Rethinking the coop

So I’ve been rethinking the coop and the whole issue of free ranging. I would LOVE to let the chickens out to wander around until their hearts are content. Yet, “trying” free ranging basically means doing it until something happens, which most likely means one of the chickens is killed by a predator. After getting the chicks, it’s hard to imagine doing it that way! So, I don’t want to let them free range, and yet I want to let them out to eat bugs and weeds and fertilize the ground, so we will have to figure out a way to do that while also protecting them from predators, which as I mentioned before we have almost all possible predators for chickens.

I have been rethinking this for a while, but yesterday we were outside and saw two hawks circling around. I am taking that as a sign and am currently planning a movable coop that will work until we eventually build a hen house with an attached run right by the garden. We should be able to work on a hen house and run soon, but first we will have to build a movable coop and get the garden started.

It’s kind of fun looking at coop and run designs. There are so many ways to be creative while making a coop for the chicks. I am also thinking we should insulate ours since it does get cold here in the winter, so maybe we will have to practice with some straw bales. Yippee!

A quick update: we marked out the garden today and it is about 38 X 34 feet, so it will be a very good size. We may not plant the whole thing right now, but we will get it tilled. Then I figured if we don’t plant the whole thing, we will just plant a cover crop for the chickens to munch on.


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4 Responses to “Rethinking the coop”

  1. thegardensmallholder Says:

    Good luck with your coop and enclosure plans, it is a lot of fun planning it all. Sounds like a lovely size accommodation they will eventually have!

  2. cyclingchicken Says:

    We had some roosters that we let free range, but they kept leaving the yard. Now we have a fenced in section of the backyard with a couple of houses and some nesting boxes. They get to free range in that it is a pretty big area, but are shut up in the houses at night to protect them from the predators.

    • hippygirl Says:

      Yeah that sounds like what we will be able to do. We have plenty of land, but right by the house is a creek and some woods and lots of hills. So we will give them as much room as we can. We do have hawks and eagles, so we will have to either do a roof or some kind of aviary wiring on the top, otherwise we will not be eating our own farm fresh eggs!

  3. Chicken breeds « A Hippy Girl in the Country Says:

    […] thought about whether to start with pullets or chicks, when to get the chickens, how to get them, how to house them (which we are still debating about!) whether to get layers or fryers or both, etc. I even spent a […]

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