Advice needed for a chicken yard build


Aug 22, 2021
Hello all, we are in the process of building an 18'x19' square chicken yard. The area used to be a play area for our kids so it has wood chips in it, which we are just going to keep and use for the chicken yard. We have 5 chickens, a frizzle bantam cochin and her 4 baby silkies. We have an eglu go up for their coop and are planning on putting that in the yard. We are putting the coop in the main body of the old playset just for added shade and to help break up the monotony of the hot dry yard.

The area has no real shade so we are intending to put a permanent roof over a portion of the yard for extra shade and elemental protection but are undecided about whether we should roof the entire yard or part of it with the rest just having hardware cloth. I thought at first to do part roof and rest hardware cloth so that I can plant in the rest of the area for shade for the chickens and aesthetics but my husband wants to do all permanent roofing. There is hardware cloth around the entire yard, of course.

What would be ideal? If we did a full roof would clear roofing be a good compromise? I really want to plant lavender, sage, etc in the yard and want to make sure there is enough sun for the plants as well as the chickens.

Also, how should we install the roof? We have considered posts but they would need to be installed where I want the plants so my husband was considering trusses.

Helpful advice would be most appreciated.


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12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
Welcome to BYC.

I like to give chickens choices -- after all, they know better how to be chickens better than I know how to be a chicken. If it were me, I'd go for part roof and part wire.

That's a nice, big pen and the chickens are bantams, but it's still very likely that your chickens will destroy any plantings made inside their yard unless you protect them until they're well-grown bushes that can neither be eaten nor uprooted by digging.

Have you read the cluttered run thread to get ideas on how to break up the open space in a useful and chicken-friendly manner?

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