Safe Roomy Outdoor Run

By GloriaGaynor · Jun 1, 2012 · ·
  1. GloriaGaynor
    Our previous flock was taken by a mysterious massacre. They disappeared 2 and 3 at a time until the only thing left was one baby chick, who we named Gloria Gaynor. If it turns out to be a roo, "Gaynor" if it turns out to be a hen, "Gloria."
    I needed to make the run more secure accordingly.
    Using lots of salvage materials, Restore finds, and two trips to Lowes, I completed the new aviary just in time for our shipment of chicks.
    I used the existing chain link dog kennel as one side, and moved the hen house down here closer to the house, to get it into an area fewer predators would like. Also, thinking my Mountain Feists would annoy varmits and keep them away. The trap door from the hen house opens into the aviary, which is accessed through a cheap screen door. I placed the human door within simple reach of the trap door so my husband can let the chickens out on work mornings without stepping in poop.
    I used footers this time, to discourage digging. Pavers line the entire perimeter, and 4x4 pressure treated posts lie on top of the pavers. I drove rebar through drilled holes down through the lumber and about 2 feet into the ground. The framework is pressure treated lumber of various sizes we had leftover from building projects. The "roof" is to keep the chickens in and hawks out. I used conduit. It is so much lighter weight and so much cheaper than lumber. There are 4 12' pipes: they cost $2.50 each as opposed to $12 each for a heavy 2x4. I lashed vinyl green snow fence to the roof with black anchor line. Hope that stands up to weather! The entire wall is chicken wire, and the bottom two feet is hardware cloth. The hardware cloth was the most expensive ticket item: $50.
    I bought a piece of gutter and attached it to the soffit, cut a hole in the bottom of it and peeled the hole open above a rain barrel. Now, I have good water supply! The screen door was only $19 at Lowes: I did give it a second cover of hardware cloth on the inside, though so the chickens wouldn't beat up the screen. The bilevel roost is accessed by "ladders" made of louvered doors from Restore and some old closet poles leftover from when our house was built.
    Here's the new babies, from Murray McMurray: a mixed assortment of rainbow layers, ready for action!


    Here's Gloria Gaynor, leading the pack of newcomers. Her/His daddy was a cochin and which mommy it was is still under consideration!

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Recent User Reviews

  1. N F C
    "Roomy Run"
    2/5, 2 out of 5, reviewed Feb 16, 2019
  2. Nardo
    "Nice run"
    2/5, 2 out of 5, reviewed Aug 15, 2018
    Big run and nice coop. Be good to have some more detail.


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  1. Harleychicks
    chickadee our run is 40x40 and its all bare ground. I also let them free range and in their favorite places to scratch its almost bare. I think the only way to have grass regrow would be to chicken-proof the area you want grass.I'm building a 200x200 fenced in run hopefully this is a big enough area to stay grassy.
  2. SLAP STICK487
    Thats neat .__...._i also find left over supplies ._.Currently rebuilding my rooster coop and theyre perched up on the few boards left from the old one.__.....____.And my dogs lay beneath them at night for protection
  3. chickadee2
    We have 6 chickens and about 450 square feet of inclosed (1/2" hardware cloth) run. This is in addition of their 'house'. Yet grass does not grow in their run. What size is necessary to maintain some grass?
  4. Jamandack
    Just moved to a new house and need to start planning the summer yard set up, how did the roof set up last though the winter? Would you change anything? Love the look of this! I would love to simulate it if it worked well through winter. (FYI- we're in Utah with lots of snow)
  5. GloriaGaynor
    Well, we had the coop a little further away from the house and it was outside the scope of their invisible fence, so they never alerted us to anything. That's why we moved the whole setup.
  6. Roxannemc
    Very nice Sounds like you have thought of everything! Whatever it was the baby chick must have been little enough to hide from it or he would have gone first..
    I am suprised your dogs didnt get whatever it was or do they go inside at night?
    The electric fence should do it though whatever it is
  7. GloriaGaynor
    Thanks for your comments. Yes, I have a 8" high single strand of aluminum wire attached to a battery operated zapper that goes about 3' outside the run and coop. Mainly to dissuade my feist, who keep reminding me the ARE hunting dogs.
    The Rainbow Layers are 8 Cuckoo Marans, 6 Americaunas, and 6 something elses (the lighter colored ones.)
  8. sheherazae
    I love your chicks--I'm thinking of getting the rainbow layer assortment next year. This year I got the ornamental layers and absolutely love them. What breeds do you have in the mix?
  9. joan1708
    nice looking set up. congrats! cute chicks! may want to consider electric fence since chicken wire won't keep out many predators and you've had trouble before.

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