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Chooks- how much room? Small yard?

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#1 ~RM~

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:24 AM


We have a pretty small yard, how much room do chooks need? We could probably convert the area under the cubby to a coop quite easily, and the dog and cat are both old and slow so I think they could safely free range during the day. How many chooks (if any) would be ok in such a small space?


We have an area the same size which isnt in view but its paved. Eventually we will make this grass, but thats 12-18m away.

#2 noi'mnot

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:05 PM

Chooks don't need a lot of room, but they will poo all over your pavers. Depending on the breed, they might also dig up your gardens, though yours look pretty well established so they might not cause too much trouble.

I don't think you'd have any problems with three chooks in that area, as long as you're aware of the poo issue. We don't have much of a problem with it on our lawn, it gets chewed up by the mower, but my partner goes nuts over the poo on his deck! original.gif

#3 FiveAus

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:35 PM

That's plenty of room for 3 chooks but be aware they will turn your lawn to dirt within weeks and any low growing plants and groundcovers will be razed. They are zealous gardeners and they don't discriminate.

#4 noi'mnot

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:38 PM

It depends on the breed as to whether they'll destroy gardens and lawn. Pekins and Silkies aren't as destructive as full sized chooks. It depends what you want them for, as to which breed you get. original.gif

#5 BetteBoop

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:43 PM

Chickens are remarkably stupid. Your dog might be old and slow but chickens are so dumb that won't matter.

I wouldn't let chickens free range with a dog around.

My DH made a small pen for our 2 chooks. It can be moved around so the grass in one spot isn't trashed.

I think that would work for you better than completely free range.

#6 GoodGollyMolly

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:51 PM

Don't destroy that lovely lawn OP!

We have four chooks. They used to free range in the back yard but the poo was so bad everywhere and I wanted DS to be able to play on the lawn without worrying about the poo. So now they're in a run (which is still pretty big, probably the size of your whole area).  

My mums neighbour has 3 chooks in a smallish coop that he just wheels around his backyard and they seem happy enough.

Agree with PP that although I love them, they are rather stupid things!

#7 FiveAus

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:52 PM

Some dogs are absolutely fine with chooks. I could leave two of my Aussies in with the chooks and they'd be fine. The others, nup. My Hamburgs were dumb but the Silkies weren't and for a gentle backyard chook, Silkies are gorgeous. Sweet natured and friendly and so. so pretty. My 16 chooks were killed by foxes a few weeks ago and I miss them terribly.

#8 melaine

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:58 PM

I wouldn't let chooks free range with a dog unless you were around.

That amount of space would be ok - but there'll be lots of poo! Ours have more space than that as their enclosed run and it's all dirt, they haven't destroyed the grass in the rest of the yard because they had more space to spread out. They love digging up bark and mulch etc though...

ETA - we have 5 Isa Browns and 3 Australorp. They are dumb. One Isa Brown escaped the run (wings were clipped but grown back in and she flew out) and was killed (by dog or fox...) yet the others keep on trying to escape despite being promptly rounded up by the dog.

Edited by undomesticmumma, 23 November 2012 - 09:00 PM.

#9 paris-stella

Posted 24 November 2012 - 06:45 AM

I wouldnt let the chooks free range with the dog around. We lost a chook to our dogs a couple of weeks ago as they were locked in the pen, but my 2 year old decided that he would go and check for eggs, and didnt realise that he had let one of them out.

As much as I love chooks walking around the back yard they do tend to make a mess. We didn't have a problem with them ruining the grass - as it is pretty bad already without their help, but they will push all the mulch out of your garden beds and poop every where.

You need to have a secure house for them. Even in a normal residential block you will have foxes. They need to be locked away at night.  We are in a rental at the moment, but ours are in a large raised garden bed that is about 3 metres wide and about 10 metres long.

#10 TheGreenSheep

Posted 24 November 2012 - 06:57 AM

Agree with PPs. We have acres for ours to roam and they love the hard surfaces and mulch. It's like a magnet! They poo all over the verandas and rip the mulch off our trees. We have just planted a hundred new plants and for the time being we will keep them in their large and roomy run so that the plants havea fighting chance. We love our chooks, but. But if you ever want to walk on those pavers again I'd keep them in a run. Have fun OP, chooks have great personalities!.

#11 ~Sorceress~

Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:15 AM

Sorry, with a yard that size I'd be looking at a chook tractor and just three hens original.gif . As PP have mentioned, they WILL destroy your lawn and garden! laughing2.gif

Our kelpie is good with the hens - if they fly out she'll hold them in place until we come and put them back (and sometimes she'll even put them back herself!), but I still accept that there's an element of risk with dog-chook interactions so would never intentionally leave them out together unsupervised. original.gif

#12 miinii

Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:19 AM

I would say 3 chooks. I agree with PP's they will poop all over your pavers so maybe before you get them you could put a little fence and gate up separating the grass and the pavers.
I have already been out this morning cleaning poop off our concrete out back.
We will be putting a fenced area in for them soon


Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:45 AM

As PP's have said, 3-4 chooks will be fine. They don't actually need a lot of room. Ours are in their yard most of the day, we only let them out when we can actually sit out the back with them. So they are out for an hour or so in the afternoon. They only destroy grass that is in poor condition. They have actually added to our lawns great condition. I water in the poo as soon as I see it, great for the grass!

#14 ~RM~

Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:07 AM

Great advice here, thanks everyone!

I might wait until we get rid of the pavers, we will have the paved area excavated out to be level with the rest of the lawn then, so we might get a run built under the deck at the same time. Sounds easier to manage that way. And cleaner. And safer with the dog (yes better safe than sorry).

Thank you!!!!!

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