Build a Chunnel...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mamadawn, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. mamadawn

    mamadawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Build a Chunnel...
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Keep in mind there is more then one right way to do anything... As for me and our Chunnel, I used 3 foot- 1x1 inch hardware cloth. Hardware cloth is strong. It's also predator proof compared to chicken wire, and I have 12 children, plus grandchildren and a sweet dog, we also live by the mountains with predators so our housing needs to be sturdy!

    I ran the Chunnel from my main coop/run behind my shed. I have about 18" behind the shed and it's 10 ft long. Because the shed has a big gap underneath I made the Chunnel a full 72 inch circle. I clipped the raw edge, overlapped a two inch seam at the top so the hens wouldn't be walking on it and tied with zip ties. Note: To avoid injury, every time I cut a new piece of hardware cloth I trimmed the pointy raw edge off. This just seemed like a good idea. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I spanned the space between the main coop/run and the Chunnel with wooden screen panels. I used the hardware cloth again, stapled to wood 2x2's. The panels are lockable for security and removable so I can clean under the coop. [​IMG]

    The next 20 feet, runs from the shed to the second Run. I made the Chunnel in a half circle of 5 ft 4 inches, using the same 1x1 inch hardware cloth. Seven- 3 feet sections, overlapped a couple of inches and connected together with zip ties. Note: The extra 4 inches of hardware cloth in the half circle that hits the ground, I folded over tight, about 2 inches both sides to keep the edges clean and safe should a hen try to scratch under. I secured the arch to the ground with heavy duty landscape pins. [​IMG]

    Every 3 feet I supported the arch with 5 foot lengths of 1/2 inch electrical conduit bent in a half circle and secured to the ground with 1/2 inch- foot long, rebar. The structure is permanent but some of these lengths are removable for cleaning by clipping a couple zip ties and pulling a few landscape pins and pulling up the section off the rebar. [​IMG] Yes- that's my little boy in there trying it out with the girls!

    Notes: I got most everything at Home Depot and the guy in electrical, bent the seven 5 ft lengths of conduit into a half circle for me. I love Home Depot for their attention to their customers. They may not do this at your store but playing a bumfuzzled middle-aged mom with two little ones in tow sometimes works wonders. Now come-on if your a woman you've played this card... :)

    Hope this reads ok. Contact me with any questions- happy to share any info. This project was not hard, just labor intensive. I recruited helping hands where I needed to, but mostly built it myself. I free range my hens in the yard at about 7:00 pm till roost, but during the day the coop, runs and Chunnel keeps them happy and safe.
    Enjoy your project- we're here to help you!
    mamadawn
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
    2 people like this.
  2. scratchinLove

    scratchinLove New Egg

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    Aug 13, 2014
    this is such an awesome idea. thanks for all the detail in your description
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. mamadawn

    mamadawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks- the girls LOVE their new Chunnel!
    It sure extended their roaming range and allowed us a second run!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  4. bigmrg74

    bigmrg74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Way Cool!

    How long is this in total??

    You might want to cover some sections of it just to provide some shade spots and shelter from rain.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. mamadawn

    mamadawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Chunnel is about 34 feet. The 10 feet behind the shed is total shade and the run at the end is covered, but I think covering half of the rest, about seven ft is a great idea! Any thoughts on a more natural looking cover?
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  6. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Wow! Thanks for sharing. I know the chickens appreciate your hard work to accomplish this.[​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

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    Love this idea. I have no run and 3 separate coops. It would be nice to build one and have 3 chunnels to get to it. Kudos. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. mamadawn

    mamadawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your girls would have so much fun!
     
  9. bigmrg74

    bigmrg74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This would be something really cool to do around a garden. It would help keep rabbits and other assorted critters out of your garden. And with all of the chickens around your garden, it will help to cut down on all of the bugs from eating your garden.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. NightOwl3

    NightOwl3 Out Of The Brooder

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    This is the neatest thing! I think I will build one of these this summer along the edge of our fence. Will save my DH hours of weed whipping.
     
    1 person likes this.

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