50' X 20' Run Ideas

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by FishNFowl, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. FishNFowl

    FishNFowl Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 31, 2014
    I've been tossing around run ideas and wanted to get them out. First off, what I want to do. I need to keep foxes, dogs, raccoons, hawks, and eagles out of the run. So I'm looking at a covered run. The dimensions are based on the run being internal to a split rail fence on a section of our property where my garden is. I want to open the run in to the garden to let them hopefully eat bugs and not destroy the garden too quickly before I close them back in the run.

    I'm looking to build a coop that's 10' wide, built in to the back of the fence for the run. I'm thinking 4"X4"X10' treated lumber set in 2 to 3 feet of concrete. The ground is fairly uneven but I want the short side to be 7' tall. I can then comfortably walk in/under and carry whatever in. So the back fence is made of 4X4s on the corners, and two more 4X4s that make up the corners of the coop. That will be a 50' span with 4 4X4s set in concrete. That breaks down to 2 20' spans that I'll split with horizontal something (maybe 2X4s, don't know) to leave 10' sections. I'm then thinking 3' of hardware cloth buried 1' deep. I'll pin that between lumber running horizontally roughly 2' off the ground. The remaining height will be welded wire going to the top which will also be pinned between lumber.

    The idea continues with 10' sections of fencing. If I need cross supports or something like that I'll use 2"X3"in an "X" pattern across that bottom 2 foot section and again on the upper 5' section. I'm thinking 2 gates, 1 in to the garden and 1 in the side of the run.

    The harder decision is covering it. I can do PVC or conduit or something to make arches across the top going across the 20' span. However, aesthetically speaking, it's more desirable to make them going across the 50' span because of how it's oriented in the yard. I believe that will be cost prohibitive though. I don't see a way to do that without framing it and building a legitimate roofing structure.

    Water intrusion is my other concern. After reading the various muddy run threads here I'd like to knock that out before it starts. I'm thinking I'll build a swell on the uphill side of the run, then plan shrubs in it. It will be just outside the run. My expectation is that anything that grows through the fence will be happily pecked on. To that end - I'm thinking blueberry bushes. In front of the swell I'll dig a trough that carries water around the run to the other downhill side so that it can continue on its way.

    The next challenge is that there really won't be any shade. I could build a porch on the coop (plan to), but it isn't much. Would a fig do well if I protected it while it was small? Is this over doing it? I'm hoping that I won't have to build it again or expand it. I'm looking to start around 5 chickens and not expand to anything beyond what my coop/run can handle.
     
  2. FishNFowl

    FishNFowl Out Of The Brooder

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    22
    Dec 31, 2014
    I just realized an oops. I was hoping to minimize 4x4 for cost purposes. But if I put a gate on the 20' side I will likely need 2 more to frame the gate. Speaking of gates, how do you guys keep critters out of the gate. Does anything dig under there?
     

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