Chicken Run: Failure!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by phy, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. phy

    phy In the Brooder

    Mar 15, 2011
    Hi all,

    So, my boyfriend and I went to Lowe's today to get metal stakes and poultry fencing to build a chicken run. The soil is super rocky here in NJ, so we could only drive the metal stakes in about 2-3" before they hit a rock. In the end, all the stakes toppled down.

    What are your tips for beginners trying to build a run? Particularly, what's the best thing to do about stakes in rocky soil?

    Also, has anybody used this "Electric Net" poultry fencing? Is it any good? It makes me a little nervous because it has no roof to protect from hawks (we have a lot of hawks in our area).

    Oh also, I have 30 chickens, so the run would need to be at least 15' by 15' or so.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011

  2. 202roosterlane

    202roosterlane Happy Hen on a Harley

    Feb 24, 2011
    Central Arkansas
    I guess if worse came to worse you could always build on top of the ground but dig a small trench for concrete around the wood. I was able to set 4x4 in concrete and then frame it out. But it may not if you get strong winds. I think after you frame it out and use hardware cloth it will be very heavy. Here is a pic of mine just for ideas. IMO of course. [​IMG]



    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011
  3. My11BabyChicks

    My11BabyChicks Chirping

    Apr 14, 2011
    I also live in Jersey and we had the same problem! We had to dig nearly 20 holes for posts and also had to drive grounding rods into the ground for electric fence... I feel your pain- Should have heard the BF mouth going during that part of the project... [​IMG]
  4. Have you considered a dog kennel/run in place of digging all those holes, etc.? Several members here have posted purchasing dog kennel panels which would allow you to build your run to the specified size you wish.

    We chose to go the dog kennel/run route instead of digging holes (the area we were using had considerable gravel from previous attempts at weed control and had just finished digging holes for the privacy fence so hole digging was not high on our desired list).

    Our first dog kennel was purchased from (they offer free shipping). Although it's original size was 7 feet wide by 12 feet long, we extended it to 15 feet using additional galvinized posts and sleeves (purchased in the chain link fencing section of our local Lowes). We had enough chain link fencing to do this as we were not running the fencing across the front of the run since the run was attached to the actual coop.

    A picture of the run before the gate and roof were placed:


    Working on the roof of the run:


    The final project:


    A roof like this would likely not work with a 15 foot span (our last coop is 10 feet wide and we added a board to provide additional stability to the roof) but could be used if, for example, you wished to purchase 2 of these dog runs and make a 7 foot wide but 30 foot long run instead of 15 by 15.

    We were glad that we've included roofs on all our runs as, despite living in the city, we have owls and hawks in the area (in fact, last Thursday saw a young red tailed hawk sitting on our privacy fence eyeing the chickens).

    Our last two coops had dog kennels purchased from Lowes; our local Lowes offers a kennel that can be used to make a 10 x 10 kennel or convert this into a 5 x 15 run.

  5. TracyLK

    TracyLK In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2011
    We live in Jersey also and had the same problem. He rented a machine to dig the holes for the post, which he said worked wonderfully. We couldn't bury the hardware cloth, so we drove pieces of rebar about every 6 inches or so ( some wen down farther than others ). Then we placed rocks between the rebar pieces. Good luck.

  6. Toothless Willie

    Toothless Willie In the Brooder

    Apr 6, 2011
    dig out as much as you can in a 6" to 8" circle. Place a large can such as a juice can or oil can with top and bottom removed and secure it as deeply as possible int the hole. Fill with concrete. Stick your metal post in it. Add a second can from top and duct tape together! Fill with concrete. Fill around and compress area around hole. It won't go anywhere on it's own.

  7. Toothless Willie

    Toothless Willie In the Brooder

    Apr 6, 2011
    Save yer dirt from the hole! To prevent predation you may need to use hardware cloth in an apron around the run. Take a 3 foot wide peice of hardware cloth the length of the run and bend it along in a 12" strip. Clear the ground 12" from run. Lay the hardware cloth, and use the dirt from your holes to bury the end of the hardware cloth. Fill between this rubble and the face of the fence with good soil so you can grow something up the face of the run. Keeps the missus happy. I intend to grow snow peas up the outside of the run next spring.

  8. melroseladi

    melroseladi Songster

    Mar 17, 2011
    Melrose, Florida
    I also use a dog run for my chickens but the one I got was a heavy duty privately made one. I have also seen people do the hoop coop using livestock panels that people say work really well. If you do a search for hoop coop you will get some good ideas.
  9. I live in rocky areas here in Virginia, we drive rebar with a stake driver. It will go through rock and split it usually

  10. KenK

    KenK Songster

    Jan 23, 2011
    Quote:Me too. It's about as rocky as it gets here and a good heavy driver will put in rebar or t-posts. Maybe you could rent one, it's the kind of thing that would be hard to tear up so surely they wouldn't charge much to rent it for a weekend.

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