Any math wizzes?


10 Years
Mar 3, 2009
At my computer, where are you?
Anyone bored?

I have an 8x8 coop and got a dog kennel to put down as my run. Don't worry, it's an old thick steel one and I'll reinforce the bottom and flare out with hardware cloth. I have two 12' panels and two 6' panels. How can I finagle this to make the largest sf run? I was thinking an L shape around two sides of the coop would be biggest, but am I better off going with a funny pentagon? I think the L will give me 108 sf, can I do better?
Your best bet is a (I like your phrase) "funny pentagon" run off the side of the coop. I regret to say I'm too lazy to sketch it out and figure out the square footage but it will definitely be a bit larger than your L shape.

(e.t.a. -well, I just sketched it out *very roughly* i.e. you should do it yourself more carefully, but I am estimating in the 150 sq ft range or slightly more than that)

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Wow, that's a lot bigger. Guess I'd better get out some graph paper. I want to cover at least part of it in the winter, so an L would make that much easier but if I can give the girls an extra 40 sf, I'll figure out something
If you think about it this way, a circle gives you the most possible area for a fixed circumference length. With your coop wall and panels, you have 44' of "circumference", which would be about 154' feet if it could be made circular. Obviously you can't do that, but configuring the run in the shape that is nearest to a circle will give you the most square footage.
You don't want diamond-shaped, you want your funny pentagon. Use all the panels plus one of your 8' walls, and just arrange the panels to enclose the largest area possible.

Doing it with the 6' panels as the ones attached to the coop wall (I don't *think* it makes a difference if you do it the other way around but you could doublecheck), and actually measuring the distances out with a ruler, I get:

Two 11x8 right half-triangles = 88 sq ft
Two 4x4 right half-triangles = 16 sq ft
4x8 rectangle = 32 sq ft
= 136 sq ft total

So my estimate before was a bit off, but it's still a better deal than an L-shaped run.

Good luck, have fun,

Here you go. I think options B or E will be the best, because they're square, and they'll be easiest to cover. Let me know if you want to see other options, and I can draw them up for you.

YeS! E is exactly what I was thinking. I didn't explain it well enough Pat, but 'E' is what I meant by butting it up against the coop. I was originally thinking A, just because it looks really pretty. I'm going to print that out and take it down with me when I start finagling. Thank you so very much for those drawings! I have a slope in the back to deal with, so having options is great. I had no idea that D would be the same -- that is fantastic. If I overhang the roofing near the coop, it shouldn't be too hard to cover and much easier than E.
Oh wait, my gate is on a 6' side so I may do E and use the two 6' on the front. Wow, you can't believe how much this helps! You rock!

Thank you soooo much!!!! I have a cold, and my brain just couldn't do angles.
You're welcome! I got lucky with option E. I was going for the largest area, so I guestimated 45 degree angles off the building. When I drew it I realized it looked square. I measured the distance in option A where the two fences run into the coop, and it was almost exactly 8", so it made sense to put one coop wall there. Now that I have it set up, it's easy to modify the drawings and measure the areas, so I can get more info if you need it.

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