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Hey.... Lets keep Chickens..!

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  • Shortie
    Shortie Posts: 2,224 Forumite
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    Hi all, I was hoping to pick everyone's brains (but this thread is mahoooosive now so apologies for not trawling back :o)

    I am considering moving the chooks to another area of the garden as they don't appear to be happy where they are now (we moved them 4-6 weeks ago) however, I'm stuck on a couple of pointers and was hoping for some inspiration?

    Housing:
    The shed they are now in is unlikely to survive a move, and I'm not convinced a shed is doing them any good as it's dark and can get damp in there - that might be partly because it's an old shed, not helped by the fact I can only give them a proper clean out at the weekend..

    I'm wondering what else to house them in? I have a poly tunnel frame and some sheeting that I could use in part of the proposed run space but that won't keep them warm, just dry, and I'm considering selling the poly tunnel frame as there's no space for it anywhere else

    What do others house their chooks in? We're desperately trying to save for building work so trying to keep the costs down. We are housing 15 birds

    Run:
    The space I'm looking to move them to is a lovely big space, but how do you keep your chooks in cheaply whilst still being able to walk in and clean it out? 3 of our chooks have learnt the art of climbing/ flapping up the current wire that surrounds their run - I want the girls to have more space to keep them happy, but I want my garden back too.

    I haven't clipped their wings previously but will do if needed (I prefer to know they stand a chance to fly away if attacked by a fox etc)

    I was wondering about a wire fence with a 1 foot 'lip' that folds into the run to stop them making it over the top?


    Many thanks
    Shortie xx
    April 2021 Grocery Challenge 34.29 / 250
  • Gigervamp
    Gigervamp Posts: 6,583 Forumite
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    My husband built the coop our girls are in. It's made of exterior ply and 1x2 battons for the frame. It has an onduline roof. It's 4' square and houses our 18 chooks and 3 ducks. We do have other coops, but they all migrated to this one. It worked out a lot cheaper to make than to buy one of an equivalent size.

    Regarding the run, having a lip that goes in on the top might work, but don't forget to dig some into the ground too, to stop a fox from digging into the run.
  • Shortie
    Shortie Posts: 2,224 Forumite
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    OOooh thanks GigerVamp - 4' to me feels so small but then, (challenging my own thoughts here) that feels small only as I'm thinking of getting in to clear it out - they used to all squish into a teenie tiny space in the old coop even though they had more space to sleep in if they wanted it, lol...

    So can I ask - is the 4' coop man height, ormuch shorter? I'm actually now wondering if I've been thinking about this all wrong - maybe a smaller coop that I can lift out of the way completely and clean the space out (if the coop isn't too heavy that is)

    Thanks for the name of the roofing too - I used that stuff for an allotment shed roof years ago but couldn't for the life of me remember the name of it!

    To do also have other shelter from the rain for your girls or just the coop?
    April 2021 Grocery Challenge 34.29 / 250
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
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    Gigervamp wrote: »
    My husband built the coop our girls are in. It's made of exterior ply and 1x2 battons for the frame. It has an onduline roof. It's 4' square and houses our 18 chooks and 3 ducks. We do have other coops, but they all migrated to this one.

    That seems very small for so many birds.
  • Gigervamp
    Gigervamp Posts: 6,583 Forumite
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    Mojisola wrote: »
    That seems very small for so many birds.

    I know. Some roost on the bars, others sit on the floor or in the nestboxes. As I said, we have 3 other coops which stand empty now as they all decided they prefer being together in the big one.
  • Gigervamp
    Gigervamp Posts: 6,583 Forumite
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    Shortie wrote: »

    So can I ask - is the 4' coop man height, ormuch shorter? I'm actually now wondering if I've been thinking about this all wrong - maybe a smaller coop that I can lift out of the way completely and clean the space out (if the coop isn't too heavy that is)

    We can stand in it, but have to stoop. I think it's about 5' high.
    Shortie wrote: »
    To do also have other shelter from the rain for your girls or just the coop?

    They've got bushes they can go under. We also have a compost heap made out of 4 pallets and we have a large piece of wood that leans against one of the sides of the compost heap and they'll shelter under there. They won't go in the coop during the day unless it's to lay, even if it's peeing down!
  • Shortie
    Shortie Posts: 2,224 Forumite
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    Gigervamp wrote: »
    We can stand in it, but have to stoop. I think it's about 5' high.



    They've got bushes they can go under. We also have a compost heap made out of 4 pallets and we have a large piece of wood that leans against one of the sides of the compost heap and they'll shelter under there. They won't go in the coop during the day unless it's to lay, even if it's peeing down!


    Haha, ours are the same - where they are now though there isn't that much shelter so they stand there getting soggy which I really don't understand. The new spot would also have the compost heaps at the end, there is a dense area ofsmall trees that would also provide quite a bit of shelter too, so maybe for outdoor space they would be okay as is it? Or O could build a shelter of some sort in front of the trees if it turns out not to be..

    Thanks again
    April 2021 Grocery Challenge 34.29 / 250
  • Gigervamp
    Gigervamp Posts: 6,583 Forumite
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    We'd like to make a bigger shelter for them, but it's getting round to doing it. We did get a cheap gazebo with side panels once, and it was great. Their food was under there so it didn't get wet in the rain, and there was an old bench for them to perch on. It lasted a few days before we had some really strong winds (in summer!) and the wind mangled the poles so it became unusable. :mad:
  • Eyeore
    Eyeore Posts: 259 Forumite
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    Hi,

    I couldn't find the thread regarding keeping chickens anywhere despite searching. My 2 ladies will be arriving on the 21st july and I can't tell you how excited i am!

    Anyone else new to keeping chickens, any tips?
    2019, move forward with positivity! I am the opposite of Eyeore :rotfl:
  • millicent
    millicent Posts: 234 Forumite
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    46,484 > 0(January):beer:

    100%paid:D

    Here is a purse of moneys... which I'm not going to give to you. :D
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