cover outdoor area???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hubbyho, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. hubbyho

    hubbyho New Egg

    Nov 1, 2009
    I built a coop with an outdoor run but did not cover the outdoor portion. I have noticed that alot of designs have covered pens. Is this more of an option than a requirement? My chickens seem like they don't mind the rain. Wet chickens can't be smart.
    Thanks guys!
  2. MimiChick

    MimiChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Glocester, RI
    Depending on the size and location of the run, you may want to cover at least part of it. New England can have some pretty heavy snowfall and you may not want to shovel the run for the chicks to get around. Also, even though they may not mind "rain", a Nor'easter is a different story. In the summer, they are going to need a shaded area to get out of the hot sun. Finally, don't forget about predators. Many have climbing skills and, of course, hawks and owls can just dive right in for an easy chicken dinner. If you post some pics, I'm sure others here can give you some good pointers/ideas.
    Good luck.
  3. TexasVet

    TexasVet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    One of the negatives to a fully covered run is that the sun can't reach the ground. My covered run stays wet longer than the uncovered run, and mold grows in there.

    Kathy, Bellville TX
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    I have my night pen covered with a solid roof so they have a shade or rain-free area if they want it. I recently had to cover the entire rest of the run with netting because of hawks [​IMG]
  5. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2008
    Somerset, CA
    I have half of my run covered, but just with a tarp, so I can quickly and easily uncover it when I want. I like that the run provides shade during the summer and shelter from the rain/snow during the winter. I have the end of the run closest to the coop covered in an attempt to keep the mud out of the coop. The operative word there being "attempt" to keep the mud out... eventually the whole thing becomes a mess, but thankfully summer rolls around again.
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I see you are in Connecticut, and having even part of your run covered makes life easier in the snow and rain. Another thing you can do is to install snow board, or use plastic/vinyl or some other windbreak in winter. The other benefit is, of course, enhanced predator protection. [​IMG]
  7. Country Heart

    Country Heart City Girl With A

    My run is covered with wire mesh to protect the girls from predators (racoons, hawks, coyotes). It also has an optional tarp that I can roll out during big storms - but I'm in California so winter weather is not a problem for my girls - it's the heat I have to worry about. [​IMG]

    Also [​IMG]
  8. hubbyho

    hubbyho New Egg

    Nov 1, 2009
    this forum is terrific! I've never been on one that I've gotten so many responses so quickly. Thank you all!!
    I will post some pics of my setup. The flock has apretty decent overhang that keeps the ground closest to the coop dry, a 'lean-to' opening to the south and a Dogloo that they have no interest in. It seems theey really like to roost in the rain. The run is covered in chicken wire as we're full of hawks, fox, owl, eagles and god only knows what else around here. I am sure I'll have to put a barrier on the north side of the run for winter to help keep snow out.
    Thanks again everyone!!!
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    All my runs are covered (and all but the tiny solar-heating one are actually roofed). Covered to keep out predators and because I previously had the occasional chicken-retention problem; roofed because it really does not cost *that* much more than a wire top and makes the run ever so much drier and more winter-friendly in this climate.

    I have not encountered any problem with a roof making a run *damper*, although I am sure that in some particular combinations of circumstances it could happen. Mine are much *drier* with the roofs.

    If you are in a site, or on a soil, that makes your run naturally tend to be muddy, a roof can help considerably. It also makes it easier to convince the chickens to spend more time outdoors in rainy/snowy/windy weather, depending on how mcuh of it you get of course. But it is totally optional, not an absolute requirement.

    Good luck, have fun,


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