Building a run on a pre-existing concrete slab...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by swampcat, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. swampcat

    swampcat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our property used to be a chicken farm of some sort but all that is left of it are some large concrete slabs. I'm thinking about putting a chicken run there so I can be certain that nothing will be getting to my chickens during daylight hours when I am not out there with them.

    The slab itself is 25 ft wide and goes about 75 feet back but I think for starters I will just do 25x25. How should I go about putting fencing around this? I think I've decided on using 6ft high 14 gauge welded wire with a 2x4 mesh. I can't dig through the slab (but it does have about 2 inches of gorgeous dirt on it from the past 50 years), so will I have to go outside the slab and bury the fencing or is there a different way? I want to really stay within the concrete slab because going outside will me a bigger perimeter which means more $...which irritates DH. As it is, I think these chickens will be ruin of our marriage anyhow [​IMG]

    Not sure if I will eventually cover the bottom 36" of the welded wire with hardware cloth. This run is mostly for daylight hours when I cannot be outside with the chicks. We have a fox that is brazen enough to come within 50 feet of my daughter in broad daylight while stalking my chickens.... I know they will climb chain link, but will they climb welded wire with a 2x4 mesh?

    So all you wise chicken tenders ( [​IMG] ) how do I go about building this run? Can I cement the bottom of the fence to the concrete slab? Would I have to dig through the dirt to get to the slab or can I cement right onto the dirt? Or will I have to put something like railroad ties to attach the fence to? If I do that do I need to attach the railroad ties to anything? Or is it my best bet to just dig the perimeter of the concrete bury some of the fence?

    My main concern is the fox.

    Thanks all!
     
  2. gunnarmcc

    gunnarmcc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if there is a frame on the bottom i dont see diggers as a problem. i dont know many things that can dig thru concrete
     
  3. swampcat

    swampcat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I should just frame up the bottom and that should be good? Should I dig down the 2 inches of dirt to place it directly on the concrete or do you think that will not matter?
     
  4. lleighmay

    lleighmay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it were me I think the easiest way would be to build 4x6 panels out of treated 2x4s with the wire attached. That size would be easy for one person to handle when building/moving. Then you could make as many as you want/need and attach them together with screws or carriage bolts in any configuration you like. As you wanted to (or could afford to) you could add more panels. Think of it like a chainlink panel dog pen only made of 2x4s and wire. The weight of the wood and wire should be enough to hold it upright/in place. If you have high winds you can buy anchor plates which screw into the concrete and bolt up through the bottom 2x4. You wouldn't have to do this with every panel, maybe every other one or two. This would provide extra stability and actually anchor the fence to the concrete. I would definitely clean off the dirt that's on the pad now; that way your working on a flat/solid base. I would also be concerned there might be old bacteria or organisms from the prior chicken farm which might affect your birds. Save the dirt and add it to your garden; no sense letting good dirt go to waste!
     
  5. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sink your posts at the edge of the pad and slip the wire down in between them and the pad. If done right, you should not need to skirt the run. As to posts onto the pad, use the existing hole with a slightly smaller diameter pipe as a post or drill holes and drive the post in.

    As to fox, normally a red fox will not climb but a grey fox will. Consider deer netting over the run to stop fox(the top of the wire is too unstable for them to do anything but jump off) and it will stop birds, both yours and the bad ones.

    The wire around the bottom only needs to be chicken high and is for coons that like to reach thru. If you have a coon problem, you need to wire the top or lock them down at night and hope you don't get a hungry day hunter.
     
  6. TouchO'Lass

    TouchO'Lass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could build directly on the pad as suggested if you don't have issues with wind gusts and if the structure is heavy enough to not be knocked over by a larger predator.
    We get a LOT of wind where I am, so I like to anchor EVERYthing! [​IMG]

    Personally, if I had a slab like that I would sink post anchors in the concrete so I could choose my coop size and positioning rather than let the slab dictate.
    There are a number of brackets available, and it requires a hammer drill and masonary bit, but you might be able to rent or borrow those items. Plus, many of the brackets have a small elevation to keep your posts off the 'crete and help prevent rot/decay, like the one on the right.

    [​IMG]

    Just a thought... I envy you your monster concrete slab! What I couldn't do with that!! [​IMG]
    Good luck!
     
  7. swampcat

    swampcat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    TouchO'Lass :

    Just a thought... I envy you your monster concrete slab! What I couldn't do with that!! [​IMG]
    Good luck!

    I basically have a concrete slab 25 ft wide that runs maybe 300 or 400 feet long (can you tell I'm horrible at estimating distances? lol). It's a curse and a blessing I guess. We've put down a lot of dirt and grass over the middle150 feet, the last 100 feet of so is going to be our horseshoe pit, there's a 10x25 sandbox on there and this far part of the slab that has a maple tree forest growing in 2 inches of dirt.

    Quote:Or do you think I could get away with weaving high tensile fishing line across the top? I was thinking if I zigzagged it enough, anything trying to get in would get tangled and stuck... or am I being naive? I'm thinking 625 sq feet of netting may end up costing me my first born son.

    Quote:I didn't think about that. I know something like bacillus anthracis spores can last decades in the soil, but are there any other chicken-affecting bacteria that would spore and thus still be viable after 50+ years of dormancy? Looks like I'll be doing some research! [​IMG]

    Thanks all for your answers!​
     
  8. Chrystal Dawn

    Chrystal Dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did you use the slab? What did you use on top of the concrete? I have a slab that I want to put my run on but not sure what to put in there for them to scratch in.
     
  9. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: If water doesn't stand on it, you can build up the sides of the run and cover it with sand
     
  10. Chrystal Dawn

    Chrystal Dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2013
    Carthage, TN
    Thanks!
     

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