You may be looking at raising chickens and wondering if you can keep chickens without a coop. The short answer is yes, but it’s possible to keep chickens without a coop. This is dependent on the breed of chicken you’re raising. In this article, you’ll learn about coop alternatives, the health risks of non-portable coops, and feeding your chickens without a coop. This is the most difficult part, so take your time! And remember to keep chickens clean and dry!
In all honestly, if you’re considering keeping a flock of hens, one of the first questions you may have is what coop should I buy or where should I keep my birds. That being said it is technically possible for you to keep chickens without a coop, that’s not to say its a good thing because, for the most part, it isn’t however in this article we’ll be discussing the possible ways in which you could keep chickens without a coop as well as going through the implications, advantages, and disadvantages of doing so.
If any of that sounds interesting stay with us for a few more minutes and continue reading as we delve deeper into this subject.
- 1 Keeping chickens without a coop depends on the breed of chicken you’re raising
- 2 Alternatives to raising chickens without a coop
- 3 Health hazards of non-portable coops
- 4 Feeding chickens without a coop
- 5 Do chickens actually NEED a coop?
- 6 Ways to keep your hens without the conventional setup
- 7 Conclusion
Keeping chickens without a coop depends on the breed of chicken you’re raising
Keeping chickens without a coop is possible, but it depends on your lifestyle. For example, you might travel a lot. If you’re looking for a way to care for chickens while you’re away from home, this is the perfect solution. However, you have to make sure that you follow town laws and regulations. Some places restrict the number of chickens you can keep per person.
One benefit of keeping your chickens in a coop is that you can monitor them better. You’ll know who’s getting sick and who’s laying eggs. You can also monitor your flock for health problems. Keeping chickens in a coop means they’ll be protected from the weather and predators. However, raising chickens without a coop may also save you money and time.
A chicken tractor may be an attractive option if you have a large backyard, but it can be impractical during the winter months. However, a chicken tractor is an excellent choice throughout the rest of the year. Chickens don’t like being in confined spaces, and a coop with enough space will minimize any problems. Besides that, it’s important to have tall fencing around the birds, as predators will be more likely to attack your birds without a fence.
Depending on the breed of chicken you’re raising, you’ll have to make sure you provide enough space for them to roam. Most chickens require a minimum of three square feet of floor space indoors and up to ten square feet of floor space outdoors. Keeping chickens without a coop may be a viable option for you if you’re raising a small flock of hens.
If you’re raising large flocks, you may want to provide water dishes for them to drink. However, chickens are unable to drink water while sleeping and can suffer from parasites and other diseases. As a result, a chicken without a coop can suffer fatally if it experiences a sudden drop in temperature. In addition, a chicken without a coop may be more prone to catching influenza or other diseases.
Alternatives to raising chickens without a coop
One of the obvious alternatives to raising chickens in a coop is free-ranging. Although many chicken keepers practice free-ranging in some form, this method is best used exclusively. Exclusive free-ranging allows chickens to express their wildest instincts, which include the freedom to feed themselves and roam. In addition, free-range chickens tend to be healthier because they do not live in cramped, enclosed spaces.
One of the main benefits of feeding chickens kitchen scraps is that it eliminates the need for expensive bedding. Chickens also consume manure and help control fly populations. Using a compost bin can help you reduce the cost of bedding while helping the environment, as chickens are beneficial for your garden and can also eat insects from your compost bin. In addition, laying eggs from your flock will save you money.
The size and temperament of the flock you choose will have a major impact on the number of eggs you’ll produce. A few dozen eggs per hen in her first year will yield up to fifteen dozen eggs. As the chicken ages, egg production decreases. Thus, you need to decide how many eggs you need, and how many hens you’re willing to keep. A small flock may not need a rooster.
A portable pet carrier can be placed in a coop. This way, your chickens can explore the yard while being supervised. They need fresh water and a complete starter-grower feed, which should make up ninety percent of their diet. Keeping your chickens healthy is the best way to prevent disease and ensuring the health of your flock is essential. If you have a backyard that doesn’t have a coop, you can purchase a portable coop with a door.
Although free-range chickens can be a great option, they do have their drawbacks. Free-range chickens are likely to wander freely and can be noisy, and they may cause strain on your relationships with your neighbors. Also, you’ll have to deal with poop everywhere. It may be hard to find the eggs you’ve collected, but a good way to avoid these problems is to keep them separated.
Health hazards of non-portable coops
A non-portable coop is not just for sheltering the flock during bad weather or extreme cold. A coop can also harbor disease-causing organisms that can be transmitted to human beings by the birds. Fortunately, biosecurity measures are possible, and the article published in Backyard Poultry in April/May 2021 addresses many of these concerns. Read on for more information.
A non-portable coop is also a source of a noxious odor, especially during warm weather. The poop produced by chickens can accumulate and smell horrible. Luckily, some designs of coops have a mesh bottom to help keep the odor contained. While most of the chicken poop falls through the wire mesh, some poop still remains. This causes a stinky ammonia smell.
Chicken droppings can harbor pathogens. The coop must be secured in an enclosed space during major weather events, such as hurricanes or tornadoes. This is particularly dangerous if you raise guinea hens and keep them in a coop during these storms. You should also keep the coop secure at night. A good chicken coop should also have good ventilation. Banks, Stuart, a British poultry expert, wrote The Complete Handbook of Poultry-Keeping in 1979. His book is available online. Other Factsheets on the health hazards of a non-portable coop for keeping chickens are written by Masoud Hashemi and Sarah Weis.
Another major problem with non-portable coops for keeping poultry is avian influenza, a disease that affects birds. In fact, it is transmitted to humans through the respiratory secretions of infected birds. However, the risk is very low in the United States and is believed to be limited to contact with infected birds. This is not a serious health risk and is unlikely to result in the culling of the entire flock.
