the outside run is both fenced and roofed. I've had some problems with hawks, and I've got a dog that is too interested in chickens right now, and it's not the growing season, so we keep them in a yard until it starts to green up later this spring.
|the door to the outside run is in the middle right of this photo|
The spacing on the lattice is 12" horizontally between roosts. That allows chickens to roost without being crapped on by the chickens above, and the riser design means less squabbling between ranks. The chickens below can't reach the chickens above, and vis a vis. So there's less feather picking.
The bottom 3' of each roost is left bare intentionally, to make it easy to get a shovel in there to clean it out. I use sawdust that we get from a local sawmill. The final thing is the recycled bit of metal shelving leaning up against the bottom roost. That's the little chicken ladder. The bigger chickens figure out the roost and get up there pretty quick, but the smaller ones use that shelf (and some of the lazier bigger chickens) to get up to the first roost, and then hop/flap their way up the roosts.
There's 40' of roost, and i have 85 chickens, so that's about 6" of roost space per chicken, and there's a little extra roost space (not pictured) in the corners of the pen, but 6" space per hen seems to be fine.
For feeders and waterers I use 6 gallon floor waterers and 6 gallon feeders. 85 laying hens eat about 25lbs of food a day; right now, in winter, I'm getting 30 eggs a day. As we get closer to spring we'll progress until we're seeing 70 to 75 eggs daily.
The chickens are given wheat free-choice, along with a balanced chicken ration from a local feed mill, and a bowl of crushed oyster shell for calcium supply to ensure strong shells. If I were just feeding chicken ration I wouldn't have to do that, but with wheat (which the chickens eat whole, and prefer) I need to provide some calcium for the egg shells.
I am incubating 150 eggs a month to provide chickens for sale next spring and summer; both laying hens and roosters for meat. We make a market in both types of birds, serving a pretty loyal customer base. Since we aren't buying chicks for $3/each, but instead hatching our own, the eggs we incubate can be said to have a worth of $36/dozen.