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my crazy idea about keeping chickens under the decking...

(76 Posts)
BabyDubsEverywhere Sat 16-Apr-11 21:15:34

Okay, i need some perspective.

my new plan to encorporate chooks into new smaller backgarden is to have a raised decking area, about 3-4 foot above the ground, and have the chickens under it, so an area of about 9 meters x 3 meters. what do you think??

I need to put the wine down dont i


neversaydie Sat 16-Apr-11 22:13:43

How would you clean them out? (The deck will be too whiffy to use if you don't.) And how do you plan to control rats?

I think you may need a Plan B!

chickchickchicken Sat 16-Apr-11 23:03:54


how will they get sunlight? how will you see them to check they are ok?

maybe you could have a glass section in the decking, like they do on boats grin

BabyDubsEverywhere Sun 17-Apr-11 08:52:02

glass sections! genius!

oooo hangover sad


BabyDubsEverywhere Sun 17-Apr-11 15:50:24

Okay so sober thoughts grin

would being under high decking really be any different to my living room? as i have windows along one side of the room only, and not the whole wall like the chickens would have, but about a quarter of it, so surely the run would be brighter to be in than my/many livingrooms would? obviously the back would be darker to the front, but again true of any room in the house maybe?

and the cleaning, well i would use bark again, pressure wash i weekly and scatter lime, then rake it through, always worked really well and no smell from it really either, recon all that could be done from the long opening side?

God i sound like a loon! grin

I miss my chooks sad

chickchickchicken Sun 17-Apr-11 15:51:21

thought any more about your crazy idea? grin

chickchickchicken Sun 17-Apr-11 15:51:51

x posts

chickchickchicken Sun 17-Apr-11 15:55:41

is 9 metres how wide it is adjoining the house? does it project 3 metres into garden?

<gets notebook out, wondering how long a rake you will need for cleaning>

BabyDubsEverywhere Sun 17-Apr-11 16:05:20

Just sending dh out to measure grin

KidderminsterKate Sun 17-Apr-11 16:06:55

you need planning permission for really high decking

BabyDubsEverywhere Sun 17-Apr-11 16:12:28

The whole are will be 10 meters wide, so that would be the long light letting in meshed side, just measured and we could get away with a slimmer area, which would be better for our garden, and actually increase light i supose for the chooks, so would be 2 meters deep.

So a 2 and half meter rake grin i am actually lol now! haha

but do you think it would be do-able? could i have happy hens under me decking hahaha? grin

how high would it need to be as a minimum?

oh gosh Im so glad someone is replying my DH thinks Im nuts grin

BabyDubsEverywhere Sun 17-Apr-11 16:14:05

oo Kate, dont be grown up about it wink

how high is high? i have friendly neighbours, actually where it would be they wouldnt notice, they have trees that would be higher than me standing on very high decking - iykwim?


chickchickchicken Sun 17-Apr-11 16:55:49

who says we dont agree with dh wink grin

okay, so hypothetically - would you have mesh on one side? wont they be cold or will you have a hinged door/shutter to close over the mesh at night? will you have some sort of hatch not thinking trap door honestly in case you need access to the back of their area under the decking? are hens going to free range during the day or stay under decking? what are you going to do about vermin? do you have a healthy back as i foresee lots of bending over trying to get under decking for various things? how will you access eggs?

<wanders off to lab to build a model of this set up>
<wonders if we can start a new business for bespoke hen accommodation to suit any garden>

BabyDubsEverywhere Sun 17-Apr-11 17:11:29

Chick i think you are on board wink haha

Well, i am looking at these for the decking, so will be easy to unscrew one and jump in and will let through light/ air to circulate.


BabyDubsEverywhere Sun 17-Apr-11 17:16:42

also will still have a hen house, that the chooks will still roost in, with nesting box, but it will have the back door open and lead into the under decking run, rather than normal chook run. its like this one


BabyDubsEverywhere Sun 17-Apr-11 17:22:37

and yes other than cleaning out they would be in it all the time, the gardens not big enough to cope with their distruction, sad

vermin, thats a problem, how could i get rid of rats?? i would have the whole thing metal meshed, so under the bark, all 3 sides against the fence/walls, and the open side will have removable mesh panels. would that stop them?

Recon i could sit on ass and move stuff with my extremely long rake??

Ooo - I have small children that i could make fetch things if chooks have dragged feeder in to far or something, thinking like horizontal chimney sweeps...

chickchickchicken Sun 17-Apr-11 18:04:16

grin why didnt you say you have small children to do all the donkey work for you. you could get one of those mechanic trolley things and lie them down on it and slide them in and out

BabyDubsEverywhere Sun 17-Apr-11 18:36:24

We have got one!!!

My DH is a mechanic, we have one, Im off to get plans drawn up! this is going to work, the hobbits love getting messy and have actually been playing in the old (very small) chicken run today! they will love it!

Wow, chickens under the decking.

Well madness and genius, fine line, I may have just crossed over hahaha, or should that be mwah hahaha?

Now, how many chooks per 20 square meter run?


MollieO Sun 17-Apr-11 18:44:01

Won't it smell? I think however fastidious you are there will be times when there will be a smell. As for rats according to the landscaper I used decking=rats. He did himself out of £1400 by telling me that!

ChickensHaveNoEyebrows Sun 17-Apr-11 18:45:53

You are clearly bonkers. Just for a moment imagine a hot July day, and you're sat out on your super high decking, enjoying a meal perhaps, when all of a sudden one of the under floor poo machines drops an evil smelling curry poo. As you look down between the slats of the super decking, you see one of the incarcerated hens peering up at you with darkest malice...<shudders> It'll be too dark, and it will stink. The decking will let the rain through, so before you know it you'll have a bog of chicken shit and mud right under your back door. And the acoustics will be...interesting.

Have you thought about some serama? You can keep two in a rabbit hutch and let them free range when you're about. They're friendly, don't eat much and aren't destructive. Although they are a bit shit at egg laying <ponders>

chickchickchicken Sun 17-Apr-11 18:47:45

thats settled then grin

whats plural of genius cos thats what we are?!

chickchickchicken Sun 17-Apr-11 18:51:20

x posts

maybe not genius then sad and i was planning my spiel for dragons den too ....

grin grin As you look down between the slats of the super decking, you see one of the incarcerated hens peering up at you with darkest malice...<shudders>

chickchickchicken Sun 17-Apr-11 18:52:05

oops meant to put "...." as quoting chickenshavenoeyebrows

BabyDubsEverywhere Sun 17-Apr-11 18:55:12

No no no, not dark and smelly - bright and airy....come on....if you lot dont believe me Duncan Banana (whatever his name is) never will!

Surely it would have as much rain as a normal chicken run, so wont that be okay?

Its the same as only having windows in one wall of a room, it is, it must be...

Chicks dont leave me now grin

BabyDubsEverywhere Sun 17-Apr-11 18:57:02

Adimantium mesh will stop the rats from getting in, DH said its dead strong grin

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