Advice for chicken coop/run


7 Years
Apr 20, 2013
I've been hatching chicks for our inlaws in an incubator and raising/taming them until they are ready to go and live outside.

This time we'd like to keep a couple maybe 3 of the hens.

We haven't got a huge garden, so I can't have a huge walk in run etc.

What I was thinking of doing is letting them have a portion of the garden shed, and then building a run which attaches to the shed. I could go off the side or off the front of the shed.

If I go off the side I can put a run which is about 6'x6' but only 4' high.

If I go off the front I can put a run which is about 4' x 10' with a height of about 6.5' - This would be walk in.

Is that a big enough run? We would let them out when we are at home.

How much of the shed would they need, if it was off the front I could only really give them about 18" wide, but up to 6' long by a couple of foot high - is that enough?

I was thinking of putting some kind of roof on the run to stop it getting wet - but not sure of flooring - was going to leave it as mud (well it's grass now but I'm sure it will be mud soon!) with a few paving slabs - if this doesn't work then fill with hard wood chips? Is that OK?

Is there anything else I need to think about?

Thanks in advance
A lot depends where you live. Where I live, I'd just put a roost and nest in the back corner of the shed, out of the wind and rain, and leave it open air in front. Actually they don't need an full enclosed building even up north, except maybe in Alaska. I'd give them at least the "formula" size run, which is 10 sq fr per bird. so the 4x10 would be fine. I wouldn't put wood chips in a run. There's actually no reason not to leave it just dirt. When they can be in the garden, you could replant it with something like annual rye. Probably sand is the best if it's going to be exposed to weather, because it drains. I would cover a run, or part of it, if it snowed where I live; otherwise I don't think I would. They need shade in summer more than warmth in winter; they tolerate temps well below freeaing but can die at temps over 100 degrees. Where I live, shade and breeze are necessities. Mine go in their very open air coop on 100 degree days, or under bushes in their yard, for the shade and because it's cooler.

It would be great if you can let them in your garden after the harvest -- they fertilize (of course) and eat your pests. I wish we'd built so that they can be turned either into the garden or their yard.
I'm in the UK.

We get a wide variety of weather, 3 weeks ago we had 5 foot of snow, today it has been about 60*F. Most of the time it rains!

The idea is that they would be locked up in the shed at night to protect them from foxes, then out in the run when we're out or free roam of the garden when we're about.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom