covering your run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Anny, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. Anny

    Anny Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    Right now my run is made out of an old chain link dog run (the panels are 6ftx6ft. )

    I have then set up so the run is 12ft x6ft. Then I Have two panels laying on top of the others to make a predator proof top to the run.

    I have one panel left over. (I got the fence for free)

    Next summer I want to make the run larger by making is at least 12ft by 12ft. But what can I use to cover the top? (I live in an area that gets snow so it has to be able to hold up snow. )
  2. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    In Michigan, we actually built a real roof over our run since we get a lot of snow. You can make a roof with shingles (like we did), or you can use the corrugated sheet metal or plastic. This material is strong, will hold up the snow, and allow it to slide off if you build the roof at an angle.
  3. Anny

    Anny Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    How would I attach that style of food to the chain link run? Would it have to be slanted?
  4. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Oh! I didn't realize you were going to continue using the chain link fence. I think you could probably attach the corrugated plastic to the chain link fence by drilling holes through it and running some sort of chain or wire through.
  5. notsooldmcdonald

    notsooldmcdonald Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Lempster, NH

    The 21st century's answer to duct tape.


  6. pawsplus

    pawsplus Songster

    Dec 18, 2008
    Middle TN
    Quote:If you want a cover that the snow can come THROUGH (like your chainlink cover on the other run), you can just use welded wire fencing. That's what I used. My run is 10x10, so I spliced together three 4' wide segments (with overlap), using wire. I wired the welded wire to the poles on the chainlink very securely (like every 4").

    For support, I put in a 4x4 post in the center -- it's actually not in the ground, just set on top of a concrete block -- and attached 2x4s out on 2 sides of that, running from the 4x4 (where they attach w/ L-brackets) to the chainlink (where they attach w/ those chainlink attachment thingies. This supports the wire.


    If you want a complete cover that keeps out rain and snow entirely, see the other thread I started. [​IMG]
  7. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    We found some awesome clear plastic roofing and set it at a slant. It works great! Fine with snow too.
  8. We too used corrugated clear vinyl, PalRUF brand. We modified the instructions and placed our roof joists 1' apart to take snow load and we installed 'hurricane hangers' for every one. We're on our tenth storm, and three have involved massive loads of wet snow- all is well!
    Then after the second storm of 2008, we added some snow boards to reduce the need for shovelling. Seems predator-proof too.

    Scroll to the bottom of this page to see the roof construction. Worth every cent- makes keeping chickens a joy...
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  9. bills

    bills Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    Why not a combination of things. You could use the welded wire, or chicken wire, over part of the run, and then have a proper roof over the remainder. This way you don't have to build such a large roof. 12' X 12' is a pretty large area to cover without an elaborate, and costly, support structure that can take the snow weight. The chickens will then still have an area to get out of the rain/snow.
    This is what I did.

    The chickens have access to the large open outer run, (when I want), as well as a smaller covered run for the rainy/snowy days. Since I lock the hens in the coop at night, I didn't even bother covering the large outer run with netting or fencing. There is a chance that a hawk or eagle may swoop in during the day, but the location of trees/buildings around the run limit their swooping in tactics.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  10. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    Don't rely on the chainlink piping to support any roof or snow load. It has little strength beyond supporting itself. If you build a solid cover, support it with adequate posts to the ground and horizontal framing as if the chainlink run didn't exist.

    Look at the threads here of runs that collapsed because people simply put tarps across a run and were astonished that they had rain, snow and ice build up and crash down. Don't plan to make yourself another winter victim.


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