Any problems with a 4' high hardware cloth run addition?


Oct 13, 2008
Our 12x12 run is bare and I'd like to add a 4' high 20'x24' run. Because of expense I'd limit it to 4', and put hardware cloth on top too as we have all kinds of critters including bobcats. Any of you good chicken folk have 48" high runs?
Our coop and run are brand new (built over the past few days) and the sides of the run are just over 36" high. We did put an A frame up to make the center hight almost 5', but Lollipop is right--if you can make it taller DO IT. I've wacked my head and back already climbing inside of it.

For the sides and anti-dig apron we used 2x2 garden fence from Ace Hardware. It came in a roll 48x50, 16 gauge I think, and it was $75. For the top we used ordinary "chicken wire", but we doubled it and off-set the layers to give it more strength/safety. The chicken wire was left over ends of rolls at the hardware store my dad works at and he got it for super cheap.

I'd build it 6' high with 1"x2" welded wire so you can walk inside for cleaning, etc. Then add the 1/2" HW cloth around the bottom, get 4' cloth and bury 1' deep. We did this, and also "roofed" the open parts of the run with HW cloth so that nothing could climb over, and so that hawks could not get in.

If you build a 4' run that's topped, you'll be hating that choice when you have to go crawling in there.
Thanks Wombat, I am going to follow your suggestions, but will have to wait to do it. I really like the combination of the 2x4" welded wire on top, with the hardware cloth below.
Not to mention the aggravation of getting chicken poo on your hands and knees.

That's the size of the space under my house and I hate going under there.
Ok, I'll be the oddball here.
My run is 48 inches and covered and, although I don't love it, it works for me. It's grass and I don't have to go in there all that much other then water the grass once in a while or do a little minor raking.
Mine is only 8x4 and covered, but the whole top comes off so that makes it easy to clean. You can hinge portions of the top maybe.
Half my coop is a 4' high by 8x8 square, I have a 2x2' access door which allows me to get to all parts of the run with a rake to clean it. I've never had a problem with access or cleaning and it suits the ladies just fine. On the bottom, I have a 2' wide piece of hardware cloth bent into a 90 degree bend and run along the bottom of the wire with one foot extending out and buried a few inches to prevent digging under.
The other side, where I have my coop and nesting boxes, is 8' high by 8x8' floor, the coop sits outside but with the front face square with the wire and elevated 4' off the ground. I believe an elevated coop, off the ground, is one of the best deterrents to predators, kind of "out of sight out of mind" type things....The elevated coop is 4x4x5 with a slanted, insulated, tin roof with screen completely covering the top, two windows with shutters for ventilation and a pop door within the 2x5' half door in the front for cleaning purposes. I did hinge the entire back of the coop with latches, this allows full access to the coop from the back. Cleaning is a snap, open the back fully, open the front door and crank up the leaf blower on high.....shazam! clean coop in one minute....

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