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Eglu go up bantams, foxes and moving

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Hi, I’m looking at buying an Eglu go up with a 3m run. I have some large grass areas, slightly sloping in places that I’d like to put the run on and move around before the grass is scratched up too much. Can anyone give me advice on the following:

1. Foxes: we’re surrounded by fields and have lots of foxes around the place. We’ll be out at work all day so there’ll be no one to keep an eye out for foxes, how fox proof is the run? My other half is convinced they’ll dig under the skirt.

2. Bantams versus large chickens: I figured given the size of the run that 3 bantams would be a good number? Also that bantams might scratch around less?

3. How often do I need to move the run to avoid losing patches of grass?


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I have a Go Up with standard run and attached my own make shift run to it (no foxes here). 3 bantams will be fine in a 3 m run. I have had 3 in the standard run with some free ranging. And now 4 permanently confined. Do add some perches as it will give them more use of space.

Most people on here have the coops and runs in a permanent place and I think you will be moving them around a lot if you want to keep your grass green. Personally I would go for a permanent set up with paving slabs underneath the run. This will also make it much harder for foxes to dig in, if they can at all. Don’t think bantams will scratch any less than full sized birds. Mine have been known to dig them selves out of the run, before I put paving slabs in the ground.

Also I think moving a Go Up with 3 metre run will be a two people job. The run is surprisingly heavy.

Picture shows what I did this summer. Filled the hole up with earth, which is now around 15 cm deep. I left the gaps in between for better drainage. I don’t poo pick, but hose the earth down once in a while. They love taking dustbaths in the dry earth.

To give your chickens shelter I can really recommend the clear 1 m tarp for the Cube. This fits the run of the Go Up quite good. It is only about 20 cm shorter so 10 cm on each side


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Thanks Cat tails.

I’d certainly get the tarp and they’ll be allowed to free range on weekends/evenings when I’m in the garden. There’s also 2 of us to move it around.

The reason I wanted a movable coop is because we previously had a permanent wooden coop/run and I found it really hard to keep a poo free base and rats away (we’re surrounded by streams). On a hard standing it seemed impossible to keep clean and on soil I ended up having to dig poo up. Over winter it was just a muddy mess. I figured if it was moved each week rats wouldn’t get in either.

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Our bantams are just as destructive to grass as the large fowl. You may find that to give the grass chance to recover quickly, depending on the season, you need to move them as often as every week and give the grass area two months. When they are moved the grass must be very short or crop or digestive impaction is a big risk.

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Mine have their Omlet run  - which is on soil and a wooden run - which is on patio slabs with hard wood woodchips on top.

Nothing big has ever got in BUT I'm afraid to say that RATTY has got in on numerous occasions.

We have now totally covered the Omlet run with 1cm sq wire, including the skirt part and he hasn't got in since.

Over the years, we have tried all sorts of 'floor' from sand to gravel and aubiose to special chicken bedding (mine ate it resulting in 2 lots of surgery)

The hard wood woodchips have definitely been the best.

As for bantams being less destructive, mine dig pretty big craters :o

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I agree with all this.  Grass and chickens do not go together as many of us have learnt the hard way.   The runs are fox resistant not fox proof, by the way.  And they are certainly not rodent proof!  We've just spent a fortune covering our WIR with weldmesh.  Rats can also dig under the skirt too so I'd put them on slabs straight away. 

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I think if you plan to move the run often enough to keep decent grass you’d be moving it every couple of days. And even then if they decided to dig in any particular patch you’ll still end up with bare patches.

The run would definitely be big enough for 3 or 4 bantams. 3 Large fowl probably would be OK but personally I’d go for bantams.

I currently have 4 bantams in a Cube attached to a 3m by 2m walk in run which is on patio slabs (on a base of membrane and sand) and then hardwood chip and the run is covered by clear tarpaulins (which I roll back on hot, dry days). I clean the poo out most days. The girls are shut in the run whenever there’s no one at home (so roughly Mon to Fri all day until we’re hime from work), then the rest of the time they have half the garden which is about half lawn and half shrubby border.



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I agree, it's been a bad year for rats - took us 6 months to eraticate ours!  I wondered if it was due to all the chickens being held over last winter and easy meal clean up job by the rats getting in through the bars- even though the food wasn't left outside.  By the time the girls had freedom in the summer, ratty population had grown.  We may find the same sort of thing this year with the curfew.  Add 2 bumper cropping years for nuts (acorns - huge!) and fruit in this area and we had a larder inside the run and out!

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A little late in replying but,

I cut out the shape of the base of my classic 2m run from a Heras fencing panel and wired this to the skirts of my run to make a floor.

This has given me a little peace of mind of anything digging out or in. It makes the run a little more stable when moving it about and the grass lasts a little longer as my girls can't scratch up the grass as bad when confined to the run. They can still scratch around a little and a small tray of dirt / DE is added as a dust bath when they aren't let out.

Can't say anything about rats, never had the problem. My girls usually catch and eat any mice that appear though so they aren't a problem. 😀

Edited by Nrodor
Added info.
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Thanks for the advice everyone. We got our Go Up with a 3m run and 2 medium/large chickens this week. I’ve put in a swing and a perch.

I’ve put the run on short grass for the moment and will move it around until we get chance to put a permanent base in. I’m still struggling with how to create a base that can easily be kept clean. The Heras fencing sounds like a good a good idea though.

How do people ‘poo pick’?!

We have large lawns with lots of moss so I’m not too worried about the lawn recovering (cows broke in a few times last year so it’s not exactly manicured!) whilst it’s temporarily moved around and we’re taking the food out at night to avoid rodents - we have a stream so rats/water voles are likely.

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