I'm thinking about getting backyard chickens. It would be great to get fresh eggs every day. But I'm not really sure where to start. Does anyone here have chickens and some advice? I like the chicken coop below but is it OK to leave the chickens in it all the time or do they need more space to walk around? I would be nervous about letting them out.
My neighbours have chickens (inner city house) and they let them wander their backyard.
It wouldn't be very 'free-range' to leave them locked in a coop all day...
I imagine they could be locked up at night to protect them from any danger though.
We had chickens in our backyard and also had a similar coop to the one you have pictured. We used to let our chooks free range around the backyard - they loved wandering around and having a dig. It's not a problem so long as your backyard is enclosed, otherwise their inquisitive nature could lead them further afield. We used to shut our chooks in the coop each night to keep them safe from foxes (we also put chicken wire underneath the coop to stop any predators from digging under the coop).
Another tip - make sure your coop is easy to clean. Some coops have a removable floor for easy cleaning.
Good luck, chickens are lots of fun!
Thanks. I would be happy with them roaming around when at home. I'd just be worried about them when at work or at night.
Hi @AndreaNg, my parents have 5 chickens and they live in a coop that has a fence around it (the chickens, not my parents). During the day the chickens have free run of the coop and the larger area (about 3 x 5 metres), but they get locked up in the coop at night. This works well because if they're given free reign over your whole garden, there is a chance they'll be digging up parts of the garden you don't want them to (or even worse, your neighbours garden). Obviously it all depends on how much space you have to work with.
Another piece of advice - as well as making sure your coop is fox-proof, you should also try and make it rodent-proof. Chicken feed is pretty attractive to rats so you need to make sure they can't get in.
Backyard chickens are the best pet to have! They supply you with more eggs than you know what to do with, they supply your garden with constant fertiliser and their melodic clucking soothes your soul! For small backyards (which I have) we got Peking Bantams which are a small breed and are less destructive in your garden and pot plants compared to other breeds. Our chickens happily live (at night) in a coup similar to the one shown. We live in an area that is prone to foxes so we actually put our coup on top of pavers. I wouldn't recommend this though if your chickens will be spending a lot of time in the coup- they love scratching in dirt! Let your chickens roam free! You'll have very happy and content chooks! Enjoy your scrambled eggs! 🐓
Many thanks for sharing your experiences @Blawson. It sounds like your chickens are very happy. And glad to hear they can also soothe the soul!
Let me also extend a very warm welcome to Workshop. It's great to have you as part of the community. Please post again soon. We look forward to hearing more about your projects.
We have chooks and they're wonderful. They eat our scraps, provide us with eggs and everything I clean out from their little home goes in my hot composting system to make amazing soil to grow great veggies.
You definitely want them to roam a bit. I built an enclosure around their coop so they can roam free and then just wander if for a sleep at night. This keeps them safe from predators (including my kelpie!) but also out of my garden. They love to eat grass and it gives a boost to their yolks that we really notice.
Hopefully you'll be able to find a local breeder around that will be helpful too.
Thanks for all the advice. I'm going to do some more research over Easter.
I bought a carton of "jumbo" sized eggs at a market on the weekend. We've cooked 7 of them so far and all but one were double yolkers! I thought they were very rare? Does anyone who has chickens know what causes a double - is it heritary like people with twins?