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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our area restricts chickens to their coops and inside the runs. Make it as big as possible right? I'll let them out as much as possible regardless when I am home but when at work and then STUCK at work it would be good for them to have extra enclosed space right? I read sunlight it important but can't they overheat? Or is the cover of the coop good enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The best spot in yard happens to get the most sun where we also plan on planting a large tomato garden. Will they destroy the garden ?
 

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they will find shelter when the sun gets to hot, and yes they will destroy your garden, they love young shoots.
 

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Our area restricts chickens to their coops and inside the runs. Make it as big as possible right? I'll let them out as much as possible regardless when I am home but when at work and then STUCK at work it would be good for them to have extra enclosed space right? I read sunlight it important but can't they overheat? Or is the cover of the coop good enough.
the larger their run is the more food they will find on their own & the less feed you will buy!
i always say "buy lots of fence once instead on lots of feed forever"
if you can go 50' square good,
if you can go 100 ' square all the better
also you will save on mower gas big time

good luck
piglett
 

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Ohhh, chickens LOVE tomatoes!!! Caught my Tillie and Chloe specifically endlessly finding little ways to sneak in and help themselves this summer! After I picked the pecked tomatoes and tossed them in the yard for them, my german/lab decided gee those are really good tasting toys! I ended up with her and my RIR Abbie fighting over them. Needless to say, I had to fence in the garden not from the deer, but my own chickens! Brats. ;)

I don't have a real huge run for my chickens but it is roofed, fenced and for the winter, plywood North side walls with plastic on South side. I did tack up a short ply on South side too for shade when needed. You can always add on. That's what I did. The first section was fine when I had the 6 but since I'm up to 9 (darned chicken math), I've added on a bigger permanent addition last fall. The old section is just butted up at the end. I just build what I can afford to build and go with it. They'll be thrilled with whatever you set up for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok but what about the sun. I have a area where the trees shade the ground for a better part of the day. Should I pick that? It's close to the road will the chickens stress out with car noise and the occasional Harley?
I read that they NEED sunlight. So if its shady for 3/4's of the day would that be to much?
Chicken run I was going to make using hardware cloth. Some guy on YouTube showed what he did and it seemed a better way to fence them in top side and bottom to keep rodents out. He used 1/4 inch wire hardware cloth. Thoughts?
Thanks for all the replys you guys and gals are a friendly bunch of people !
 

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Ok but what about the sun. I have a area where the trees shade the ground for a better part of the day. Should I pick that? It's close to the road will the chickens stress out with car noise and the occasional Harley?
I read that they NEED sunlight. So if its shady for 3/4's of the day would that be to much?
Chicken run I was going to make using hardware cloth. Some guy on YouTube showed what he did and it seemed a better way to fence them in top side and bottom to keep rodents out. He used 1/4 inch wire hardware cloth. Thoughts?
Thanks for all the replys you guys and gals are a friendly bunch of people !
1st off what state are you in?
if your in the deep south lots of shade for the coop might be great to keep it cooler. i'm way up north so summer is only 3 months tops.
so i go for more sunlight. i want my coop to have lots of windows & be out in a treeless area as much as possible.

piglett
 

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I am new to chicken raising too, a year with my ladies. I placed my chicken coop on the west side of my house. Gets a lot of sun but some shade too. It is close to the road too. My ladies are not spooked by the cars, big rigs, amish buggies, or Harley's. I live in Lancaster, Pa. My run is not covered. My coop is about 2 feet of the ground for them to go under to get out of weather. They also dust themselves under there.
 

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Hey I am in downstate New York.
some shade on the coop should be good
you will want windows in it though. i put a large window in mine facing east so they wake up early so they can get into the nest boxes & lay me some eggs. i also put 4 smaller windows that i got used on the south side
i ran short at that point but i also plan on adding 1 more facing west
i see no point in putting a window facing north (no sun shines from the north ever)

i added a ladder roost with enough pitch to it so the birds on the botton rung don't get pooped upon by the alpha birds that roost up top.
for rungs i used 2x4's layed flat so they cound sit flat footed & cover their feet with their breast feathers, much less chance of frozen feet that way.

good luck
piglett

PS: please post pictures of your coop
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The only sun would be early morning to about 9 or 10 am. Then it's constant shade. I read that they NEED sunlight. They just didn't specify how much.
 

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The only sun would be early morning to about 9 or 10 am. Then it's constant shade. I read that they NEED sunlight. They just didn't specify how much.
build it on skids so it can be moved if needed.
if the coop is in a shaded area but their run is large i don't see any real problem. if you find there there are problems with your setup hook a truck/tractor/4wheeler onto the coop & move it to some other place.

good luck
piglett

PS:my coop is built upon an old popup camper frame
the axle & tires are still up under it so if i need to i can move it with my truck
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I didn't think of that. I will definitely put skids on jt. My plan was to only have a few chickens but I checked with the town and they said up to 25! I can't wait. I need this. I need something to help me relax and teach my kids something as well. My fiends have a farm and out of the everything they do the chickens are their "girls". This forum is awesome!
 

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I didn't think of that. I will definitely put skids on jt. My plan was to only have a few chickens but I checked with the town and they said up to 25! I can't wait. I need this. I need something to help me relax and teach my kids something as well. My fiends have a farm and out of the everything they do the chickens are their "girls". This forum is awesome!
make it twice as big as you think you need it.
if you think 8'x8' will work make it 8'x16'
we built a 2'x3' feed room in the corner of our coop
that would have taken up space for the chickens but we built the coop bigger than we thought we needed. also you might get a goat or ducks or who knows what in the future so make it LARGE

good luck
piglett
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'll make the run as big as possible. I'll have to put chicken wire on top. We have red tail hawks all over the place. Someone on YouTube used 1/4 inch hardware cloth. He said it keeps rodents out. What do you think about that? Also if I make it huge it won't be moveable. I read that a permanent spot can encourage parasites to thrive. Couldn't that be resolved by spreading diatomaceous earth on ground and in their food? I read even we can benefit from it. Thoughts?
 

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I'll make the run as big as possible. I'll have to put chicken wire on top. We have red tail hawks all over the place. Someone on YouTube used 1/4 inch hardware cloth. He said it keeps rodents out. What do you think about that? Also if I make it huge it won't be moveable. I read that a permanent spot can encourage parasites to thrive. Couldn't that be resolved by spreading diatomaceous earth on ground and in their food? I read even we can benefit from it. Thoughts?
I myself use DE on my flock, works great & a 5 gallon bucket full will last a very long time as long as it doesn't get wet. any parasites will be dead within days with that stuff.
they make poultry netting that some have used to cover the top of their runs. the big thing is make sure the fence & netting is high enough that you can walk in there. if not at some point you WILL have to get in there to get to a sick or problem bird& if it's too low you get to go in there on your hands & knees in all that chicken poop. 1 run is good but 2 are better. that way when they have eaten most of the grass in 1 pen you can switch them to another one. for 6 or 8 birds i would say 25'x50' is a small run. go as big as you can. next year add another run or make the run you already made bigger.

piglett
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wow 25 x 50 run? That's big. I was thinking about half that and I though THAT was big. I am going to have to really figure this out. I live on 0.37 acres. I'll go as big as possible. Not the best carpenter but I'll figure it out
 

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Just because you can get 25 doesn't mean you need 25. It's more expense (coop, run, feed, bedding, feeders, waterers, etc) and will give you about 2 dozen eggs a day. Most people don't use that many eggs on their own. If you have less room then get fewer birds. Crowding can lead to problems. You just have to decide what is going to work in the space you have and the budget you have. Having more or fewer does make it less enjoyable.
 
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