Covering outdoor run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SewingMom, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. SewingMom

    SewingMom Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 26, 2010
    Yesterday I saw 2 large hawks circling above my chicken run and I got kind of nervous. Today I fenced in a much smaller area for them so I could put a cover on it. It's probably 6x8. I tried putting chicken wire on the top but it's sagging in. I'm not sure how to support the center. Is there something better than chicken wire that I could use for the top that will let sunshine in but keep the hawks out or would you have any suggestions on supporting the center of it?

    Also, if I make it strong enough to keep nighttime predators out, I can leave the coop door open at night so they can go outside as soon as they wake up and not wait for me to come open it for them which I'm sure they'd enjoy [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  2. spotstealer

    spotstealer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is what I did. Hawks were my biggest concern also. You can mount the frame on the ground also. I still have some wire to fill in.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011
  3. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you are not fighting coons and such, use deer netting or fruit tree netting. If you're throwing over a tarp for shade , use long sticks or poles with a tennis ball on the end to prevent punctures
     
  4. georgiagail

    georgiagail Chillin' With My Peeps

    What we did (using hardware cloth):

    [​IMG]

    Gail
     
  5. SewingMom

    SewingMom Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 26, 2010
    Wow, those are great!
    I'll have to see if my local Farm and Fleet carries the deer netting or hardware cloth. I do have lots of weed block fabric left over from gardening - would that work? It would be kind of shady but maybe that's not such a bad thing. The chickens would only be in the covered run during the times I'm not out there with them.

    I do have some PVC pipe that I could use over the top like you did but I'm not sure how I'd attach it. The fenced area is just t-posts and garden fencing (the kind with rectangular squares) so there isn't a stable top bar. I might try improvising something though - maybe drilling some holes in the end of the pvc pipe to see if I can secure it onto the fence with fencing wire or something and then using some pipes to stand up in the middle with tennis balls on top.

    Thanks for the great ideas!

    Oh and I think I underestimated the size - it's more like 12 x 14.
     
  6. navychick

    navychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2011
    People are so innovative and resourceful. I am impressed.
     
  7. spotstealer

    spotstealer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Poynette, WI
    I modified a "PVC green house design. If you do a search for "DIY PVC Greenhouse", you'll find some samples that might work for you. I used 1" PVC and a heavy duty tarp to snow proof it as well as offer shade and rain protection. It cost me less than 100 bucks for the complete run.
     
  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    But do keep in mind that deer netting, bird netting, and chicken wire will NOT keep out raccoons. So I would highly recommend that you continue to close up your pop door at night. Or look into buying an auto door w/a timer. Now if you went with the hardware cloth, or some other strong wire, you'd most likely be able to leave the door open at night with no losses (assuming there are no gaps in your run).
     
  9. SewingMom

    SewingMom Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 26, 2010
    The chicken wire won't keep out racoons??
    Well shoot. Maybe I should just use the bird netting for now and then later I can upgrade and get a proper covering.
    I have goats and will be milking in 2 weeks so I have to go out there 2x a day anyway so I guess I'm not saving myself much trouble am I [​IMG]
     
  10. Schwartzfarmnc

    Schwartzfarmnc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2010
    West Jefferson
    [​IMG]

    We decided for peace of mind to cover our run with the clear plastic panels, but it may not be what your looking for.
     

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