Converting a pre-fab dog run to a chicken run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DerbyChook, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. DerbyChook

    DerbyChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    150
    0
    111
    May 15, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    I found one like this on craigslist. http://doitbest.com/Dog+Kennels+and+carriers-Fence+Master+Rsc-model-600684-doitbest-sku-818755.dib

    To
    make it pred proof, I would need to run chicken wire around the inside to keep coons from reaching through and an apron of welded wire flat on the ground to about 18" to deter burrowing. I will probably rig a cover for rain, sun and hawk protection over the top. There would still be gaps around the gate. Is there a way to close those up while still keeping the gate functional?

    This is my second coop. With my first, I leave the coop open at night. The chickens have constant access to a very secure small run and then free range when I am home during the day. I have liked this system (the chickens are happy too and so far have been safe) and would like to do the same with the new coop (darn chicken math!), so I need to be sure that the run is Ft. Knox secure. I am in a fenced yard in the city. We have coons, foxes and hawks. No roaming dogs, no coyotes. So let me know if you think I can make this run adequately secure for 24 hour chicken protection, or if I should just go ahead and build something from scratch.
     
  2. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Use 1/2-inch hardward cloth; most predators can rip chicken wire to shreds.
    Make the apron at least 36", and cover it with dirt.

    ETA I know a guy who used chicken wire, and a raccoon reached through, grabbed a chicken, and literally ate it alive one small piece at a time through a one-inch opening in the wire.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
  3. ChksontheRun

    ChksontheRun Chillin' With My Peeps

    247
    1
    109
    Mar 18, 2010
    Central Virginia
    I don't think the spaces around the gate will be a problem, as long as you put up hardware cloth around the rest to prevent the coons from reaching through. The chickens need a place to get away from those reaching paws. I have always heard that you should have at least one corner in a run that has a solid barrier--wood-- so that the chickens have a completely safe corner to run to. I know mine tend to stay in their safe corner when there is any sign of unrest in the yard. (Hawks, dogs, strangers)
     
  4. ryanhodapp

    ryanhodapp Chillin' With My Peeps

    681
    23
    141
    May 5, 2010
    St. Louis
    I dont think 4 ft is high enough. If you are buying new, go for 6 foot. Also you can cover the gate with 1/2" wire, swing the gate the opposite direction and step over.

    check Craigslist for used ones.
     
  5. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah, 6 footer. I see them advertized all the time at different places for around $269. Much easier on your back. Look at Home Depot, Tractor Supply, feed stores..........Pop
     
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    33
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    About the gate problem...here's what you could do. That gate opens outward, right? So construct an inner hardware cloth panel as sort of a door jamb, with an opening smaller than the gate frame but still large enough for you and the chickens to get in and out of. You can use some kind of spring clips or something similar when the gate is closed to hold the gate close to this hardware cloth door jamb. That should do it.
     
  7. FaithAnn

    FaithAnn Chillin' With My Peeps

    188
    1
    111
    Jun 7, 2009
    Mobile, Alabama
    I just took a 10 x 10 x 6 prefab dog pen and turned it into a chicken run. I put my coop inside the run and since it was about 7 foot tall, I couldn't just put wire across. I built 4 trusses and sat them on top of the run. I attached a 1x6x10 board on each side of the peak at the top and on each edge. I then took 1/2 " hardware cloth and covered the top. since the coop was on the inside and it is 10x10, I didn't worry about lining the chain link. We just built in, so hopefully it works for us.
     
  8. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Quote:This is what I did. You actually have to push the gate into this panel to close the door latch and lock it. Neighbor of mine didn't use the panel and a family of possums slid through and took a over 40 chickens in one night. Nothing has made it into my coop or runs but a black snake and a couple of field mice
     
  9. timp123

    timp123 Out Of The Brooder

    46
    0
    32
    Jun 4, 2010
    Georgetown, Indiana
    Keep your eye open on Craigslist for Dog Kennels.. bought mine, which looked new.. but was a couple of years old.. for $100.00 locally. Beats almost $300.00 for a new one.
     
  10. MaKettle

    MaKettle Chillin' With My Peeps

    We also bought a new ASPCA dog kennel--4x8x6. It came with a very nice cover for the top & at 6 feet high, is easy to walk around in. We secured ours with hardware cloth using heavy duty zip ties. The only piece we left with any gaps was at the door, where we cut a panel to the size of the door so that we could still open it. We also have made an apron of hardware cloth around the edges & finished it all off with landscaping bricks to give it a secure but somewhat completed look. Our current project is trying to make use of the empty space we have that's human height, but not chicken height. I've installed 2 roosts over the weekend & am thinking about some sort of shelving system with little ladders so that the chickens can have more places to hang out.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by