Covered Run

creekmedic1034

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 20, 2013
21
1
24
I don't know whether to post this in here or on the predator thread so I will give it a try here. We are expecting our first little ones on the 15th of May and with their arrival comes building the coop. The coop isn't the problem I can build that, thanks to browsing all the wonderful pictures on here. I am torn between doing a covered run or an open fenced in yard. I am planning on giving them some places to hide from aerial attacks if I do the open yard idea, and I don't anticipate any problems from racoons during the daytime hours. My problem is that our neighbor LOVES to operate a stray cat hotel. She feeds them and they invite their friends. Tonight I counted 6 of them hanging around her house. They get into our garbage, we are going to build the coop on the other side of the house and I have yet to see one over there, It is only a matter of time before the discover them. If I go with the open yard concept the fince would be 5 feet high, or should I just go the safe route and build a covered run. Looking for help, anyone had this dilemma?
 

SA Farm

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 11, 2013
3,688
611
436
Ontario, Canada
If you build your five foot fence, build the top foot or so so it's slanted outwards. Cats won't jump up something if they can't see over it.
 

Mtn Laurel

Songster
8 Years
May 18, 2012
1,534
201
216
Northern Virginia
My Coop
My Coop
I'm thinking you will eventually want at least a portion of the run covered. You'll want it for both predators and for weather. Rain can make the run a mess and my girls hate to go out if it's pouring and they totally refuse to go out in snow. With at least a portion of the run covered, they'll be able to get out in the rain/snow and not be up to their wings in mud.

We're getting ready to build a run and plan that at least the area next to the coop will be fully covered and the rest of the run top will be covered with some sort of wire fencing to keep out predators.
 

marty1248

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 29, 2013
13
1
22
Long Island
I just got my first chicks a few weeks ago and within minutes of putting them in their pen for the first time... Both of the neighbors outdoor cats came for a visit. The run is 6 foot high, but since the neighbor bordering the other side has an outdoor cat prowling about, and on day 2 outside Mr. Hawk came for a visit, I decided to cover the run. You can see the pics of my setup in the "pictures and stories" section. Good luck!
 

marty1248

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 29, 2013
13
1
22
Long Island
That is to say i have a similar setup as mtnlaurel, the whole run is covered with chicken wire, and a 10x10 section where the coop is, covered by a landscaping tarp for now, until I can figure out something more permanent.
 

creekmedic1034

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 20, 2013
21
1
24
The more I think about it I do believe I am just going to cover the run, I know I will be worrying all the time. Any ideas on what to cover the top with, poultry fencing gets awfully expensive.
 

marty1248

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 29, 2013
13
1
22
Long Island
We were also very worried, there are definitely raccoons as well as the cats and hawks. The chicken wire was $$, I used right around 100ft, 2- 50 ft. rolls @$42.ea, and a [email protected], (I forget), but that's around a $100, and time consuming but well worth the piece of mind. We have made a decent investment just getting started and we would hate to see our chicks hurt or dead just to save a few bucks( they are already part of our family, we love them!) In the long run it will be worth it. On the down side, a friend told me the roof will collect leaves and snow. Good luck again
 

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