Do you need to cover chicken run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LegHorn-BusHorn, May 30, 2009.

  1. LegHorn-BusHorn

    LegHorn-BusHorn Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Near STL mo
    My chicks are about 8 weeks old and we are in the process of making them a run. We are going to make it 4 feet high. It will not be covered but they will not be out at night only during the day. I was hoping that would be sufficent or does it need to be higher or covered? Thank you.[​IMG]
  2. chilling in muscadine

    chilling in muscadine { I love being disfunctual }

    Jun 8, 2008
    muscadine, al.
    Yes cover the run. The chicks will eventually be able to fly over the fence and four foot high is plenty high enough. The main problem you will run into is hawks and other predators getting your chicks. You get so attached to these little fellas and it will brake your heart if something happens to them.

  3. lunkerchicken

    lunkerchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree, cover the run with something. I have 3/4 of mine covered with a corrugated plastic which gives it some protection against the elements and then the rest is chicken wire to prevent those pesky predators from the air from getting any crazy ideas. I had a hawk perched on a tree next to the coop all morning plotting but to no avail, not unless he got his claws on some bolt cutters!!!
    [​IMG] from Cape Cod, MA! This site is awesome - you will be glad you joined! Welcome aboard.
  4. LegHorn-BusHorn

    LegHorn-BusHorn Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Near STL mo
    thanks, I am in a pretty heavily wooded area and haven seen any hawks.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    A thing to remember is that it only takes *one* hawk, or (equally likely) loose dog, and you could be down to just a few piles of feathers.

    Also most chickens are perfectly capable of flying over a 4' fence... whether they DECIDE to or not is another matter, but that can't be predicted in advance, only retrospectively as you are chasing your now-loose chickens, or a raccoon is eating them.

    If you are good with that possibility then that is totally fine; I'm just saying, don't decide to leave the run open-topped under some illusion that there is no threat involved. Browse some threads in the "Predators and Pests" section of BYC to see what I mean.

    Good luck whichever you decide,

    Last edited: May 30, 2009
  6. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would. Some of our hens made it over 6 feet and we had to put some chicken wire out. (One was a bantam and when he got over, a hawk came cloe to getting her. Our roo also, luckily, made it over and faught the bird off.)

    Also, hawks and other predatory birds won't have a big problem snatching a few babies. We let our birds out for partial free range and haven't lost ANY to predators. 2 years later and the gang's all here. And I know the covered run has a little something to do with it.
  7. chilling in muscadine

    chilling in muscadine { I love being disfunctual }

    Jun 8, 2008
    muscadine, al.
    Even if you havent seen a hawk you still need to cover your run. Chickens are easy prey for so many different predators and trust me you will lose your birds without the cover. Take the advise, its much better to have your birds alive than to find a pile of feathers or you bird lying there dead without a head or not find it at all. You don't want your heart broke like so many people on this forum have had happen.

    I have had a hawk come down after a biddies that was with its mom free ranging and I was within maybe three feet of them. There wasn't a thing I could do at that moment.

    Patandchickens had excellent advise about reading through the predators and pest section. After doing this you will cover your run.
  8. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Quote:That predator section scares the bejesus out of me. It's a good taste of reality - and a great way to learn from other's misfortune so that you hopefully won't have to endure the pain yourself.

    4 ft. isn't very high. I'd cover it, and consider making it a little taller so that you can get inside without hurting yourself. My run is covered with tin and not only does it keep the chickens safer, but the run is so much drier (I don't worry about the chooks when it rains) and it sounds great in the rain. It's all win.
  9. Emzyyy

    Emzyyy Runs with Deer

    Jul 14, 2008
    Derby Kansas
    YES! I had the same mistake and the hawk took advantage of my mistake and cats.
  10. g_a_brand

    g_a_brand Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    Debert, Nova Scotia
    on this subject, We are still in the planing stage for our coop and run, I would love to have our run with 3 of our fir trees in it for shade, any ideas on how I can cover our run and include the trees and keep other critters out ( hubby is not sure of my idea of holes cut out for the trees with a rubber ring around the trees into the netting)[​IMG]

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