Chicken run questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Armymomx3, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. Armymomx3

    Armymomx3 Just Hatched

    10
    1
    16
    Oct 22, 2016
    Santa Cruz Mountains
    I'm a new chicken owner. Was given a chain link dog kennel, old coop and 3 chickens. I had posted earlier that I had a reality check when I went to buy supplies to build a new chicken coop... and had to abandon my plan. I am still at ... but have a few questions and would appreciate advise.
    The run... it's chain link. We are putting a solid pitched roof on it. After reading all the threds I have learned chain link is not adiquet for keeping rats out. So, I need to remove the chain link and use a smaller gauge wire (and I thought this was going to be easy) I want to put a solid back wall made of recycled fence board on the the back and one side. So really only the front of the coop (10 feet) will be exposed) to light. Will the chickens feel to confined? Do they need more of an open feel?? Any input would be appreciated
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,828
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I think if anything it will make them secure. Will they have breeze from the open side during hot weather? Are rats a huge problem where you are? Can they be trapped to maintain control?
     
  3. Urlec

    Urlec Out Of The Brooder

    55
    4
    39
    May 25, 2016
    North Saskatchewan River
    Just attach 1/4" construction mesh to the chain link that is already there. No removal required. Just be sure to skirt the kennel to keep digging pests out.
     
  4. Daox13

    Daox13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    239
    21
    78
    Jan 17, 2014
    Richmond va
    My Coop
    I hate to tell you this but rats will dig a foot down and 15 feet into the run, there would be no way to keep them out unless you completely enclose the run by putting 1/2" hardware cloth on the ground and also attach to the roof.
    I second what URlec said, no need to remove the chain link, its good protection against dogs... you really should run 1/4" or 1/2" hardware cloth with it, it will keep snakes and some mice and rats out, but it wont be fully protected unless you cover the ground of the run as well. rats as I said dig holes, snakes hunt those holes and before you know it you have a highway into your run.

    I live in an area over run with rats and mice and I learned the hard way. I am building a run that will be 100% rat free only because I simply don't like the idea of them tunneling through, eating the chicken feed and creating pathways for snakes.
     
  5. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    786
    255
    126
    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    100% keep the chain link, it's sturdy stuff and good against bigger predators (like dogs) and also makes it easy to attach a layer of welded wire or hardware cloth to it. I would not board over the back or sides either unless you have a specific reason to.

    Probably hard to see from my photo but I have a chain link run with hardware cloth secured at the bottom 18" or so of my taller enclosure, and then a skirt extending from that.
    [​IMG]

    I don't know how bad your rat problem is. If it's not severe a skirt or burying a perimeter of wire should be sufficient. I know I have rats and mice around but they stay out of my run so I leave them be.
     
  6. Armymomx3

    Armymomx3 Just Hatched

    10
    1
    16
    Oct 22, 2016
    Santa Cruz Mountains
    What do you do for rain? I'm putting a pitched roof on mine because last month we had over 20 inch of rain. I feel as though I have to protect them from the rain??? Maybe I'm crazy lol. I will keep the chainlink as suggested. I have two dogs but they have decided to take on the role of protectors. We do have mountain lions, skunks, racoons etc. I know we have rats but I don't know if they will be an issue. I'd like to think my cat has a handle on that lol. I was going to put the back boards on just because I was going for a rustic barn look and to provide shade because we get a lot of sun.
     
  7. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    786
    255
    126
    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    I'm in WA so I also get a lot of rain, and honestly, I just let it rain on them. The ground on my property dries out decently fast because I have ponds and a creek that act as a drain so I don't get mud puddles (if mud is a concern, yes, you should consider a roof). If the rain is sporadic my chickens stay outside and play. If it rains more heavily they will go back to the coop and stay in most of the day.

    If shade is a concern then I can see putting up some boards on whatever side you get sun from, though if you put in a solid roof, that should provide ample shade coverage. You'll have to decide that for yourself, based on the way your coop and run will sit on your property.

    Since you don't currently seem to have a severe rat problem, as long as the coop and run are kept generally clean (i.e. cleaning up spilled food) it might not be an issue. You can keep an eye on it and beef up security later if needed. I have a rat that hung out under the same willow tree in my photo and it never went into the run so I left it alone. But putting on a layer of hardware cloth or welded wire with an apron would still be a good idea against raccoons, and it's fairly easy to do. I did my apron for under $100 including all the extra tools and stuff like wire cutters, pliers, lawn staples, etc.
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by