Cover the run or not cover the run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by redstars, May 24, 2009.

  1. redstars

    redstars Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2009
    south dartmouth ma
    Thanks coopcrazy, I did not want to deprive them of the rain if they liked it. But I was not shure If dry is better for them, I figured the best way to decide would be to ask what everyone else Did And Thought.
  2. consdrs

    consdrs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2008
    Vancouver, WA
    I live in the PNW. here it is almost a requirement. we have a lot of rain here. yes they like rain, but there are times when they run for cover. it could rain here for a week at a time. there is fun then there is "come on give me a break". we covered ours with suntuff, the see through stuff from Lowe's. we also have a light problem here in the pnw. so getting lots of light to them in the winter was also important. mud is also a factor. we have a 11x25 secure, covered run and a absolutely not secure 30x30, plastic cheapo, only while we are around fence that actually has grass.

  3. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Quote:I will be using this same stuff when it hits the rainy season. Right now for the summer I'm just using bird netting.
  4. 19Dawn76

    19Dawn76 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2009
    Toadsuck, AR
    The only reason I covered mine was because the last time we had chickens a possum kept climbing in and helping himself. By the time we caught him he very, very well fed.
  5. consdrs

    consdrs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2008
    Vancouver, WA
    Quote:I will be using this same stuff when it hits the rainy season. Right now for the summer I'm just using bird netting.

    ahumm when isn't it the "rainy season" ??
    LOLOLOL! naw it is soooo nice this weekend!! Yeah!!
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    A solid roof on the run is always an excellent idea, gives you the most secure (predatorproof) and weatherproof and dry run possible. You will not be depriving chickens of the experience of being rained on, trust me, rain will blow in from the sides [​IMG]

    HOWEVER, the cost of roofing a run adds up real quickly (especially if snow and/or windloads have to be considered). Basically you are building a wall-less shed (in fact, you're probably best off using pole-type shed plans, but will need to add diagonal bracing to the walls due to the lack of rigid siding). The cost of the posts, beams, rafters and the metal roofing itself kind of adds up.

    This past winter I built one of what, when the ground dries, will become two roofed runs, 6x14 and 10x10, and the framing/roofing materials for the two of them together will be almost $1000. (This excludes wire mesh for the sides, which I am using recycled chainlink, but most of the lumber was bought new, as was the Suntuf roofing, only slightly more expensive than metal would have been)

    So, before committing to anything, add it all up. If you can swing it, though, you really won't regret it -- it makes managment EVER so much easier. Mud type problems especially. Also it's easy to make very chicken-friendly for wintertime.

    Good luck, have fun,

  7. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    You have to talk to the DUCK people about healthy, wet runs.
    (Actually, I don't think wet runs are good for them, either.) ALL of my critters--horses, dogs, cats, chickens-- at my place need dry turnout areas. It's not healthy for them to have only wet ground. They can tolerate it if there is a dry place for them to go.
  8. AndyL

    AndyL Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2009
    As far as flying predators goes, my experience with red tailed hawks is they do not like to swoop down and grab any prey -- chickens, mice, rabbits, chipmunks, etc. in an area were there is a bunch of trees or other overhead cover. So, if your coop is around a decent amount of tree cover you should be safe from flying menaces.

    Hawks and such like to sit in trees next to fields and circle the perimeter as well looking for small critters. They seem to have a hard time flying in areas were there are a lot of ground obstacles.

    As for ground predators, skunks, racoons and the like they can climb any fence and get into just about anything,very smart and resilant!

    If you seal you birds up in their coop at night you should be allset. As most predators are nocturnal. I covered my run just to be safe. I have put to much time, effort and money for anything to have an easy lunch on me!

  9. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Covering my run was a requirement. Keeps out snow and rain (for the most part - some still blows in from the sides) and keeps the run nice and dry. Predators can't climb in, chickens can't fly out. Make it strong enough to hold some snow. I got some hail damaged tin from a friend who was more than happy to get it off his farm after his barns were repaired by the insurance company. I love free.

    If you can slide it into the budget, you won't regret roofing your run. Good luck!
  10. toddslittleacre

    toddslittleacre New Egg

    May 16, 2009
    This keeps the hawks/owls out, and the tarp provides rain protection as well as shade.

    Last edited: May 24, 2009

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