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chicken housing that protects garden..

2 replies

mybabyweightiseightyearsold · 15/04/2012 01:54

Okay, ducks abandoned as a bad idea.

Happily, am wearing blokie down to coming round to the idea of chooks - on the understanding that I clean up the poo and his garden isn't torn to shreds...

So, have come up with a notion of building an arc (that triangle shaped house with an attached run) that fits onto a wooden base that's filled with bark chips.

the wooden base would fit the entire arc and run. It'd have extra strong chicken wire on the bottom to keep the weight down, and the rats out. the base would be covered in bark chips, so the chooks can scratch and insects from the grass can get into the run for pecking up. But, the chooks can't scratch down into the actual grass.

The run attaches to the house, and all bits come apart to move round the garden.

Thus far, my joinery skills extend to flat pack furniture and putting up shelves. But, there's lots of plans online. And, I can pimp my arc if I build it myself!

Whaddyathink? What is the obvious thing I haven't thought of that explains why everyone doesn't fit a fox-proof, rat-proof, rip-up-the-lawn-proof chicken house?

OP posts:
boomting · 25/04/2012 11:27

They will still need some access to the ground to create and use a dustbath. Dustbaths are essential to chickens, as they help keep any parasites out of their feathers.

Honestly, your best bet is to get a normal cage and run. It's been a long time since I was last looking at chicken house designs, but this looks fundamentally quite good because it's on stilts. That gives a dry area for dustbathing, avoids bending / muddy knees when cleaning out, shelter under the coop (chickens don't like big open spaces, as they feel too exposed to aerial predators), stops rats living under there, and gives a bit of extra space for them at no additional cost to you in terms of garden space.

Then just leave it on one plot of land for a year, and move it. Moving is important to prevent a build up of internal parasites in the ground. You'll probably want to have three different places that you move it to, although where they all are won't be immediately obvious - one place where they currently are, one place where the grass is growing back, and another where it has fully grown back and is finishing its recovery.

To speed up the recovery of the ground once the chickens have moved out, I'd suggest breaking up the ground with a fork (they are good at compacting the ground), digging in a bit of regular soil to reduce the effect of having been over-dunged, and then reseeding with grass seed.

mybabyweightiseightyearsold · 27/04/2012 14:02

thanks for that. Good advice.

It's all a bit of a headache! I want to make sure I'm making Good Decisions now, so that life is as easy as possible once the chooks get here.

We've certainly got space to have three different sites in the back garden - I think that's a winner!

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