around the yard, and very close neighbors, I can't figure out how to make it work! Anywhere I put the run would be a mere 2 or 3 feet from the neighbor's property. Does anyone out there have pictures of their tiny yard setup? I'm thinking a 3x4-ish coop with a 4x8 run for 3 hens....

    Thanks for any help or stories of success in somewhat cramped quarters![​IMG]
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    first are you allowed to have chickens in your location? I ask because you have such a small area there is NO WAY you can hide them from your neighbors . Have you considered bantams like seramas that won't need much room - in some areas the breeders keep them in indoor locations, etc.
  3. CautiousVenturer

    CautiousVenturer Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 30, 2011
    "Poultry" is permitted after obtaining a yearly permit, subject to the discretion of the "Health officer" in our city. The code itself does not set out standards of distance from dwellings, etc, mentioning only "nuisance to health". I think it's really a case by case basis, since we're a smaller city in Western New York, part of which is on the verge of rural with yards from non-existent to multiple acres. The same is required for any member of the "hare family". I wonder how many of my neighbors have rogue pet bunnies at home!

    Regarding the neighbors, we are friendly with one side, who I'm guessing would not be opposed if they're pretty quiet and not stinky, the other side is moving and we have not met the new neighbor yet, and there is a privacy fence at the back, and we have no contact with them.

    Are bantams (while adorable) practical for household egg needs?

    Thanks for the help!
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  4. Endur50

    Endur50 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 27, 2011
    North Carolina
    I don't have a small yard right now, but since it is just my husband and I and we move state to state quite a bit, we decided to build a chicken tractor that I think would lend its self well to a small yard. Ours is an A frame that is 8 feet by 3 feet. The front 6 feet is the run part, and the back 2 feet is the coop part. We have little lawn mower wheels on the back, so I can easily move it around by my self. Right now I have 4 chickens in it because they actually free range all day, but if they were enclosed all the time, I would only have 2. When we had just the two original girls, (buff OrpingtonxRIR) we were getting about 13 eggs a week. That is one way to get more eggs out of less space-choose breeds that are heavy layers. I now have two other birds simply for their pretty eggs. I can't figure out how to upload pictures with this iPad, but if you wanted to PM me your e-mail I can send you pictures of our little set up.
  5. arockkid

    arockkid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2011
    Buffalo NY
    3 suggestions:
    a coop with rooftop garden box...that way you don't lose any garden sq ft. Plus they look awesome.

    a coop over run setup...or maybe you can even do half coop/half garden over the run. That could be really cool.

    Use the garage for the coop with an attached run

    We used the front corner of ours to make a 12x5'(ish) coop, but you could definitely do less.

    Or mix and match any of these to maximize the space.

    We have silkies, we're having great luck with the eggs, which are in between a small and medium (2 eggs make a perfect size breakfast for us), and since they don't 'fly' like other chickens, you wouldn't really be stifling them by having spaces that don't allow them to stretch their wings. Plus, if they ended up being okay with the dogs or the dogs were in, you could let them free range in the yard without the fear that they'd get away. I suppose you could clip the wings of any other chicken, but doesn't seem quite as easy.

    Here's our garage coop.
  6. georgiagail

    georgiagail Chillin' With My Peeps

  7. angusshangus

    angusshangus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2011
    Verona, NJ
    I live in Suburban Essex County, NJ. They measure property in feet here rather than acres! I have the Eglu GO coop with 3 Bantam hens (The Eggs are what the supermarket would call "medium" so plenty big enough!). The Eglu coops are pretty expensive but are perfect for my situation. It's easy to clean and assemble. It looks pretty cool, not unlike a small doghouse. It looks tidy so not to lead to neighbors complaining of an "eye sore" in your backyard. If you only plan on having 3 or 4 bantam sized hens it's definitely big enough. Its also very easy to clean which is important if you want to keep your neighbors happy... granted 3 hens don't make much of a stink.

    Word of advice for suburbia... NO ROOSTERS! Your neighbors will hate you! ;-)
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I think a small mobile coop, like a chicken tractor, is a good suggestion. If one spot doesn't work for you, it can be moved to another spot. You can move it regularly to give them fresh grass. You can always park it in one spot for the winter, where it will work when you have snow or need to plug in a heater for the water. The designs with a full run on the bottom and the coop on half of the top help save space.
  9. Inkheart

    Inkheart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2010
    Columbus Ohio
    My bantam rocks and Faverolles lay jsut as good if not better than my large fowl - jsut takes double the lil ones when using them in recipes or cooking!
  10. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    0.11 acre equates to about 50x90. It is wise that you have already checked the city code. Assuming free range is out and no bears, I would suggest:

    1. Elevate coop maximize the outdoor floor space of the run and build up.
    2. 3 (+1) birds would be OK. Full size should be fine.
    3. Use sand in the coop and clean up poop every day.
    4. 3x4 coop and 4x8 run with minimum 6 ft wall (walk in) and perches should work nicely.
    5. Make it pretty for the neighbors and inspector’s sake.
    6. No rooster.

    Good luck and enjoy.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by