- Hello everyone, so excited to try this out! I am a new comer to the Chicken world and so far I've learned plenty things from the Chickens and myself as a Chicken owner . I have one problem that keeps bugging me; I want to keep my chickens free-range at all times. Since the weather in Chicago is getting hotter and I also want my two girls to enjoy the grass and grubs they find. I have a large vinyl fence so there's complete privacy from on-lookers. Here are my problems and concerns:
> There are big gaps underneath the fence, the fence is not touching the ground, leaving space for squirrels, mice/rats, possums, skunks and cats to crawl under.
> That being said, I have seen my yard (before having chickens) with roaming skunks and a cat once, including one time a groundhog! Oh and I've also seen a hawk eating a squirrel once in our tree!
Those are my main concerns and problems. I can't stay outside all day and watch them as they free-range. (although that would be nice!) I'm a teacher and currently been doing part-time for the Summer. The schedule has been so far, letting the girls free range from 7 am-11:45 am. After that, I guide them back to the coop. I can tell they want more time in the grass, but I need to get going and feel terrible leaving them inside the coop.
Our Chicken coop is quite small, we ordered our chicken coop from, My Pet Chicken and it's called "The Clubhouse" here are the dimensions:
Exterior dimensions: 83" wide x 36" deep x 52.5" tall, at peak
Interior dimensions, house: 26" wide x 26" deep, excluding nest box
Interior dimensions, nest box: 12" wide x 22" deep x 14" at highest (12" high at lowest)
Run dimensions: 66" wide x 27" deep. Area under house is 18" high
My Husband and I do plan to make this coop and run larger as we do want more chickens but in the meantime, money is a bit short in hand and we want to be able to let them free range in our yard.
Any suggestions or ideas that I can do to keep my chickens safe from the predators while they free range?
Thank you all for your time <3