Covered run or not?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Moselle, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. Moselle

    Moselle Songster

    Jan 17, 2008
    We're (STILL) planning our smallish almost-a-chicken-tractor-type coop. Dh likes the look of the runs w/roofs on them. I'd just as soon leave the roof off and put wire over the top. It won't be as heavy for occassional moving. The run will be in the shade from trees all afternoon and evening during the summer. We have a tarp that we could use for a cover in extra wet weather.

    So is there any other reason we'd want a whole roof on the run?
  2. I covered mine due to predetors in our area.

    We have a pair of Red Tail hawks that nest on the hill and we are crawling with racoons and oppsums.

    My coop however is not a tractor.
  3. HenHappy

    HenHappy Songster

    Feb 16, 2007
    on my way to you....
    I have half wire, and half lattice. I like the lattice because they still get light, but are hidden from prying eyes in the sky. DH surprised me the other day saying he wants to redo the outside run so it will be tall enough to stand in. After shoveling out the snow in there today, I will be gratefull to stand!!! OH, my aching back!!!
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Tell DH to calculate out the weight of the roof he's proposing before he gets too attached to the idea. (Also calculate the weight of the rest of the tractor, to get an idea of where you stand, movability-wise. You can find approx weights of various sorts of lumber and plywood and such via google. I will warn you shingles are pretty much too heavy, period, for any kind of even semi-mobile coop).

    Otherwise I would say that a roof is nice. But the weight thing can be a killer and you'd be surprised how fast it adds up.

  5. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    mine is covered with bird netting

    ((I am going to cover this year plastic or tarp)) so they can go out when snow is on ground!
  6. LinckHillPoultry

    LinckHillPoultry Songster

    Jan 17, 2008
    a roof. tarps have a hard time holding snow and freezing rain
  7. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    We built a hoop run (using cattle panels) for our main coop run. The front half of it is covered with a tarp. The birds enjoy having a dry area to hang out at, when it's raining here. They have an outdoor roost under the tarped area and prefer sleeping on it as opposed to the roosts in the coop. [​IMG]


    Hope this is some help!

  8. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    what is a designer chick?
  9. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Songster

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    You definitely want to keep the material light if it's going to double as moveable tractor. You want to consider the sq footage to make sure the chickens have enough room.

    We opted for a little of everything. Dh built an A frame tractor that they could hang out in during the day while we were building their coop. It was built out of recycled materials that we already had. Metal poles for the frame and then covered in chicken wire.
    We would just move it every few days to a new spot.

    We only used the chicken wire b/c we already had it and we have outside dogs to protect the flock. I would advise galvanized hardware wire for maximum predator protection.

    They have a coop w/ an attached run. The run is made out of 6' tall kennel pannels. (20' x 14') It has some tin roof in one sect and chicken wire over the rest b/c we have a hawk problem. Then in some areas we even have a pitched tarp to protect them further from rain & snow. We also wrapped some of the sides to protect the run from the wind. It doesn't look very pretty, but they can still go under the part that is just covered in chicken wire, be protected and enjoy the sunshine or they get under the roofed sec to stay out of the wind, rain or snow. They love to come outside no matter what the weather. After it snows I shovel some out and put fresh, dry straw for them to walk on to keep their feet dry and out of the freezing snow.

    We put roost in the outdoor run & tractor. Oh yea, we used a tarp over the top of the tractor when needed.

    Hope this helps!

    BJ_BOBBI_JO In the Brooder

    Mar 10, 2007
    North East Indiana
    I have been wondering the same thing. For years I had chickens that ran around the property freely never being inclosed in a pen/cage. One chicken lasted for 15 years and some of the others lasted to about 10 or so years old.

    Yea I know that is just plain luck. In 2004 something finaly got my beloved pet chickens. A coon, coyote, hawk or whatever I dunno.

    I liked the fact that the chickens could walk about finding food because in the warm months we did not have the buy fed. But when they are free like that they poop on the cars, side walks, swing sets and everything else their butt is aimed at. It gets messy and yucky. So with my next batch of chickens my husband is making me a big fencend in area, it will be about the size of a school class room.

    -So what I want to know is is a cover really really important? Because to cover a fenced in area that size would cost a fortune. But I dont want a small fenced in area because I cant stand for them to be caged up like that. I want for them to have space.

    I more worried about the red tailed hawk that has been living in my woods the past year. Also I want to make sure the fencing is small enough that the baby chics cant get out and get eaten by my cats.

    -What if I partially cover the top so that the chickens can take cover under it, would that help?

    -Or does the hawk do a sneak attack from the air so that the chicken has no time to hide?

    -How in the world did they manage to keep chickens back in the old days before they had fencing?

    I want to have chickens again so bad, I have the space for them and could get some right now but I dont want the poop mess they make and finding their eggs when they are free like that is not easy.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: