Last Winter we lost Lucy, our favorite hen. We’re not sure if she was killed by a fox, a hawk or a raccoon, all of which live in our area. She had been out for the day with our other hens Pete and Ethel who fortunately were unharmed. Since then we’ve dreamt of building a predator proof run where our chickens can run around yet still be safe. We were forced to make this dream a reality after adding five more chicks.
In late October with the help of my Uncle Chris, we began building an extension to our coop. It took five weeks to complete but it was worth it. Not only is the run predator proof but it has electricity allowing us to have four security cameras, an overhead light, heaters to keep the waterers from freezing, and an automatic door that opens in the morning to let the chickens out and closes when they go in at night.
Our 7 chickens now have a 9 foot by 20 foot area to roam around in. This means that the maximum number of chickens we can keep comfortably is 14, twice as many as we have now. The run is tall enough that we can stand up comfortably when cleaning the sand floor or refilling the feeders and waterers.
It’s taken some time for the chickens to warm up to their new space but now they’re spending their days safe inside their weatherproofed enclosure.