Best way to put in posts for run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by my first peepers, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. my first peepers

    my first peepers Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    South Western VT
    I am buliding a new run and I already have some 6' cedar posts that I would like to reuse. I would like to use as much of the height above ground as possible so I don't have to bend over in the run. I live in a place where the ground will freeze and my DH insists they have to be 4' in the ground so as not to shift...which wouldn't make much sense as only 2' would be sticking out. (I will put netting over the top and can make it taller in the middle as there is a big tree I'm going to attach it to. It will be shaped like a circus tent, going higher to the tree.) As for the posts...I have holes dug about 18" right now and I was thinking of using quick-crete (sp?). Any thoughts are appreciated as this is my first time doing something like this!
  2. Omran

    Omran Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Quote:you can put tnem 2' in ground make sure you put a concrete sack in the bottem of each post.
  3. redoak

    redoak Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Russia, NY
    which wouldn't make much sense as only 2' would be sticking out

    You just need longer posts [​IMG]

    I think you'll be fine just putting the posts 18 inches in the ground. Runs usually don't have to support much weight so your posts shouldn't be doing anywhere.​
  4. pdpatch

    pdpatch Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    You need to put the bottom of the post down below the frost line for your area. In colder climates this can be 3 to 4 feet down.

  5. The rule of thumb is 1/5 the length of the pole. With a 6 foot pole, I'd only sink it 18-20 inches and fill around with concrete.
  6. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    18" should be fine as long as it has concrete all around.
  7. I think everyone is addressing two different points about sinking a post. How much post into the ground vs. how deep of a hole.

    The way I see it?

    1) The end of post should be a minimum 18" below the surface in order to provide stability to the part remaining above ground.

    2) The bottom of the hole should be below the local freeze line in order to prevent frost heave. I generally accomplish this by pouring some stones into the hole to get the pole set at the height I want and then following it up with concrete.

    In my area during a really cold winter, the pilings used to support docks in the creeks will heave as much as 10' into the air. Makes you dock look like a ski jump. Luckily they will generally come right back down as it thaws.
  8. my first peepers

    my first peepers Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    South Western VT
    A lot of good info! Thanks.
    It looks like I have more digging to do [​IMG] and some rocks to find.
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Alternative thought, if you HAVE to work with these posts you already have:

    Get the longest metal fence spikes you can find, probably 3' (more is better). You know, the things you wham into the ground and they have a square socket on top that you bolt your fencepost into. That way you will have the full 6' height of your posts all aboveground.

    THey will not heave much (because of depth, because of tiny cross-section, and b/c metal is smooth and doesn't allow much grip for frozen ground), and b/c this is a run not a building it is ok if things shift a little during the year.

    The down side is primarily that they do not give nearly as much rigid stability as you'd have from a properly set post. Thus you will need more, and more rigid, crossbracing of the walls of your run, including diagonal bracing and diagonally-braced corners. It may be a reasonable tradeoff for you though.

    I would strongly recommend against sinking wood posts only 2' in a cold climate. They WILL heave, and each year will ratchet higher and higher out of the ground til they are so weak they just keel over.



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