Jen Fan wrote:
Who else has tried coopleess bird keeping?
Yea or Nay?
What do you like/dislike, what did you learn, what did you decide?
Wes Hunter wrote:It depends, perhaps, on what you consider a "coop."
I've got chickens that roost in a coop, though with the door never shut. They just put themselves up at night and get up (or down, really) when they're ready in the morning. I've got chickens that roost in the rafters of a shed that do the same. Interestingly, even with plenty of trees around, they all opt to go to bed under cover of a roof.
If you stay in one place long enough, you will have predator pressure, perhaps to a significant degree. If the birds are just roosting in trees, I think your losses would be greater than if they're roosting with a roof over their heads, whether or not they're shut in. Owls and other night-time critters will figure it out eventually.
One downside to the birds being able to get out and about as soon as they're ready in the morning is that, should they wander a little too far, they'll make easier prey for those predators active at dawn. That's been my experience, at least.
I question whether you'll be saving yourself much cleaning by going coopless. Won't they roost in the same tree and just make a pile under the tree instead of in the coop? Wouldn't you want to deal with it eventually?
Jen Fan wrote:Good point on the predators. Here they've been quite safe, but more remote, as I will probably end up, it will be a different story.
The main reason I initially entertained the idea, aside from curiosity, was the cost of putting up a coop. I know it's minimal, sure- I put up my 7x12 coop for $100. But it's money and time that, when getting onto raw land, might not happen right away. It was a thought exploration that has unintentionally become reality