My chickens live in their 'hen house' and go into the run area normally only in the early morning hours then again at dusk about an hour before it's roost time. Plus, they free range in the afternoon most evenings. I used a 70% sun blocking cover (from TSC) for the roof which allow plenty of ventilation .
The ground for my run area will get wet but it has very good drainage and built on a slight incline so I have no problem with standing stagnant water, etc. The runs ground is a mixture of sand/dirt and dries very quickly. The run area I am showing you is 8' x 16' and I use it more for my mixed flock of younger laying hens.
This is the ground two days after a heavy down pour. I also hoe the entire run about once every few weeks to keep the soil loose so they can easily scratch and have their dust bathes.
Here are a few extra ideas when planning your run area that I've found to be extra handy for the chickens as well as myself.
I added some stepping stones for my own personal use for times when the ground is wet and muddy.
I also added an outdoor roost for the chickens and they like using it in the late evening.
Plus they get a very good view of the house.
They always sit on the roost in the late evening. I think it might be because of the afternoon cooler breezes.
This is their view from inside the hen house looking into the run area.
At night I always have everything under lock and key!
Here is a view of the outside of the run which again is 8' x 16' foot.
I also added another roost and it's located just outside the run area. They will use this one at times during free ranging before they go back into the hen house at night.
The over all price for this run broken down cost me:
Stepping Stones $15.00
Chicken Wire $40.00
Minus labor. I did it all myself.
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