So our coop is coming along well. We still have some work to do on it, but it's getting there. Chicks will be here in 10 days!!!!Can't wait!! I haven't been this exited about something for a long time!!!!!
We plan to build a run on to the coop. I would like the run to be predator proof so we can leave the pop door open for the chickens to let themselves in and out in decent weather. Part of their run will include an open area with a covered roof. Hubby wanted to take it off (our coop is a converted garden shed that had a lean to on it). I am insisting that he leave it on for the chickens to enjoy when the weather is not so great. I also want him to put some roosts in there just for them to enjoy during the day. Then he wanted to tear the West wall off of it to open it up. The South wall will be open with just hardware cloth or something on it. I don't want the West wall taken off, I want it left on for shade. The run will go West from the West wall so I want just a human size opening from the lean to in to the pen.
Hubby is insisting that the run only needs to be about 3 or 4 feet tall. I really want it to be taller for cleaning purposes and from reading on here that is what most of you chicken experts are recommending.
I have learned on here that chicken wire is not strong enough to keep out predators (raccoon, coyote, mink, stray dogs, you name it we have it). DH keeps saying that hardware cloth is too expensive (keep in mind that he is the spender of the family, not me). We planned on having about 50 Barred Rocks. We ordered 50 Barred Rocks then Chicken Math took over. They throw in the rare exotic chick, plus an extra or two of the breed that you ordered (to offset mortality). Then I couldn't resist those fluffy Silkie White Bantams and I can't have just one, so I ordered 3. That brings us to a possibility of 56+/- chickens if we don't lose any.
This is going to need to be a big run. Space is not really an issue, just the cost of the material and hardware cloth to build it. Is there something I am missing? Is it really that expensive? Is there a good source to get a good deal on it? If you don't mind sharing, how much did you spend on your run?