Building a Coop and Run

PollosMama

Chirping
Mar 4, 2018
24
26
50
Waynesville, NC
Still trying to get the last of our plans together so we can get started on building our coop and run. I have a few questions I'm really hoping someone can answer or offer advice on.


1. How high off the ground should a raised coop be?

2. Can I have the outdoor run just under the coop, or do I need to provide some open space with sunshine?

3. How do you make a covered run that you can walk in, without making the fence 6’ tall? Could I put up 2’ or 3’ wire fence and have posts 6’ high to attach strings running back and forth?

Thanks!
 

PollosMama

Chirping
Mar 4, 2018
24
26
50
Waynesville, NC
I should add, the run would mainly be for when I am not home, otherwise we plan on giving them the fenced yard we have decided to dedicate to the chickens. We have 3 now, but may expand to 6 in the future, but no more at our current house. Also planning for a 4x6 coop.
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
24,814
102,586
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Northern Colorado
I can lend my experience.....

#1 I found that 2' off the ground allowed them room to stand, did not make cleaning the coop a pain, and allowed me room to fetch hidden eggs out from under.

#2 a 4x6 run only under the coop is way to small. It is only 24sq ft so OK for only 2 birds. I strongly encourage you to make at least a 6x10 run AND give them the space under the coop.

#3 if you want a safe run you need to run the wire all the way up. Strings degrade and sag over time. Racoon's will go right through them as will all manner of other vermin.

Have you looked through the coop pages?

https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/

There are really great set ups in there many have detailed their builds so others can pull what they need from them.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
18,520
632
South Park, Colorado, USA
3. You could make an A Frame or Hoop House that you could walk in without exactly making a 6 ft fence. Or you could have a 3 ft tall fence and the roof panel could be removable so it would be easy for a human to walk in

2. Depends the square footage of the coop, generally a run just under the coop does not provide enough space

1. Floor level around waist height makes for easy cleaning and egg gathering and provides a few feet of space under the coop for the chickens giving them some headroom.
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
24,814
102,586
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Northern Colorado
A hoop run is a grand idea.

I have one on my 6x8 coop.

DSCF1406.JPG
 

jreardon1918

Crowing
Jul 13, 2016
840
1,481
276
Southeast, MA
My Coop
My Coop
We have a 4x8 raised coop. The build article is linked in my sig. The coop is raised 24 inches. The back has doors that allow access. I can rake the shavings into a wheel barrow without getting in. I have only done that once. Because of the poop boards the pine shavings are dry and there is no smell.

I think this setup is nice. Built it prior to having chickens. If chicken math takes over, then an addition will be in order.

I think you will need a bigger run. I am doubling the size of our run soon. It will go from 8x8 to 8x16. Plus the under coop space. That is where they spen a majority of their time. A lesson I have learned is that a comfortable inside space that considers, ventilation, protection from drafts and predators is key. The outside is where they will live.
Good luck.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
18,520
632
South Park, Colorado, USA
I have a 4' x 5' raised coop that is only used for roosting at night. I have doors on both sides for easy daily cleaning.

JT

My raised coop is this size also and we chose to put doors on both sides as well. I can easily reach pretty much every corner of the coop. If I want to do a deep clean I can open both sides and take a broom and push the bedding clear out the other side. I don't think a coop can have too many openings as long as they are well secured!
 

PollosMama

Chirping
Mar 4, 2018
24
26
50
Waynesville, NC
Thanks guys. So the general consensus is raise the coop about 2' up. Done.

And definitely build a bigger run? Even if it's only going to be used here and there when I'm not home? And they'll be locked up in the coop at night. I guess I'm just trying to get this run done as cheaply as possible too. But I want to do it right, also.

I think I'll go with a run with a hinged top that can be opened to clean. I don't have the space currently for a hoop run, and it's also on a slope, which might be hard to contend with (Thanks mountains of WNC)

Appreciate the help. If you think of anything else that might be helpful let me know!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,334
129,553
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
How do you make a covered run that you can walk in, without making the fence 6’ tall?
Depends on how tall you are...or if you like to walk bent over. :lol: Sorry.

Even if it's only going to be used here and there when I'm not home?
That'll be fine, until it's not. Good to have a secure run of adequate space once the preds find your birds.
Depends on your level of dealing with the risks and losses of free ranging.

Hopefully you can put coop, with lots of vents, in the shade...hot down there.
 

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