Designing a run; need advice

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CT, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. CT

    CT Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 19, 2010
    Great Lakes
    Hi all,
    I'm working on my run, which will be 15x15', with one wall being the cinderblock exterior of my barn. That gives me 45' to fence in, less the door. The wall is 6' tall, which is tall enough for me to walk in if I make the fence to match the height, or I could make it a bit taller, and just bridge the gap down to the gutter of the barn.

    My questions, to start, are:
    Is a galvanized 14-gauge heavy duty utility fence with openings measuring 4 inches high by 2 inches wide a good material for the fencing? What if I use that for the top 3' and a .5" hardware cloth for the bottom 3 feet? I see sometimes folks line utility fence with chicken wire. Why?
    Are 2x4" posts sufficient, or should I get 4x4"s? How deeply should I bury them?
    Any great ideas for connecting my fence to the wall? How does one attach anything to cinderblocks?
    What material makes a good top? I'm got to keep out hawks. Racoons probably not out during the hours the chickens will be in they yard, but I don't mind being extra cautious if I can afford it.
  2. Quote:**galv 14 gauge is fine. People use something smaller at the bottom 18" or more to keep very young ones in mainly. I have 14 gauge 2x4 that was left over from another fence and some left over chicken wire on top at the bottom just because I had some extra.
    **I would go as tall as you can now and bridge the gap
    **4x4 posts def. and you need to go below your local frost line so they dont heave up from ground freezing. I recommend a min. of 14 inches though even in warmer weather. I went 18
    **pop a hole in cinder block with small screwdriver and hammer, then use big toggle bolts (just ask at the hardware store) (dont try to put hole in center of block, it is not hollow there)
  3. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    Our run is between the coop and the back of our 1932 wood frame, concrete foundation barn. In building the run, we discovered that the footings for the barn come out some 32" away from the wall! So, that's where I sunk my 4x4's, 25" deep (that's as far as I could go before hitting rock, and I'll be jiggered if they're going to come out of their concrete footings!). I'm in Illinois, our frost line is 36", so foundations need to be that deep. This isn't a foundation for a structure - it's a fence. So an 8' 4x4, sunk 25" deep comes out to a little less than a 6' tall fence. (Yes, 'technically' the 36" footing is required for a fence, but I wasn't going to rent an auger just for this!) If my fence heaves from frost next spring, I'll know I need to dig deeper!

    To attach the fence to the wall, I took a 2x4, placed flat on the barn wall, wrapped the wire around the 2x4 completely, and screwed through the 2x4 into the framing for the barn. I know they make sinkers for cinderblocks and concrete - check at your local hardware store. For areas that we couldn't do that technique, I extended the wire 16" from the corner of the fence and attached with 1" staples. (To coop wall, no framing where I needed it to be!)

    We used 14 gauge 4"x2" horse fencing for the top section (60" tall, so it comes to about 6-14" from the ground), then used 1/2" hardware cloth buried as deep as I could dig a trench and up to meet the horse fencing. So depending on where the fence is (and the ground, which isn't level or flat), some of the fence has only about a 12" overlap and some has more like 20" overlap. Never knew how crooked my backyard was before building this thing!

    I put posts 10' apart (worked better for us mathematically for size of space) except at the corner which are 8' apart.

    I'd take pictures for you if you need 'em - just ask. Seems to work, as none of the pullets or cockeral have gotten out!
  4. frost line in the great lakes area is 42 inches. I have been to the NW territories in Canada and have never seen frozen ground deeper than 30 inches though. I think you will be fine with 24"-30"
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  5. CarolynF

    CarolynF Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2011
    Puget Sound
    My Coop
    I did the 3' hardware cloth and 3' 2"x4" wire on the top, overlaped and wired together. I also put 2"x4" over the top. I used it for the skirting, too, and also about 3" below the dirt under the entire run.. At the edge of the run I bent that wire up and secured it to the fencing. I don't want anything digging from below. Since you're is much bigger than mine doing that would be over kill for you. But a wide skirt would definitely be a good idea. Don't forget to do the area in front of the door, and at the corners too. 2x4 posts are fine.

    Good Luck, that's a nice big area!
  6. CT

    CT Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 19, 2010
    Great Lakes
    Thanks everyone.

    So...if I build 7' tall, do utility fence all around, over the top, and as a 24" skirt all around, a low lining of chicken wire (to keep the little ones in) all around, and hardware cloth on the door, using remnants of anything except chicken wire to bridge the gap from gutter to top of fence, I think my material list would look like this:

    2 10' 4x4s (corners opposite wall. do I need more posts than that?)
    2 10' 2x4s (against wall)
    4 15' (do they make 'em that long?) 2x4s to frame the top (does that even need a frame? maybe an X across corners would be better? that would be--uh--4 pieces approx 11' long joined the the middle. seriously, am I doing this right?)
    extra lumber to frame doorway
    screen door (I have a few disused ones in the garage)
    215' utility fence (36" wide)
    6-7' hardware cloth (36" wide) for door
    45' chicken wire
    remnants to cover 1x15' gap from gutter to top of fence

    In short, yes, pictures would be lovely, LIG! and anyone else who wants to kick in wisdom. I wasn't born to build.


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