Chain Link Run Advice


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 10, 2011
The plan is to start on the run this weekend. We're going to re-use old fence poles that the folks who lived here before us used for the horizontal parts of a cattle fence. They are irregular in diameter but I think would look really neat - plus they're already here and free. We're also going to reuse some old 4' chain link fencing also left behind by the previous owner. The thought is to sink the posts in the ground and then attach the chain link fence two feet off the ground. The gap would be covered by a roll of 4' hardware cloth with part of it buried in the ground to prevent predator digging. This would make the height of the run almost 6' tall - which is about the height of the coop so it should blend in well.

Since I've never done this before, i wanted to ask the members here for any advice and/or learnings from their run installation. Is there anything I should watch out for ... do differently ... etc? I'd really appreciate your inputs and advice.
Using the hardware cloth as you suggested is a very good idea. I'd suggest putting it on the inside of the run. If it's on the outside a large animal (dog or whatever) can grab the top and pull it down too easily. Remember that you'll need it to extend out from the corners and in front of the door, too.

Have fun!
Last edited:
Definately use the hardware cloth...last fall we had a bobcat reach thru our chainlink pen with no hardware cloth and rip the heads off of two of our hens....we actually caught him in the act...
Extend your chain link about 4 inches above your posts~hopefully the posts will be on the outside of the run fencing~and do not use the horizontal bars that you would usually use at the top of a chainlink fence. Same with any gates you install. Six feet may seem tall but you can still lose a bird over it if you aren't planning to cover your run. They will hop up to the top of the fence, then hop down on the other side....they won't do this if they cannot visualize the top of your fenceline or do not have something sturdy on which to hop.
I don't have any experience with racoons, though I know there are a few around. This is how I built my run - the fence extends above posts to 6' and there's no horizontal bars. Will a racoon still climb a fence like this? It's been my one concern with the run.
Yeah, I've been thinking I may need to. It seems a bit redundant though, for my situation. They have a smallish run for times when they need to be locked up, which is rare. They sleep in a closed coop at night. They free range in a 4' fenced field during the day. So they're actually rarely in the run. I don't mind doing the hot wire, but it's a decent amount of work and ongoing cost for something that may not provide much benefit. I guess I'm afraid of being lulled into complacency - but I'm well aware that with free ranging, I'll likely have losses at some point.
I've been debating this for months
6' may not be high enough. Our little nankin flies over our fence like it's not even there. We'll be putting a top on the yard soon.
I avoided all the extra security by having free ranged dogs that are confined by wireless electric fencing. No predators ever came into my chicken's lives except from the air...and that was an unwise young pullet who chose to sleep outside the coop a couple of nights and become food for an owl.
I used two dog runs made with chain link, that I bought second hand reasonable to make a 10 x 30 ft run 6 ft tall. I then went to the hardware store/ feed store and purchased a pair of hog ring pliers and a box of rings for about $8 total. I also bought a roll of 48" x 100' with ( 2'x4" size holes) garden fencing for $64. Which was the same price as chicken wire fencing. Then using the hog ring pliers and rings I fashioned a 10' x30' wire roof with the garden fensing and attached it to the top of the dog run. The day after I put it all together a Rottwierer dog and a opposum at separate times during the day tried to get to my chickens. I took the dog back to its owner and got to meet someone new. And, the opposum who wasn't nearly as nice as the dog's owner, succumed to a bad case of lead poison. The wire on the top of the pen was cheap insurance.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom