My chickens have always had a separate yard because my dog wants to chase them.
They have to be in a fenced in area because there are lots of dogs in the area that would just love to have a chicken dinner.
There are also foxes, coyotes, racoons, possums, and who knows what else out there that like to eat chickens.
A fence won’t necessarily stop all predators but it does stop a lot of them and it gives them another barrier to get through before they can get to the chickens.
Of course the chickens are only allowed out in the yard during the day. At night they are in the coop with the door shut.
So far I have not lost a chicken to a predator so it seems to be working.
The chicken yard had no trees in it though and only gets shade in early morning or late evening. So I had planted a couple of trees in there when it was first set up but one of them died (the only one that would have shaded the coop).
So this year I planted a few more. One Althea tree, one that we think is a pecan, and a willow shoot that I took off my willow tree.
The willow is already getting some leaves on it! It will be a couple of years before it really offers much shade out there but it is a good start.
We also expanded the chicken yard since we have 10 new hens. This area doesn’t get shade either. I will have to find some more trees to plant out there.
Or maybe we will expand it some more but go out toward the gulley where there is lots of shade. That will have to wait a while because we ran out of old fencing.
Maybe next year.