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Hi im a newbie! My mum has wanted chickens since she was my age and has finally taken the plunge(i have mixed feelings about this as i am terrified of chickens but the thought of fresh eggs from the garden changes my view completly :D ) We have ordered a wooden cage similar to the Boughton range apart from ours is more square so the chickens will get more room inside. We will be getting 4 chickens (2 warrens and 2 black rocks)The man who is making the run said it would fit 6 chickens in.


So after reading loads of posts on the forum i was wondering if it would be ok to keep them in the cage all day or if that wont give them enough room to scratch/move around etc. It seems like the majority of people let their chickens free range when they are around or they have a large pen for them(like the ones on the chicken run inspiration).This wouldnt be possible as the dog would definately kill them and then its not fair on her to not be let out in the garden when its nice. In the near future(im not sure how near-maybe summer time) we are hoping to fence around the few fruit trees with substantial wire netting so the dog cant get in(i dont think the omlet netting would stay up for long)so they can roam a bit more but would they be ok until summer in a small space (i think its about 4ft x 5/6ft)


Also we are planning on putting them on soil to start off with and then putting them on wood chipping on grass when mum wants to use the soil to plant things, will this be ok?



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You couldn't keep them just in the coop, they need a run of some sort, but I'm not quite clear from your post, does the coop come with an open area attached? Most of them have a 'safe' run attached. Do you have a pic of yours, or a link to a website?


My Omlet chickens are in the run all day while I'm at work, and at this time of year they only get let out at weekends if at all - they are fine. The Omlet run has about 1 metre sq space per chicken.


Of course I let them out when I can, and in the summer they get out almost every night, but I have to be there to supervise free-ranging so it's still limited. As long as they have space to scratch around in, daylight, and lots of fresh greens they will be fine - if they can't get out to free-range, make sure you are feeding them grit and some green vegetables.


I was scared of chickens (although I really wanted them) but I am fine with them now, you will soon get used to them!

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There doesnt seem to be any pictures on the internet of the coop we are gettting because it is made by a local man with his own designs. But it is similar to the Boughton ark with the house on top and run below, the only difference is that ours is square rather than triangular.


We do have an unused guinea pig run(5ft by 2ft). We could put that up against the pop hole to give them extra run space until we build a more substantial enclosure-would this be ok?


This is the link to the Boughton 902A which i think is a smiliar size to ourss o you can get an idea of the size.





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I'll be honest, that doesn't look like enough "floor space for 4 hens to me.




I don't know what others might think.


Maybe your guinea pig run idea might be a good one.


You would have to make sure that it was very securely fastened, to prevent escapes....and foxes getting in.


Good luck. :lol:

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That type of run is fine for keeping your chooks in. They will be able to get fresh air and scratch around on the ground. You could let them out for an hour when you are around to supervise.

The guinea pig run seems a good idea untill you sort out a better run for them, as you are having 4 chickens you might need some more space. It looks perhaps better for 2.

We started with a smallish wooden coop bought from a friend with a house then a run of about 3x2metres one side then 3x2metres the other side but we then built a much larger run for them with a new house.

Chicken keeping is addictive and it would seem that most people expand their flocks and runs :D

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The specification says that is 1.8 x 1.3m, so that is (er, hang on - need to take my socks off to count that many times) 2.34 m square.


The Omlet Eglu run is 2.20 x 1.55, which is 3.4 m square. On that basis, I'd say your run would be ok for two hens, but probably a bit tight for any more. Provided the guinea-pig run is safe, i.e. a fox can't break in while they are out in it, that would give them enough space. Foxes are determined and quite cunning, so the gp run needs to be something they can't tunnel into/bite through/force open.


However, your run isn't identical to the one on the link is it - you said it's square not triangular - so it may be bigger? Find out the spec. from the man who's building it, and that may give you an idea.


By the way, regarding your other question - yes, they would be fine on soil, although you might want to put Hemcore or something similar down as it can get very muddy if it's wet. Once they've moved, you'd need to dig it over well and wait a few weeks before planting - chicken poo is fantastic fertiliser but it can burn tender plants as it's quite acidic. Your mum will probably find that anything she plants there will grow brilliantly!

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