Other health hazards of non-portable coops include the possibility of rats and mice infestations. Those with a coop without a floor have a difficult time keeping the droppings out of their homes, as their feathers and feet are trampled and packed together. Additionally, droppings cannot be removed like debris in a floor. A floor will also be necessary if you plan to keep your chickens for extended periods.
Feeding chickens without a coop
Despite the many advantages of raising free-range chickens, you may be concerned about keeping your flock safe. Aside from being unsanitary, the outdoor feed can attract predators and mold, which is bad for birds. In addition, you have to spend time monitoring your flock for health issues. Below are some things to consider before feeding chickens without a coop. Aside from keeping your flock safe, free-range chickens are healthier, more productive, and can save you money and time.
o You must feed your chickens at least once a day. Chickens like to eat half a cup of food each day. Fortunately, you can purchase a large feeder that holds several days’ worth of feed. This way, you can fill the feeder over the weekend and feed a small flock throughout the week. Besides, hens won’t be tempted to overeat.
o A daily routine is best. A daily routine is easier to follow if you’ve got a daily routine. If you’re raising your flock outdoors, try to open their coop at the same time each day. Ideally, the time should be sunrise. If you’re not up in the morning, leave the coop before sunrise. Eventually, they’ll come out on their own.
o Don’t feed your chickens with non-portable bedding. Non-portable chicken coops stink. If you don’t clean your coop regularly, your chickens will have a foul odor and could even be harmful to humans. Keeping your flock outdoors is a better option if you’re concerned about the health risks of chicken manure. Make sure you remove any feeders and clean up all dust and poop in corners before leaving the coop.
While chickens are omnivorous, they will not stray far from their food sources. Free-range chickens also face the problems of runaway birds and predators. Some have been stolen by dogs, coons, and owls. A coop without a runaway chicken can result in a plethora of hassles, and it’s harder to find your chickens when it’s time to harvest the eggs.
Do chickens actually NEED a coop?
Let’s start by saying if you’re considering keeping chickens, having a good quality chicken coop is defiantly important, that being said there are some ways around it however they do come with drawbacks.
Chickens need to be kept in an enclosed area yet it doesn’t always have to be your conventional coop and run combo. Theoretically, it’s possible to keep your chickens in a well-ventilated garage or shed however if they don’t get enough light it could be detrimental to their health, there are no two ways about it.
For the most part, providing a chicken coop and run for your flock is a mandatory requirement, after all, chickens are birds which means they need to be the outdoors if you want proper free-range hens. Yes, it’s possible to argue that battery hens never see the light and are kept in a tightly enclosed space surrounded by other hens and they manage to survive? However, those hens have to be bred for specific reasons such as meat and egg production, in our opinion here at easy hens that’s no way to treat your birds. After having kept hens for years now we can assure you they make brilliant pets and will fit into most households nicely. If possible it’s always best to provide them with everything they need for a better quality of life.
Ways to keep your hens without the conventional setup
There are a few fairly effective ways to keep your hens without a conventional coop and run, the best one by far isn’t an easy task to pull of and does require a good amount of daily attention that you’ll have to dedicate to your birds.
You could start by transforming a garden shed into a chicken coop, all this essentially means is putting wooden beams through the center of the coop for the hens to roost on during the night. Once that’s don’t then you’ve got to let your hens roam freely around the surrounding area which will more than likely be your garden or another piece of land you own.
Ensuring that the chickens don’t escape or ruin their surrounding environment is where the real challenge starts. Without the restraints of a coop your hens can pretty much do whatever they want whenever they want, so don’t be surprised if they dug up your flowers and left dropping all over your garden.
Not to mention the constant threat of predictor animals such as foxes, cats, rats, or coyotes which depending on where you live will have a bigger or smaller impact on your hens. If the birds do sense imminent danger and threat continuously then it can also be harmful to their health as well as significantly reduce egg production.
All these factors essentially mean that you’ve got to keep a close eye on your hen’s the majority of the time, which is very hard to obtain in the real world. That being said it will all depend on your circumstances and surroundings.
In all honesty, getting your hens back into their shed/coop isn’t the hard part, once they’ve developed a good routine they’ll go to bed at sunset without fail the majority of the time. However, when you first get your hens it may take some time to get them into a routine which is when you have to physically help put the hens to bed. Depending on your flock and how many helpers you have trained your hens to go to bed at dusk can be a tedious yet sometimes enjoyable task. It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to manually put them to bed for very long. After a few weeks, they’ll adjust to the routine.
Another way in which you can keep hens without a coop is in a garage, in our opinion, this method isn’t as good and also means you can’t call your hens free range. Not to mention the mess made when keeping the hens in an enclosed area is not particularly nice to smell or to clean up, however, take that into consideration if you do keep your hens inside this is something you’ll have to do every other day without fail.
The reason why we don’t recommend doing this is that you’ll significantly increase the chance of your hens contracting diseases and developing problems. If they’re not getting enough sunlight as well as interacting with the outdoors then keeping them inside as you would with a conventional pet, it’s very likely that the hens won’t turn out as healthy as you may have wanted.
In conclusion, it’s fair to say that chickens shouldn’t really be kept without a coop, yes it is possible however we’d strongly urge you to reconsider, in our opinion, it’s very difficult to provide your hens with the quality of life they deserve if they’re not being kept outside. If you are thinking about getting a flock of hens then it’s best to analyze your surroundings to ensure that you’ll be able to provide them with a good-sized coop and run for them to flourish.
If you found this article useful then feel free to check out some of our other articles.