Do your chickens have access to the run whenever they want?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by stone_family3, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    Putting the finishing touches on my coop and starting my run. Guess I'm wondering if you all close off your run area at night or let them do as they please.

    The run when finished is a 10' x 10' chain link pen. Will be seven inches underground with a layer of wire mesh then dirt, sand and gravel. Going to cover the panels with wire mesh and then make a wire mesh frame for the top (it's 6' high). It will be bolted to the coop.
  2. HighNDryFarm

    HighNDryFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2011
    Paradise, CA
    We have a completely, hardware cloth covered area directly off the coop so that I don't have to let them out so early. They want out earlier then I want to let them out so this buys me some sleep....well, except that the roo doesn't go in at night (sleeps in the tree above the coops) and he crows like crazy in the morning because he wants them out! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  3. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    LOL, my roo isn't crowing yet but man he sure is a chatter box, especially when he's not getting his way.
  4. Capvin

    Capvin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2011
    Lake Placid, FL
    I have a run that is covered with an Ondura roof and is completely enclosed with hardware cloth with a 36 inch apron and I leave the pop door open and let my chicks come and go ans they want. Sorry, but with a chain link fence I would not do that. I do not think that chain link is predator proof in any sense.
  5. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    My old coop's run had 1" x 2" galvanized mesh, 7' tall (we were going to put a roof on it, but never did). It didn't have any kind of a skirt or any mesh buried. So I'd lock them in the coop overnight.

    My current coop's run has 1/2" hardware cloth, with 2" x 4" galvanized mesh for the roof. It also has 1/2" mesh buried 6" down. I've left the run open 24/7 ever since last August and have had no predator problems whatsoever. I've not even seen any sign of digging (probably just lucky though).
  6. ChickiKat

    ChickiKat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2011
    Eastern Kansas
    Ours are able to come and go as they please as far as the coop and run. The run is huge since we cannot let them truly "free" range due to local dogs. But they come and go in the coop as they like. When I go out to sit with them I have one Sebright that loves when I open the coop door. She runs up the ramp across the coop and jumps out the door, she will keep doing this as long as I am out there with the door open..... [​IMG]
  7. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    Quote:That's why I'm going to cover the chainlink fence in hardwire cloth and bury it.
  8. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I close the coop when they go up at night and open it up at dawn. It's just in my backyard so it's easy for me though...
  9. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes. And no. My husband designed the famous "chunnel" pictured below so they can go back and forth from the coop to the run during the day. But we close the trap door at night - they don't want to be out there at night anyway, the coop stays warmer, and I don't want any unnecessary exposure to nocturnal critters.

  10. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    Mine didn't when the run had an open top. This summer, I strung leftover 2x4 welded wire fencing over the top and threw a scrap piece of plywood up there and have left the pop door open 24/7 since. The run itself is 2x4 welded wire with chicken wire around the bottom. I know full well that it is far from predator proof. In fact, with the "roof" I have over the run right now it probably won't even slow a hungry predator down much if any. But I live in town with two large dogs that go out in the back yard at random times of the day, so I feel that the risk is worth the peace it brings my flock to have access to the run 24/7 (our coop is definitely not big enough, we were having a horrible problem with feather picking that has since almost completely vanished). Still, we just bought lumber to build a roof on the run that is actually predator proof.

    BTW Bawkbawkbawk, I LOVE the "chunnel!" Very cool.

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