1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Does my chicken run need a top? help please

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dpayne, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. dpayne

    dpayne New Egg

    Apr 18, 2009

    I am new to keeping chickens, i have just built a chicken house and am now going to build the run, i am not sure if the run needs to have a top if i lock chickens in their house at night or does the run need a top to stop the chickens getting over the sides? if it didnt need a top how high would the sides need to be?

    any help most aprreciated

  2. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    First [​IMG] Second I put a top on mine. 1. so I don't have to clip their wings. 2. predator proofing

    I used deer netting that i got for 14.99 at menards. It works great and i only used a third of it. So if I do need to replace it i have extra.
  3. dpayne

    dpayne New Egg

    Apr 18, 2009
    thank you, is it bad to clip their wings? i live in england so animals we would get would be foxes, i also have a cat? do you knwo if my cat woud be ok with the chickens? thanks
  4. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    I do not have a top. We have fox, raccoon, coyotes, badgers, owls, hawks and cats!! The cats are in the run often to see what goodies the chickens are eating. I have never had a problem with my cats. We have 9 outdoor cats and 27 chickens.

    As far as height, ours is 6ft tall. However we have a ladder roost that gets them 3 feet from the top and none of them have ever tried to escap! Maybe I have lazy chickens!! Our intent was to put a top on it, we just haven't yet. Thankfully we have had no issues. I do lock them in the coop every night and go flying out the door if I see a hawk outside!

    For peace of mind you may want to, but I don't think its necesary. I do have a friend who came home to a huge owl in her coop having a late night snack. She had gotten home late and walked in to her dark coop to find a visitor!
  5. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    It's not bad to clip their wings there are actually a couple of posts on here that teach you step by step. Just do a search for them.. I don't just because i'm lazy... [​IMG] lol.. The cats I would only worry about with chicks Most big chickens can hold there own... The foxes definite problem. You really need to have a good fence covered and a solid coop.. Foxes can squeeze into anything really.. So no gaps or holes some folks even bury fencing around their coop and run. Or do a skirt of fencing 18 to 20 inches from the bottom of run.. Hope that helps ..
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009
  6. emilyweck

    emilyweck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Eugene, Oregon
    Welcome! I am wondering about the wing clipping, too. Do you have hawks, owls.....? I think that a top would predator proof you run from those guys. They are a real threat where I live so I put a top on mine. It's piece of mind for me when I'm away.
  7. funkychicken

    funkychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2008
    East Texas
    I have a roof to my run...welded wire fencing...also I have a cat ...he has been exposed to the gals since they were chicks...he understands that they are family and seems to like to lounge around the coop/run if they are in and will watch over them when they are out in the yard...he is not your typical cat I guess but he is old and wise and the girls seem to appreciate his watchful eye.
  8. dpayne

    dpayne New Egg

    Apr 18, 2009
    hey we dont have any hawks or anything like that here, if you put a lid on do you need to lock them in their house at night? i am thinking that if you have to do that anyway then thay may not need a top no bird prey? oo so confusing
  9. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    I think it's more what you are comfortable with... I don't shut my girls up and my nieghbors don't want my chickens in their yard.. So i covered mine... I think this falls back on personal preferences..
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Where on earth do you live that has no hawks? I do not think any such place exists except on an ocean liner in the middle of the ocean [​IMG] I can essentially guarantee you DO have hawks, even if you've never *noticed* any. They will notice your chickens though...

    The other big daytime predator is loose dogs. Loose dogs can get over lots of fences if they see/smell chickens on the other side, and tend to devastate a flock.

    if you put a lid on do you need to lock them in their house at night?

    I would. It is a whole lot safer. OTOH if yo don't mind taking the attitude of 'oh well, time to get more chickens' and are comfortable with the risk, certainly there is no *requirement*.

    Good luck, have fun, welcome to BYC,


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by