Chicken run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by nvmycj, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. nvmycj

    nvmycj In the Brooder

    75
    0
    39
    Apr 3, 2010
    Can someone please explain to me how they put the covering on top of their chicken run...

    How do you unroll the netting, straighten it, staple it,....all without being in the way. [​IMG]

    Am I making sense?
     
  2. SweetMotherOfMars

    SweetMotherOfMars Chirping

    191
    1
    99
    Aug 24, 2009
    The Palouse
    There are probably 60 ways of doing this what with all the different plans we've dreamed up. [​IMG]
    My run is made from pvc (easer to move) looks a little like a greenhouse and is just barely tall enough for me to stand upright in the center of the gable. I used hardware cloth for the bottom, chicken wire for the first 2 feet above that, and garden netting for the top. I had the kids help me stretch it out on the ground, then folded it lengthwise a few times. From inside the run I lifted it over my head, let the width hang over the 'trusses' and started unfolding. Once I had it fully extended I pulled various places until I was happy with how it draped. Then I zip-tied the whole thing in place. Some areas are only attached to pvc, some only to the chicken wire, but where I could I used both for anchors. Please note I do not live in a raccoon-filled area, but this has kept the raptors out.

    Edited to add: I do have some chicken wire across the top of the end with the human door, to keep the netting from sagging and being ripped.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  3. nvmycj

    nvmycj In the Brooder

    75
    0
    39
    Apr 3, 2010
    Thanks for replying Mars!

    Do you have pics of your run? Are to posts of your run PVC pipes? If so, are they buried in the ground? Thanks again!
     
  4. Whitewater

    Whitewater Songster

    250
    3
    121
    Jan 18, 2010
    Yep, you're making sense and in our experience, there is no way. You wear gloves, long sleeves, stout pants (and clothes you don't mind getting ripped up!) and eye protection and you get up there and wrestle and scream and swear and sweat and spit nails . . . but when the wire is up and done, the satisfaction of A) beating it into submission and B) knowing you'll only have to do that once . . . priceless.

    At least, this is our experience. Other's experiences may vary!


    Whitewater
     
  5. SweetMotherOfMars

    SweetMotherOfMars Chirping

    191
    1
    99
    Aug 24, 2009
    The Palouse
    No pictures handy, but I'll try to explain for now.
    Coop is a converted doghouse we got for free from a yard sale (they even hauled it to us!) I think they had a St. Bernard!! I sealed the bottom, put it on wheels, raised the roof to make room for ventilation, nests & roosts, added a linoleum scrap for easy cleaning, then realized I still needed a run. [​IMG]

    The run is framed with half inch pvc. Picture 4 house shaped frames connected at the base and again about 5 ft off the ground by horizontal pipes. Nothing is hooked into the ground as I move it to new grass, then wheel the house after it.
    To prevent shear failure I cut that tallest horizontal pipe in the center (on both sides) and (for each side) I added two Ts connected by a very short bit of leftover pvc. From the Ts I connected another short bit, an L, and a long pipe. These are angled toward the ends and I used a jigsaw to cut where they lined up on the front and back base pipes. Into the cuts went another T, angled to fit that cross brace. It's pretty sturdy, made it through it's first winter like a trooper with just a painter's dropcloth for a greenhouse style roof over the netting. Had to take it off in March though... too windy. (Now we are having unseasonable rain and I miss the roof!)

    Like I said, it wouldn't stand against real predators, but in our area owls and other birds of prey are more likely than raccoons (although there is a skunk and little snakes in the neighborhood.)
     
  6. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Songster

    595
    7
    129
    Jan 23, 2010
    Mountains of NC
    I didn't think this out well before we framed the run and it's a good thing our long armed nephew helped us. We put 1/2" hardware everywhere including the roof of the run. We used 3' wide cloth with washers and screws to attach it to a wooden frame. Stretching across 3 feet with a hand drill was very awkward. If I were doing it again, I would still use 1/2 hardward cloth (we have a predator problem) but I would buy 2 foot wide for the roof and put the wooden framing of the roof at two feet also. Reaching across two feet would be much easier.

    Here's a picture.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  7. YolandaT

    YolandaT In the Brooder

    77
    0
    39
    May 10, 2010
    Austin, TX
    our original idea was to staple chicken wire on top and remove the staples when we needed to get in there to clean. ha ha ha! The run ended up being about 40 sq feet so that would be a LOTTA staples! Been thinking about it a LOT, reading the boards and such, and I think what we'll do is use shade cloth instead of chicken wire, and staple the cloth all around a lightweight frame that fits on the top of the run. Then we'll use screws to attach the top. I think it would be a lot easier to remove some screws 2-3x a year than it would have been to remove 200 staples!

    Our run is only 3ft high so our top has to be removable. I just re-read your post and I don't think I answered your question at all, LOL!

    Put a bunch of heavy stuff on one side, unroll it and BEND the wire back as you go, to remove the kink of the roll. The put heavy stuff on the other side so you can cut it. My first few tries I got LOTS of cuts and scratches, it does take some practice. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: