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Do you need to cover chicken run?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My chicks are about 8 weeks old and we are in the process of making  them a run.  We are going to make it 4 feet high.  It will not be covered but they will not be out at night only during the day.  I was hoping that would be sufficent or does it need to be higher or covered?  Thank you.hmm

Awesome husband, two grown sons, one grandson, three dogs, one cat. five goldfish and  two barred rock, one california white,one golden sex link and a brown leghorn rooster.

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Awesome husband, two grown sons, one grandson, three dogs, one cat. five goldfish and  two barred rock, one california white,one golden sex link and a brown leghorn rooster.

There is hidden meaning behind every coincidence
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post #2 of 10

Yes cover the run. The chicks will eventually be able to fly over the fence and four foot high is plenty high enough. The main problem you will run into is hawks and other predators getting your chicks. You get so attached to these little fellas and it will brake your heart if something happens to them.

PREDATOR PROOF IS A MUST!

I am a survivor.  Cancer fears me.

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I am a survivor.  Cancer fears me.

Sadie I will never forget you! Promise

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post #3 of 10

I agree, cover the run with something. I have 3/4 of mine covered with a corrugated plastic which gives it some protection against the elements and then the rest is chicken wire to prevent those pesky predators from the air from getting any crazy ideas. I had a hawk perched on a tree next to the coop all morning plotting but to no avail, not unless he got his claws on some bolt cutters!!!
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welcome-byc from Cape Cod, MA! This site is awesome - you will be glad you joined! Welcome aboard.

Married to my wonderful (understanding) wife of 15 years, proud daddy of 5 beautiful children. Proud owner of numerous chickens, RIR's ,Buff Orps, EE's, Jersey Giant's, Turkens, Cuckoo Marans and a beautiful Golden Laced Frizzle Polish/Black Jersey Giant mix named Miss Wendy!!! To add to the backyard experience, we have 4 ducks, 2 turkeys, 2 goats, 10 rabbits and a dog! Busy, busy but loving...

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Married to my wonderful (understanding) wife of 15 years, proud daddy of 5 beautiful children. Proud owner of numerous chickens, RIR's ,Buff Orps, EE's, Jersey Giant's, Turkens, Cuckoo Marans and a beautiful Golden Laced Frizzle Polish/Black Jersey Giant mix named Miss Wendy!!! To add to the backyard experience, we have 4 ducks, 2 turkeys, 2 goats, 10 rabbits and a dog! Busy, busy but loving...

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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

thanks, I am in a pretty heavily wooded area and haven seen any hawks.

Awesome husband, two grown sons, one grandson, three dogs, one cat. five goldfish and  two barred rock, one california white,one golden sex link and a brown leghorn rooster.

There is hidden meaning behind every coincidence
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Awesome husband, two grown sons, one grandson, three dogs, one cat. five goldfish and  two barred rock, one california white,one golden sex link and a brown leghorn rooster.

There is hidden meaning behind every coincidence
Reply
post #5 of 10

A thing to remember is that it only takes *one* hawk, or (equally likely) loose dog, and you could be down to just a few piles of feathers.

Also most chickens are perfectly capable of flying over a 4' fence... whether they DECIDE to or not is another matter, but that can't be predicted in advance, only retrospectively as you are chasing your now-loose chickens, or a raccoon is eating them.

If you are good with that possibility then that is totally fine; I'm just saying, don't decide to leave the run open-topped under some illusion that there is no threat involved. Browse some threads in the "Predators and Pests" section of BYC to see what I mean.

Good luck whichever you decide,

Pat


Edited by patandchickens - 5/30/09 at 6:10pm
post #6 of 10

I would. Some of our hens made it over 6 feet and we had to put some chicken wire out. (One was a bantam and when he got over, a hawk came cloe to getting her. Our roo also, luckily, made it over and faught the bird off.)

Also, hawks and other predatory birds won't have a big problem snatching a few babies. We let our birds out for partial free range and haven't lost ANY to predators. 2 years later and the gang's all here. And I know the covered run has a little something to do with it.

-Has a soft spot for anything with a crest.-
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-Has a soft spot for anything with a crest.-
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post #7 of 10

Even if you havent seen a hawk you still need to cover your run. Chickens are easy prey for so many different predators and trust me you will lose your birds without the cover. Take the advise, its much better to have your birds alive than to find a pile of feathers or you bird lying there dead without a head or not find it at all. You don't want your heart broke like so many people on this forum have had happen.

I have had a hawk come down after a biddies that was with its mom free ranging and I was within maybe three feet of them. There wasn't a thing I could do at that moment.

Patandchickens had excellent advise about reading through the predators and pest section. After doing this you will cover your run.

I am a survivor.  Cancer fears me.

Sadie I will never forget you! Promise

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I am a survivor.  Cancer fears me.

Sadie I will never forget you! Promise

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post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by chilling in muscadine 

Patandchickens had excellent advise about reading through the predators and pest section. After doing this you will cover your run.


That predator section scares the bejesus out of me. It's a good taste of reality - and a great way to learn from other's misfortune so that you hopefully won't have to endure the pain yourself.

4 ft. isn't very high. I'd cover it, and consider making it a little taller so that you can get inside without hurting yourself. My run is covered with tin and not only does it keep the chickens safer, but the run is so much drier (I don't worry about the chooks when it rains) and it sounds great in the rain. It's all win.

My friends all think I've flown the coop....
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My friends all think I've flown the coop....
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post #9 of 10

YES! I had the same mistake and the hawk took advantage of my mistake and cats.

2 Boston Terriers, 2 Paraketts, 1 Zebra Finch, 1 Desert Tortoise, 3 Golden Sebrights, 2 Silver Sebrights, a German Spitzhauben, 3 Polish, 2 EE's, 3 Red Silkies, 2 White Silkies, and a Modern Game Bantam, a Khaki Campbell, a Cayuga, and a mean Piegon.
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2 Boston Terriers, 2 Paraketts, 1 Zebra Finch, 1 Desert Tortoise, 3 Golden Sebrights, 2 Silver Sebrights, a German Spitzhauben, 3 Polish, 2 EE's, 3 Red Silkies, 2 White Silkies, and a Modern Game Bantam, a Khaki Campbell, a Cayuga, and a mean Piegon.
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post #10 of 10

on this subject,  We are still in the planing stage for our coop and run,  I would love to have our run with 3 of our fir trees in it for shade,  any ideas on how I can cover our run and include the trees and keep other critters out ( hubby is not sure of my idea of holes cut out for the trees with a rubber ring around the trees into the netting)he

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