Chicken Run - Buy or Build?

olayak

Songster
7 Years
Jul 26, 2012
80
198
166
New York
I found the perfect spot for my little run, at the side of my pool shed and all the way round the back.
I used small chicken wire 1"X1" squares all the way round and over the top, I also made sure it was buried about a foot into the ground too, so things couldn't dig under either. I guess it helped having the fence and shed in the position they were in.

This is When I was still building the coop.
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This is in situ where I then built the run around the coop.

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Finally with the chickens added! (This was 3 years ago)
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This was yesterday, with the addition of 'The Broody House'
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You pretty much have to do what will work/fit in in your space. I also let my ladies free range in the garden, but for the times when they can't, they have enough space in their run.

The best advice I can give is, to take it one step at a time, don't rush it, look up ideas online, look up how to do things. Ask husband ocassionally!!

Good luck and you can definitely do it.
Great job!!! I love the pics! Thanks for the support!
 

jolenesdad

Free Ranging
Premium member
Apr 12, 2015
2,247
8,176
542
Montgomery, TX
For their entire lifespan, until they pass of natural causes. These are pets.
I vote for Build, then. You need to make many modifications to attempt to get your Cornish crosses to live longer than 4-6 months. You’ll want low ramps and low roosts, and as many ways to try and keep them moving to food and water to keep their weight off so they can survive longer.
 

olayak

Songster
7 Years
Jul 26, 2012
80
198
166
New York
I vote for Build, then. You need to make many modifications to attempt to get your Cornish crosses to live longer than 4-6 months. You’ll want low ramps and low roosts, and as many ways to try and keep them moving to food and water to keep their weight off so they can survive longer.
Thank you! That was very helpful! Good points!
 

olayak

Songster
7 Years
Jul 26, 2012
80
198
166
New York
I’m still learning members so I can’t tag some of them, hopefully someone else can. There are a few members who work at keeping Cornish X longer than just to butchering age.
That's great! Thanks! I'll look out for them. :) I have other birds but I am new to chickens and, esp, Cornish X so I appreciate any advice that would help me have them live longer, healthier lives. We do have a chicken vet already and have worked out a lower-protein ratio food to keep them from growing too quickly. One of them is a runt and much smaller than the rest. The others are already huge! But still running around and very active! :)
 

rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
6,209
11,571
642
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
If you want to start with a premade structure, a dog kennel or a carport can work as the bones, then modify to deal with the predators in your area. For rodents, minks, etc. - no openings larger than 1/2". A wire apron will help deter anything that digs. Bears pretty much require electric, as they are so strong. Heavy snow load means you either need to roof it (hence the carport idea) or have large enough openings overhead to let the snow fall through - although you didn't mention aerial predators they're a common concern in most areas.

In most cases it's not feasible to make it entirely bullet proof, so do your best to nail the biggest concerns first. For example, I have bears in my area, but don't have electric, as the bears here aren't inclined to go after livestock (they want the buckets of feed instead).
 

olayak

Songster
7 Years
Jul 26, 2012
80
198
166
New York
If you want to start with a premade structure, a dog kennel or a carport can work as the bones, then modify to deal with the predators in your area. For rodents, minks, etc. - no openings larger than 1/2". A wire apron will help deter anything that digs. Bears pretty much require electric, as they are so strong. Heavy snow load means you either need to roof it (hence the carport idea) or have large enough openings overhead to let the snow fall through - although you didn't mention aerial predators they're a common concern in most areas.

In most cases it's not feasible to make it entirely bullet proof, so do your best to nail the biggest concerns first. For example, I have bears in my area, but don't have electric, as the bears here aren't inclined to go after livestock (they want the buckets of feed instead).
Yes, there are tons of aerial predators here, I recently saw a hawk try and go after my pet pigeons in their aviary (he couldn't get in, they were very safe). I've also seen bald eagles around! There is one bear that I know of, maybe two, that lives across the street in the forest, he was seen on my driveway once about 4 years ago, but not since then. Mostly I think he goes for our garbage cans at the end of the driveway. It's about a 50 foot driveway and the chickens will be in a coop at the back of the house, near =our pet pigs - probably about 75 feet away and up a hill from the cans. We sometimes find our garbage bins turned over, but have never actually seen or heard of the bear being near the back of our house.
Thank you so much for the suggestions!! I hadn't thought of a carport before. Interesting idea! I also had not thought of snow load, but that makes a lot of sense. I will definitely want to put a real roof on it, in that condition. We get a lot of snow and I definitely don't want it collapsing.
My husband agreed to keep them in their coop with a temporary run in the courtyard next to our kitchen, which has a high fence and concrete floor, until spring. This at least buys me a little more time to build a perfect run!
 
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Wee Farmer Sarah

Free Ranging
Oct 8, 2018
2,270
11,396
692
North Central Massachusetts
Hi,
We bought a great chicken coop for our babies but now need a chicken run. I thought I found one that I could simply modify, but it was sold out :(
We live in the country, plenty of mice, weasels, foxes, feral cats, coyotes and even a bear or two (although it has not been seen near where I am placing my coop). So, whatever we have has to be 10000000% predator proof. I am not losing anyone to a predator! And we live in the Northeast, so lots of snow and very cold in the winter (below zero) and hot in the summer (90s).
Very basic building skills, so I'm a bit intimidated about building my own. I would prefer to buy a run kit, but I can't seem to find a large stand-alone run for purchase. We have 4 Cornish X that are adopted pets and are currently 4 weeks old. We may be getting a 5th soon. I've been going nuts trying to find something online, but can't seem to find anything to suit my needs. I would appreciate any advice and/or help! The babies will need to move outside soon!
Thanks
 

Wee Farmer Sarah

Free Ranging
Oct 8, 2018
2,270
11,396
692
North Central Massachusetts
Gee, now I wish I had a carport. I used a pre-existing shed (very sturdy) for the coop then built an 8 ft by 14 ft run. I used 1/4 inch, 19 gauge hardware cloth for bottom (covered with dirt) and all sides. I used galvanized metal roofing to cover at a slant so I can easily snow-broom the snow off. It is sturdy enough to fend off most critters except bears, however, my experience is that wild animals go for an easy meal, so I'm not too concerned. I have 6 RIR's and they have plenty of room. So your brood should be fine. You can always fence around hardware cloth with chain link or heavy gauge dog wire fence for added security.
 
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