Chicken Run Height

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Foghorn, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. Foghorn

    Foghorn Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    How high should the run be? Tall enough to walk in? Do chickens need that height? Is 4 feet high enough? Do you find that you need to get in the run often?
  2. thechickenfarmer

    thechickenfarmer Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    I made my first run 4ft tall because it was temporary, and boy was it a pain in the neck. I've found that I like to go in there to give them treats , I also keep a food and water outside during the nice months. I bought a food tray on ebay that hooks to the fence and I just put in a day supply of food, that way I'm sure they are all getting enough time and space to eat. I have a couple that are on the bottom of the pecking order that were getting crowed out before I had the two feeders. The best reason for having a tall run is so you can get them in the coop before dark if you have to go out and won't be home till late. Jen
  3. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    My coop pen (run) is around 5 feet tall I have many perches at different levels for the chickens.
  4. Dorte

    Dorte Songster

    Apr 27, 2010
    I was going to post essentially the same question. I can see from a lot of coop/run designs that the chickens don't NEED much height. My question is do chickens typically PREFER a higher run?
  5. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Songster

    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    Growing up on the farm I remember the runs being maybe 6' high. Since I'm using dog kennel panels ours will be 6' since that's the height of the panels.

    After much thought,debate and looking through the members coop archives I'm thinking anything less would be a PITA to maintain. Plus you want to be able to get in the run to interact with the birds or doctor them as needed. A 4' run would make it difficult to do those things.

  6. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Quote:Certainly when roosting like most birds they have the instinct to go as high as they can ...most chicken breeds, anyway. The heavier ones, and the ones with feather mutations that limit flight, not so much.

    During the day, though, chickens are mostly foraging on the ground. I have noticed that mine do like to roost on cold winter days and sometimes during rainy weather, even though their run is roofed. It's nice to give them that option, and when you factor in your own convenience about not having to stoop over to work inside the run, it's nice to have a run tall enough to stand up in.

    Some people opt for the low kind of run for cost reasons, giving their birds more ground space for the same amount of wire that it would take to build a tall run. If you did that, you could fashion an opening roof for the run so you wouldn't have to stoop over to go inside to clean it out.
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    My chickens do enjoy the extra height in their run, because they have things to climb on. They really enjoy getting up higher and looking around. It helps them see above the front fence line. They like to watch the neighbors across the road, when they're locked up. [​IMG]

    I designed a chicken tractor with a short run to have a hinged frame for the top of the run. You can lift the top up and step in, if you need to catch a chicken or do some sort of servicing. It worked out great. Stooping is the pits.

    I go in the run to catch a chicken, service the water, service the dust bath, pull an annoying weed, plant seeds, feed scratch or snacks, paint the coop, add sand, pick up the rare mislaid egg, visit the detainees during the hawk migration, shovel snow, level the surface for runoff or to fix something.

    If it helps, I've never heard anyone say they wished they had built their run shorter. I have heard a lot of people say they wish they had built their run taller.
  8. tmiller42

    tmiller42 In the Brooder

    I agree with the others here that access is a must. Either build it tall enough that YOU can comfortably walk around under the roof, or else short enough that you can remove the roof and step into it from the top. I also agree that a roost of some kind seems to be a big deal to the chickens, they really prefer to have one. But of course, they'll survive just fine without one. I have no idea how to tell whether they chickens are happier with a higher one. ;-) I just know that they'll always jump up to the highest one they are able to get to.
  9. bigoakhunter

    bigoakhunter Songster

    Jul 29, 2009
    I know that 3 ft. high is high enough for run. Mine do just fine in that section. And it is cheaper. But it is a pain in the hindend, to go in and have to catch birds or retrieve a dish that had oatmeal and now is under the 3 ft. section of the run. If I could afford it , I would build all of run over 6 ft. high. Starting at 7 ft. 6 inch's running down to 5 ft. 6 at other end. this would allow good movement by humans.

    Birds only need 3 ft. IMO

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