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Author Topic: Comfortable coop size for a few hens.  (Read 2522 times)

cmorrell

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Kirkintilloch, NE of Glasgow
    • Calum Morrell Photography
Comfortable coop size for a few hens.
« on: March 09, 2009, 12:47:24 pm »
I've managed to find a couple of posts so far which cover this, but not in quite the same way as my question. I'm considering keeping some chickens in my garden in the next year or two, but I don't have a lot of space for a large run. Initially at least, I wouldn't be wanting to let them out to roam the garden until I'm comfortable I have a vague idea what I'm doing, I've managed to chicken-proof the boundary (4 different neighbour's fences of varying height and quality) and I've observed my neighbours two cats around the coop/chickens to ensure they back off when the chickens have a go at them.

With this in mind I'm currently looking at two coops, the first being 6'x6' and the second being a 7'6" octagon. In each case the house & nesting areas being raised, so the entire ground space is available to the chickens. They can be viewed at http://www.domesticfowltrust.co.uk/products/CHICKEN_HOUSE.html with the first being the "Penthouse Chicken House" and the second being the "Garden Hen House".

Would you consider either of these suitable for 4-6 hens (as their site suggests) where they will be confined to the coops and not allowed to roam my garden freely? I am thinking 4 hens would be enough for me to start with rather than 6.

The placement is going to be on old concrete crazy paving. Will this be suitable as long as I ensure a dish with sand for scratching and various things they can perch on etc.?

I'm really wanting to either be assured that the hens would be comfortable and happy in these environments or given a flat "really bad idea". As much as I'd like chickens in the near future, not at the expense of their welfare and I'm a little concerned neither of them are simply large enough :(

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Comfortable coop size for a few hens.
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2009, 01:16:52 pm »
Either looks OK to me.  So long as they have shelter, water, scratching area and food they will be happy - oh, and company - especially if (soap box at the ready!) they are ex battery hens!  Mine are in a 6' x 4' shed, with perches and a nesting box, and a long run (mainly mud at the moment, but lots of beasties for them) of about 6 metres by 3 metres - with occasional forays into the garden! ;)  My ducks are allowed out as I have a stream, and the chickens let themselves out to join them by jumping up onto the 4' fence then down onto the grass.  Wing clipping hasn't worked unfortunately as they don't actually fly out if the run >:(  - so I have to check before letting the dogs out! ::)
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

cmorrell

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Kirkintilloch, NE of Glasgow
    • Calum Morrell Photography
Re: Comfortable coop size for a few hens.
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2009, 08:40:33 pm »
Thanks Annie. Your reassurance is greatly appreciated.

As for ex-battery hens ... the idea of giving a few a better life appeals, but I would be concerned they may need more help or medical care initially and as a complete newb, that I wouldn't be able to cope. Sadly I don't think looking after various budgies will help me a great deal past the ability to be patient with them.

Are my concerns justified and if so, perhaps it would be kinder to learn with some less needy birds initially and take on some ex-battery hens when I have some experience? How would I go about sourcing some ex-battery hens should I decide to do so?

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Comfortable coop size for a few hens.
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2009, 01:24:46 am »

As for ex-battery hens ... the idea of giving a few a better life appeals, but I would be concerned they may need more help or medical care initially and as a complete newb, that I wouldn't be able to cope. Sadly I don't think looking after various budgies will help me a great deal past the ability to be patient with them.

Are my concerns justified and if so, perhaps it would be kinder to learn with some less needy birds initially and take on some ex-battery hens when I have some experience? How would I go about sourcing some ex-battery hens should I decide to do so?

More reassurance here - all ex batts are checked over by the local rep before being re-homed.  Any sick ones are either hospitalised till well enough to be re-homed or euthanased.  The only thing they need other than food shelter and water is TLC - they need a cosy place for a while as they usually are pretty scraggy - few feathers, and usually a tonic of some sort - I gave my 6 porridge oats with milk and honey fro a couple of weeks in addition to their cup of layers pellets twice a day.  If you want some register with the BHWT then you have to go on a waiting list - sometimes only a few days but might be a few weeks - depends when next batch are due to be rescued.  Many farmers nowadays like to have their less frequent layers re-homed instead of having them killed.  Have a look at their website before you decide - www.bhwt.org.uk
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

 

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