Dog Run as Chicken Run... any precautions/recommendations?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chickiee, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Chickiee

    Chickiee Chillin' With My Peeps

    If we use a typical metal 10' x 10' (6' high with fencing top) dog run bumped up to the coop as a chicken run, are there any other precautions you would recommend to protect from predators? This would keep the farm cats, coyotes and hawks out (I think). We plan to move the coop (tractor) periodically/infrequently with this dog run too (if it's not too heavy). I don't think we would need to bury a barrier for those digging critters, would we? Chickens would be locked up at night.
    Thanks for any input!
  2. Rockyriver

    Rockyriver Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 15, 2012
    Heres my dog lot converted to chicken coop. It works great, make you some sort of roof.

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  3. TheBrumstead

    TheBrumstead Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2011
    Hobart, IN
    I have a 12x7 dog run as my chicken pen. I have a 4x4 coop inside. I put it together last August and (knock on wood) haven't had any problems. I just have bird netting on the top, but want to replace it with fencing at some point. The only thing I don't like is that they can stick their heads out to get grass.

  4. FeatherPainter

    FeatherPainter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2011
    Northern New York
    We used a run but put it againt a wall instead of putting it together. Now instead of ten x ten, it's ten x twenty. My 4 x 6 coop is inside of it.
  5. mb poultry

    mb poultry Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 10, 2012
    Southwest Virginia
    We use a dog lot for a run also, and have never had any problems with predators. We also close them in their house at night. Its going to get muddy, the best you can do. Ours is on a slight hill for drainage, and I learned that by elevating the low corner up on a brick; alot of the mud is washed away. Before I started elevating it, the chickens scratch(alot),and it would build up in the low corner, kind of bowl out the center, and make a mess. Nobody on here is going to tell you thats safe, and I only do it because my chicken run is in a safe location, away from any predators.I tried covering it, but eventually the mess builds up. the hillside drainage, elevated corner,and full sun has all but taken care of my problems, at least a day after the rains are over. If you can rotate it, you will be better off. Here are a couple of pics, I have two runs connected to my coops for an area of 600 sqft. The first pick shows the upper corner joining the coops, the second shows the low corner. You can see there is no grass even in this large of a run. The chickens are out for their weekly grazing.
  6. Chickiee

    Chickiee Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is all such great info! Thank you all so much and the pics are very very helpful! I love to see what others are doing that works/doesn't work. A lot of thought goes into this! :)
  7. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    They do work great, but have some drawbacks you need to be aware of. Rat's, weasels and similar predators can go right through the fencing. Raccoons and the like can climb them. Last summer I knew I had a possum going in my coop for the feed, one night I chased it out and watched it lay on it's back and wiggle through the gap at the bottom corner of the gate. And the digging under of course. I have seen it posted that strong animals like dogs can pull loose the wire were it attaches the chainlink to the frame. So depending on where you are those might be some areas to reinforce.
    I have seen them painted flat black so that they virtually disappear. I used the same chainlink panels as a floor and ceiling, and 8 years later they are all in good shape, no signs of age. I agree covering it is a good idea. I used those clear corrugated plastic panels.
  8. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    We're using the chain-link style panels for sides and top. It's not rat or mink-proof so I have to be sure that the coop is closed at dusk. The fencing is also not chick-proof so I'll need to add some hardware cloth around the bottom if I eventually have a broody in there.

    I want to mention that those panels are HEAVY. You could probably drag it with a tractor but I wouldn't call it "portable". I attached and buried some fencing around the perimeter because we have foxes and neighbor dogs and coyotes... so mine isn't going anywhere. Something has dug at one of the corners before and there are several places in the wire where holes are slightly stretched so I know critters have tried to get in. So far, no breeches.
  9. Chickiee

    Chickiee Chillin' With My Peeps

    So maybe we should plan on keeping it in place and sink something around the perimeter to keep those "diggers" out. Maybe putting poultry fencing with it would be a good idea. Thanks!!
  10. Brahmamama4

    Brahmamama4 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2010
    I also have my chickens in a dog run. It's 6x12 and we have a roof on top of it to keep the birds of prey out. We completely wrapped it in hardware cloth to keep raccoons from reaching in and rodents out. It's on top of a cement slab and has 6 inches of sand in the bottom. Good luck!

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