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Yard/Run Rotation, do you do it and do you have pics.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JSR-Ranch, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. JSR-Ranch

    JSR-Ranch Hatching

    Jan 8, 2011
    We are still in the planning stages and want to get everything as close to right before we begin.

    Reading "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens" and am interested in the idea of building the coop in a manner to rotate the yards.

    I am not in a position to allow free range even though on 10 acres... big dogs on property.

    Thinking of building the coop in between two fenced yards. Will have two pop doors, one into each run. Will leave one door permanently closed while the birds are using Run A, the switch and close Run A door and open Run B door every six months.

    Are any of you doing this, how is is working out. We live in a fairly arid area of So. California so vegitation is fairly sparse and slow to grow.

    Not interested in a chicken tractor b/c want coop and run to be bigger.

    Looking at 8-10 hens in a 10x10 coop with yards of approx 15x20.

    Your thoughts? Any pictures?



  2. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    I can't answer the question, but just wanted to say it sounds like a good idea. Hope someone here knows more about it. Good luck!

    Oh and welcome!
  3. mame1616

    mame1616 Songster

    Jan 30, 2008
    Middletown, NJ
    Jason, I can tell you that ALL vegetation in the yard will be gone a about a week, and probably will not return, as the hens will dismantle the top soil, no matter how often you switch them. So, you will have to start all over every six months if that is that way you want to do it, which is an awful lot of work. I have my hens in a large run surrounding my 9x9 coop - it's such a wonderful luxury to have a big coop - and the run is covered because I have a few resident hawks in the area, so I can't let them run free. But they seem to do ok. I just try to give them as many greens as I can, which I get from the store. It's either that, of take the chance I might lose them all one-by-one. When I need to straighten up the run, they just all huddle in a corner because they hate my rake and shovel. They do love it in the fall when I pile leaves up about three feet deep - in the whole run! - and they scratch and burrow all day. They also like the dust bathing holes they dig. Try to cover a large portion of the run to keep a dry area, and give them shade in the summer especially. That's where mine have most of their dust holes, and they dig down deep in the summer to get to the cool earth in the shade. It's great that you are studying how to do this and build the biggest run/coop you can - it just never seems to be big enough, however, due to chicken insanity. (You'll know what that is soon enough, if you don't already have it).
  4. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    It's not a Yard you want to rotate chickens with, it's your Gardens. Lay out your Garden twice the size you need it, divide it into two and alternate the chickens from year to year. In the fall when your done with the Garden, the chickens will love to glean, till, and fertilize it for you. While you're growing a garden on one side, the chickens spend a year prepping the other side for you.
  5. GardenWeasel

    GardenWeasel Songster

    Feb 23, 2009
    Henry, TN
    I am in the process of planning a larger run for my 29 girls. I am going to fence off areas and plant food crops for the ladies such as buckwheat, oats and greens. They do free range some but stray dogs are a problem so if I can't keep a close eye, they have to stay in. I was growing everything in my garden for them but cutting and hauling is getting old. I will still grow my heirloom corn and broom corn outside the run and have planted a mulberrry tree where I am expanding the run. I tried letting them into the spent garden but they are fearful of hawks as there is no cover for them so they don't stay long.

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