Can a run be made bulletproof...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by georgialee, May 19, 2010.

  1. georgialee

    georgialee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    ...to the point that you don't need to close in your chickens at night? Right now I live in a subdivision and my chickens are in a dog run in our fenced backyard (which they share with our Irish Wolfhound). The just go into two dog houses at night and that's that. No need to predator proof b/c of our dog and our location.

    However, I'll be moving the chickens to our land here in a couple of months and doing 3 breeding pens and letting our egg layers free range. We have a coop that I can close the door, etc. for the rangers, so it's for the breeders I'm asking about.

    We have a ton of dog kennel panels (10x10x6). If we use those to make runs and have hardware cloth covering the entire floor of the runs as well as the top (zip tied on) would we be good to go? We have a plethora of dog houses we could use as shelter for the chickens.

    The only thing I can think of is a racoon could still reach into the run but they wouldn't be able to reach into the 'coop' at night so that shouldn't be a problem.

    Thoughts or reasons why this will/won't work would be greatly appreciated! [​IMG]


    eta: Before it seems like I'm crazy for not having enough coop space for my chickens let me say that we hardly get any snow in the winter and the temps are usually in the 40's (often higher)... they're pretty much outside all year round. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  2. bnentrup

    bnentrup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2010
    Central Indiana
    just a few-bits of advice from me..from learning experiences; be sure to have your 'seams' of your hardware cloth, on the bottom of the run/coop areas if possible. Hardware cloth on the bottom part of run is not too cool in that the chickens peck and hit metal instead of dirt/grit/bugs/green. therefore, not sure if someone can recommend a better solution for the floor.

    also.. DO NOT PUT YOUR SMALL CHICKS OUT- unless you are watching them. 30-minutes; I went inside to cook lunch and BAM!!! The neighborhood cat snatched a 3-week old chick and pulled through one of my seams.. the ONLY place that I did not staple every 1-inch.

    Therefore, another bit of advice.. follow up ANY of your cloth seams with a trim/furring strip covering the joint. Good planning may help you with a best design.

    lastly, look into a SMALL/LOW WATTAGE fence charger and put a perimeter around your coop/area.

    Those items should keep you from seeing red drops in the coop!
     
  3. georgialee

    georgialee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    Thanks, that's a lot of good advice! The breeder pens will have sand in them so the metal will be covered. I'll be keeping the chicks at my house... I worry about them too much to have them fend for themselves, lol! I'll have to figure out the seams. Maybe I can wrap it around the top and down the sides a bit or something like that. Oh, and the runs will be inside an area that is surrounded by a 3 string electric fence (about 2.5 acres are fenced... the runs will be pretty much in the middle). [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  4. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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    Pride, La.
    Use zip ties for your seams!!! Works perfect!!!

    Missi
     
  5. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Yes, the dog cages can work if you cover bottoms and tops and at least 2 feet up the sides all around, including the door. That way no chicken can stick their heads out to get bitten off.
     
  6. georgialee

    georgialee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    Thanks!
     
  7. bnentrup

    bnentrup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Indiana
    Zip ties a good idea-- and I actually have woven a wire (the wire that is used to bind the roll of fabric) in between the seams once as well). All of these measures happened after a cat entered my pen (2" hole!!) and PULLED a chick out = my first lesson.
     
  8. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

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    Gainesville, Fl.
    Hotwire...hotwire...hotwire...

    It completely changed our chickens lives. They sleep well at night now with nothing getting anywhere near them. I put it at the top and bottom of the coop and around the courtyard in front of the coops. Keep a fluorescent barnyard light on all the time at night and never have any problems anymore.
     

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