Chicken Run Considerations: Size and Stuff.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pushjerk, May 1, 2017.

  1. pushjerk

    pushjerk Just Hatched

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    Apr 3, 2017
    Good day, Chicken People. With the coop occupied and on it’s way to completion, it is time here to build the run.

    Description to follow, and images below.

    The run will be an extension off the side of the coop that goes into the existing garden space, against the backyard fence between property lines. I intend on using the backyard fence posts for the run fence on the back side, and installing a few more posts on the front side. Posts will be pressure treated 4x4, the fence will be 2x4” welded wire.

    As I’ll be using the existing fence posts in the rear, I intend on lining up the few posts up front to match the back. Question is, how big to make the run? My wife only wants to give me so much garden space.

    The fence sections are 8’ long. The run will be ~3.5 feet wide, and either 14.5 feet long, or 22 feet long, depending on if I want to use two fence sections, or three.

    We will have max six Hens.

    Another thought, use the existing backyard fence as the back, or put some welded wire on the back as well? Using existing could give an additional 6” to the width.

    I’ve posted some pictures pictures below to give an idea of the size of the coop and fence sections, as well as the discussed dimensions in relation to the size of the rear of the backyard.

    I guess my wife's biggest concern is the chicken area taking up nearly half the width of the rear of the backyard

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  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Northwest Arkansas
    What material is that existing back fence? Chain link? Depending on what it is and how it is attached it might be OK as is. If it’s up off the ground a bit you might need to add an apron to keep them from going out under it. Since it is your property line you’ll have to bend the apron inside the run instead of the preferred outside, but doing that will still add a fair amount of predator protection to it. Yes, it’s worth using that back fence if it adds about 15% to your run area.

    I don’t know what the right answer for you is. Will you be including the area under the coop as part of their run? I don’t believe in magic square feet per chicken numbers but I do believe the more you can reasonably give them the better. I find the more I crowd them (coop, run, or coop/run) the more likely I am to have behavior issues, the less flexibility I have in solving problems when they develop, and the harder I have to work. If it were me I’d go with the larger space but I’d hate to give up that garden area too.

    With those rocks there and the way it is built up it’s a lot more work than I’d want to do, but you might consider a way to make it wider instead of longer.
     
  3. pushjerk

    pushjerk Just Hatched

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    Apr 3, 2017
    Thanks for the reply ridge runner.

    Those rocks off to the right of the coop used to be part of the retaining wall For the raised bed where the coop currently sits. The whole thing, rocks, dirt, and all, used to be twice as high. The rocks are just chillin, to be moved later.

    The backyard fence is indeed chain-link, with the fence sunk into the ground a little bit, I do not know how far. If I were to use it, I would indeed sink some hardware cloth in front of it as well to discourage any borrowing from the inside or outside.

    Regarding the area under the coop, that will in fact be accessible from the trap door within the coop - a way for them to "go outside "when locked in the coop - it will be fenced off, separate from the run.

    As far as including the third 8 foot long section, we will just have to look at it closely and decide accordingly.

    On the smaller side, we would be looking at a roughly 60 square-foot run, 4x14.5.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2017

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