Dog kennel to chicken run on a budget...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jess_yip84, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. jess_yip84

    jess_yip84 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 9, 2011
    Pollock Pines
    Hi All! I'm new to BYC, and am hoping to find some advice here... I have an extremely critter proof chicken coop, but am in the process of trying to add on an exterior run for my girls. I live in a region that has plenty of predators interested in my girls, and have a chain link dog kennel handy for conversion. Can anyone guide me in the right direction of making this safe against foxes and raccoons? I know that I need to add a roof to the kennel... but also need this roof to be capable of handling a snow load... suggestions??? Thanks in advance!
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don't know how wide a span you are trying to cover. The wider it is, the more load on it. Snow and especially ice can load up a wire or fencing roof as well as a solid roof, so you have to figure snow and ice load for wire too.

    If you put a flat roof on there, it will leak. I don't know of any feasible way to make a flat roof that won't leak unless you can use a solid sheet of some material. I like a solid roof for shade even if it leaks, but the snow and ice load can get pretty high if yoou have much of a span. You need decent support, which gets expensive.

    Foxes and raccoons can both climb, so yes you need a top on it to stop them. No matter how predator-proof you think the run is, I still recommend locking them in the coop at night. It can be done, but it is harder to make a run truly predator proof than a coop, especially a run of any size.

    On a budget, I'd give real strong consideration to using 2" x 4" welded wire up there, maybe 14 gauge. Snakes, rats, some members of the weasel family can get through that, but it will stop foxes, raccoons, and other large predators except maybe a bear. It's real hard to keep snakes, rats and some weasels out anyway, so depend on your coop for them. I'd use wire to attach it. Not plastic zip ties or anything plastic because that will deteriorate over time, and not that long a time either. You could cut lengths and attach the wire at single points to the top of the kennel, but I would use a long length of wire and wrap it continuously in a spiral.

    You will probably have to splice strips of the wire together to get a continuous cover. The fencing probably won't come in a wide enough section to cover it all. You can use wire, hog rings, or C-clips to splice the wire fencing. If you have the spans I think you do, this top should hold up to snow and ice and be about as inexpensive as anything I can come up with.

    Good luck!
  3. luvmy33chicks

    luvmy33chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2011
    Long Island
    we did the same thing
    we used treated 4x4 posts across the top
    they were cheaper than 2x4
    we then stapled garden fencing over it
    and buried chicken wire along the bottom so nothing dug in
    inside the run where the gate is i placed bricks so if anything dug from underneath the brick would fall on its head
    i will try to get some pictures up for you but it is raining here
    as soon as i can i will do the pictures
    i then covered the top with a tarp from walmart and placed a piece of wood under it on the run roof so it has a steep angle
    no water has collected on it so the snow should (fingers crossed) slide right off
  4. lilchick

    lilchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    I use the dog kennel panels for my chicken and call duck pens also. Use netting over the top to keep out hawks during the day. I DO lock everything up at night.

    I don't worry about digging or climbing critters in the daytime since all is right in my backyard and have 2 dogs on duty.

    One a.m. I have found where a fox tried to dig under a panel but was unable to dig enough to go under. I used stone for the pens and around outer edges also.

    The coons will walk the netting at night and slip thru the corners or a weak place where it is attached to panels. They leave their little muddy paw prints as evidence on the panels!

    My opinion is that it is not worth the risk of leaving their coops open at night.
  5. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    RR has it pretty much nailed shut. Just for me I would never never leave my coop open at night. I have a AKC dog kennel panels I made my run out of. It turned out 15X15 but it's not covered. I do have my coop predator proof, that is unless something eats through the walls. No cracks anywhere. A cover over the run and snow load I will just stay out of. Not enough snow here to concern myself with.

    Best of luck with the finished product. The girls need to be safe.[​IMG]

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