coop run opening for allowing free-range


Jul 23, 2020
need design ideas on how to keep sheep and goats from using the opening to access the coop/run area.

I have a run with the coop raised. The door is up in the air and would be difficult for the sheep or goats to get into, but one goat managed to squeeze through the run door (after taking a run at the hole as she is fat). I can put an electric fence that would keep the goats, sheep and dogs away with electrical elements that would affect a taller animal and the shorter chickens would have no problems. There is a ramp, so if the chickens are on the ramp, they would not close the circuit for shock, whereas the goats would still be standing on the ground (very short ramp). I would not need to keep this going for long periods as once the animals get shocked, they stay away from the un-energized equipment.

Any downside to this?

I also have a LGD (livestock guard dog) that is just under 1yrs old that keeps chasing the chickens. She wants to play, not chasing as prey. She chases the sheep too for the same reason.


Jul 1, 2017
Upper Midwest, USA
I don't know how well it would work for your situation I've seen pictures of v-shaped openings to let people through a fence while keeping cattle or pigs from going through. The four-legged can't make the turn. Obviously, you would need to fiddle with the dimensions and goats are so agile, you might need to combine this concept with a horizontal bar. And probably spend some time training the chickens to go through it.


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Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
one goat managed to squeeze through the run door (after taking a run at the hole as she is fat).

If you make the opening a little smaller, or divide it in two, the goat won't be able to go through. But I don't know if that would still be big enough for your chickens, because I don't know what size chickens you have or what size the opening currently is.

It might also work to make a section of fence around that door, with openings the chickens can go through but goats cannot-- maybe using something like a cattle panel with 6" by 8" openings. But that also depends on the exact sizes of the chickens and the goats, so I don't know if it would be right for the ones you have.

Any downside to this?

Every downside I can think of it one you've already addressed.
And electric fence sounds easier than the ideas I thought of :)

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