Creating a run, help please.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by littlelune810, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2015
    Washington State
    I have been researching, deliberating, and changing my mind a few hundred times since October. This is my first time as an adult having my own chickens. Had em growing up. Anyway, our house is on 1/4 acre just outside of city limits. We will be getting 4 hens in February. Initially I wanted to build The Garden Coop because of its attached and covered run (rainy area of Washington state), but since we are renting I think it would be best to build something more "moveable." Also our neighbors have hens and their run is not covered. So I have decided - hopefully finally- to build a free standing 4x4 hen house. The hen house will be secure and predator proof, Im not worried in that area. The run, which will enclose the hen house, Im thinking to make from 5 foot t posts and chicken wire. I know, I know - hardware cloth is best but Ive been given a whole roll of chicken wire for free, since they will only be in the run during the day and secure in their little house at night this should be ok? They will have shelter from rain underneath the hen house or they could of course go back inside. I was thinking to make the run abo it 10x6 or so. Do you experienced chicken people think this is sufficient? Thanks!
  2. Bridebeliever

    Bridebeliever Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think it's sufficient, and as much as you have been reading I think you probably have it figured out! There's so much guessing the first time! I know how you feel. Just remember, predators hunt during the day too. Unless you will always be there I would get the hardware cloth! Sorry! I live in Washington too. I have had an owl IN MY COOP already! Luckily I got there in time. It was DAYTIME! Hawks are another thing to watch out for. But Raccoons also hunt in the daytime. This falls into "things I've learned since owning chickens".

    Beware of chicken math! This is the BIGGEST problem, and regretting the size of the coop when 4 chickens become me, it happens! We were getting 6 chicks. It turned into 9 and then I added 1 more. Yesterday I got another! And in April (I already have them on order) I am getting 7 more! Any possibility you could go larger on the coop? Especially since they may hang out in there more because of the rain. My chickens REALLY don't like the rain and spend the whole day in the coop when its yucky out. Their coop is 8x17 and they free range during the day.
  3. GodofPecking

    GodofPecking Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2015
    Its good, but you can never have enough minions for your evil empire. Build it, and then you can build another one :)

    How will you move it when you move house ? Base the size on the way that you move, like if it is a trailer, base it on the size of the trailer, or the roof of the car and so on. Otherwise it's say 2.2 meters square to fit into the moving van which will always be the maximum legal width of 2.5 which is the width of a shipping container which is the same worldwide.
    1 person likes this.
  4. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2015
    Washington State

    What can I do for predators from the air? As far as chicken math, Im already feeling it. I want muscovy ducks now too! And maybe Indian Runners!!! And later goats!! Haha! BUT as renters and since this is our first year getting into this, I have come to terms with the fact that we have to start small and keep it small at least for this year.
  5. Maga

    Maga New Egg

    Jan 8, 2016
    Always go larger. I am planning to buy more chickens in the Spring to bring my brood up to 12. I only wanted 2, bought 6, gave the roosters away, have 4 and want more! I love hearing the hens cackle whenever that egg appears. They all get into it. I live in Utah where it's been -34 and the hens have done well. I have Rhode Island Reds and one Leg Horn. I won't get leg horns again, but stick with the RIRs. Love the eggs!
    So in the Spring, when I can dig in the ground, I'm expanding the run to 8X20 and adding another coop and remodeling it to hook up with the existing coop.
    I put a roof on the run to keep the straw dry and the chickens don't have to walk in mud.
    Lots happening in 2016!!!
  6. Bridebeliever

    Bridebeliever Chillin' With My Peeps

    On the top of your run you can run fishing wire back and forth in a zig zag and then hang things (like CDs) from it so the Hawks see they don't have a clear flight area to get at them.
  7. Bridebeliever

    Bridebeliever Chillin' With My Peeps

    I didn't mean to say fishing wire, I meant fishing line.
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Certain larger animals can tear chicken wire. They really can. But many smaller predators cannot. Is chicken wire the best possible wire to use for a run? No, it’s not. Yet it will still add a lot to your level of protection. If you want a run even safer than a hardware cloth run, electrify it. If you do that properly you can stop anything.

    It doesn’t take much to stop flying predators. Chicken wire, bird netting, deer netting, lots of stuff will work. But they won’t stop a climbing predator. Still, they offer a lot of additional protection. A lot of us use the philosophy of building a predator resistant run for daytime use when the risk is smaller and a predator proof coop at night when the danger is higher.

    One problem you will have is that you will need to get in the run occasionally. It’s really nice to be able to stand up. You might look at taller T-posts so you can stand up in there.
  9. HiddenFlockEC

    HiddenFlockEC Out Of The Brooder

    Chicken math is right, go bigger then you think you currently need. I went with the "Bella" 4x4 design from and am wishing now that I would have gone larger.
    Since I plan on increasing my flock size this spring with 2 EE if I can source any local. Oh well, guess I make another coop this spring.
  10. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2015
    Washington State

    How many do you have in uour 4x4 coop?

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