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how enclosed are your chickens and whats the putting-to-bed routine with yours?

(8 Posts)
BloodySmartarse Wed 27-Aug-08 10:55:14

still trying to work out what to do, housing-wise.

am leaning toward getting a free-range house a bit like the dartford, with wheels as it looks safe(ish??) from rats and can be moved about to minimise them getting too comfy, and rest diff bits of grass.

they will then be 'enclosed' in a fairly fenced large area all day and just use this for sleeping/laying i guess.

BUT, what i currently do, is go out just before dusk with kitchen scraps and tempt them all back into their runs and lock em in safe from predators (i hope).

if i dont have the run, how would i do that then? is it safe just to wait till they take themselves to bed, then shut the door?

or do i really need to fork out for a safe run? (moveable/free standing i guess)

SORRY to be such a pain and keep asking all these questions (tho i name change a lot so maybe you havnt noticed how annoyingly often i post about thisblushgrin)

crkm Wed 27-Aug-08 11:18:05

mine have a run but tbh they are hardly ever in it.I let them into the garden when i am at home. they follow me everywhere in the hope of getting fed so they are easy to put away whenever i go out. (only had them 3 weeks so this could change!!) the run is on bark chips as they ruined the grass they were on originally and i dont have enough to keep moving the run around. hth

BloodySmartarse Wed 27-Aug-08 11:31:35

thanks crkm. mine are only in the run overnight too, but they only follow me about at bedtime coz they know i have food for them!

my orpy and cochin are starting to grow more confident with the others now, and are def too big to stay in the temp home they are in currently, so i really do want a nice big new home for them all to move into soon, something they'll all be comfy in.

looking at littleacre, the midi ranger has ladder type perching bars... would that not be better than, say the smiths charnwood where all the oerches look a bit high up for the larger girls to jump down from without hurting their feet.

oggsfrog Wed 27-Aug-08 19:48:59

My main ones are totally free range and put themselves to bed as soon as the light starts to fade. The cockerels make sure they all go in. I then nip out and drop the pop hole door.

This years chicks (I think 3 cockerels and 2 hens) are in a huge run (30 odd feet square?) attached to their ark and they stay out in the run until I go and shoo them in.

TheDuchessOfNork Wed 27-Aug-08 20:11:08

We're similar to oggs. In the main flock, the cock starts rounding the hens up around 6pm, he likes an early night! They have a huge wired pen but free-range most of the day. They'll follow me back into the pen at any time of day so then I can shut the gate on them but don't shut them up in the house until it's dark.

On the other hand... the delinquent teenagers stay out in their 50ft electric fenced pen until it is dark. No point trying to shoo them in, it just makes them run about more. <tch!>

BloodySmartarse Thu 28-Aug-08 14:05:14

hmmm

so if i keep the cube and stick the naughty teenagers in there, i can still do the bedtime routine thing as per... or use the lekkie fence (and buy a charge thing for it)

and then just trust that all the girls will put themselves to bed so i can close up before foxy comes along.

oh - by the by, how easy is it to fix electric fencing? was moving mine earlier (tis not electrified) and noticed a fair bit of one or two panels has been chewed... presumably by the ride on mower, tho poss by rats?? can i just get wire and wind it all back together again or is it not that simple?

tortoiseshell Thu 28-Aug-08 14:07:16

Ours are all in self contained houses/runs because our foxes are 24/7! SO I just shut their popholes once they're in (otherwise the bloody fox comes around at 5am and much squawking ensues! Which I don't think our neighbours appreciate much!!!

BloodySmartarse Thu 28-Aug-08 14:46:55

hmmm, would actually like to cage the entire garden but imagine the cost might be prohibitive grin

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