Keeping a few chickens as pets is an excellent way to take your love of animals one step further and help out your local farmers at the same time. It also allows you to keep fresh eggs all year round, and gives you the opportunity to learn more about where your food comes from in the process. That being said, keeping backyard chickens does require some special considerations. You’ll need a suitable coop for them to live in, along with feeders and drinking bowls for them so you don’t have to let them out into the yard every time they need something to eat or drink. Keeping chickens in your backyard will require a lot of maintenance in order to keep pests away while making sure they stay healthy. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do around the outside of your home that will make it easy for your hens to roam around safely- and even easier for you to check on them when necessary!
What You’ll Need
Before you get started on making any additions to your backyard, you’ll need to decide on the number of chickens you want to keep. Although there are a few different options when it comes to what kind of chickens you might want to have, the most common are regular layers and hybrid hens. Depending on the number of chickens you choose, you’ll need a minimum amount of space to keep them happy, healthy, and safe. There are a few different recommendations for how much space you should allow your chickens, but a good rule of thumb is 6 square feet per chicken. You’ll also want to make sure your coop and run are set up in a place that’s safe for both your chickens and for you. Ideally, you’ll want to keep them in the back of your yard away from the main entrance to the house. This will keep noise and smells from bothering you while also keeping your chickens safe from predators.
A Fenced Pen for Your Chickens
The first thing you’ll want to do is set up a fenced pen for your chickens behind your coop. You can either build a new pen or add a panel or two to an existing one to keep your chickens contained while they’re exploring the backyard. A fenced pen will keep your chickens safe from most predators, but you’ll also need to check on it regularly to make sure no rodents have found their way inside. If you have cats or other small predators in your neighborhood, it’s even more important to keep your chickens safely inside a pen. Otherwise, your backyard chickens will be easy prey for them. As a result, you’ll need to keep your chickens in their pen whenever you’re not around to watch them for safety. If you have a dog, though, you can let your chickens roam around the backyard freely. Just make sure your dog is trained to leave the chickens alone.
Build a Coop and Run Together
Building a coop and run that are connected to one another is one of the easiest ways to keep your chickens safe from predators. Before you get started, though, you’ll need to decide on the design you want to use. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it does need to be safe for your chickens. There are several different types of coops and runs that are easy to build, sturdy, and perfect for keeping chickens safe. If you’re not sure which design to choose, though, it’s a good idea to look at a few different designs and pick the one that feels easiest to you. Depending on the type of chickens you have and the amount of space you have available, you may want to choose a smaller or larger coop. You’ll also need to decide if you want to add a nesting box inside your coop, and if you want to add a roosting bar for your chickens to sleep on. chicken run
Add Layers of Fencing and Chicken Wire
Adding a few layers of fencing and chicken wire around the outside of your coop will help to keep pests out of your coop and run. Rats, mice, squirrels, raccoons, and other pests can be a problem for backyard chickens, but they can be easily prevented with just a little bit of extra effort. First, you’ll want to wrap a layer of chicken wire around the bottom of your coop. This will keep rodents from burrowing inside and getting to your chickens. You’ll also want to add a few more layers of chicken wire around the ground on the outside of your coop and run to keep rodents and other pests out. Wrap a few layers of fencing around the top of your coop as well, as this is a nice spot for pests to hide and will keep them out of your coop and run.
Install a Door with a Lock
You’ll want to install a door with a lock on your coop so that you can easily let your chickens out while keeping out any predators that might be looking for an easy meal. There are a few different ways to do this- depending on the type of coop you have. If you have a large coop, you can install a door with a lock that swings open like a normal door. If you have a smaller coop, you can install a door with a lock that slides open and closed. If you have a small coop and a large flock of chickens, you may want to consider installing a few small doors with locks on them to make it easier to check on your chickens as needed.
Add an Overhead Netting and Light
Overhead netting is a great way to keep your chickens safe from neighborhood birds and other pests. Not only will it keep your chickens from being bothered, but it will also keep their roosting bar from getting too dirty. When choosing netting, make sure it’s small enough to keep neighborhood birds out but big enough for your chickens to be able to fly around and move freely inside. Depending on the type of netting you choose and how you set it up, you can even use it to create a safe outdoor area for your chickens to explore during the day. You can also use the netting as a perfect place to add an outdoor light to your coop and run.
Keeping backyard chickens is a fun and rewarding experience that any animal lover should try at least once in their life. With the right amount of preparation beforehand, it’s easy to set up and take care of chickens in your backyard, and they will provide you with plenty of fresh eggs and companionship while they’re at it. Even if you don’t have backyard chickens yourself, you can still enjoy these benefits by visiting your local farmers and picking up some fresh eggs. Plus, you’ll be supporting local farmers and helping the environment in the process. So how do you like to make your own chicken run? With these tips and tricks, you can easily make your backyard a safe and secure place for your chickens to live and roam.
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