Dual runs


Aug 13, 2008
Ellijay, GA
I don't know where I got the idea (probably from here!) but I have been toying with the idea of building a new coop with dual runs - one on either side so that while the birds are in one area the other can recover foilage. Would this work? or do the birds kill everything too fast for this to be affective? I know it is used with goats and cattle, etc, but not sure if it does with chickens.


11 Years
May 30, 2008
pulaski wisconsin
it depends on the number of chickens and the amount of space..im thinking if you used a rather large amount of space for a small amount of chickens then it should work but...doesnt seem very feasible(sp?) to make it work...but if you had the materials and the time i dont see why not to try it out...


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
yeah, totally depends on the size area involved. Unless it is a LARGE LARGE area you're more likely to be just slowing the spiral down towards dirt rather than actually preventing it.

If you are considering reseeding, remember that newly seeded pasture has poor roots (= is extra vulnerable and weak) for the first YEAR, which is not terribly helpful vis a vis chicken pasture rotation, unfortunately.

You might instead consider having two areas, one of which is basically a sacrifice lot -- they always have access to it, and you take it for granted it will be trashed, and once it is trashed you put in some sand or sand and gravel or whatever to keep it in decent shape -- and the other is kept in grass/etc by carefully controlling how much time the chickens spend there. That way, they will always have SOME nice grassy vegetated area, although not as much access to it as they might like. You can either limit how much they're there per day, or perhaps better, run them in there for part of the day for some days until it starts to look a little raggedy and then you keep them out (penned in the other run) til it regrows.

Just food for thought,



In the Brooder
11 Years
May 17, 2008
near Sheridan, Oregon USA
Yes, it would much depend on the size of the runs, and the # of chickens using it.

For us, we created a two-sided house, with dual runs. Our thought was to use 1/2 for meat birds, and 1/2 for our laying flock. Our laying run is 50' x 16' and our fryer side is 50' x 6'. Our first chicks arrived near the end of July (we have 17 on the layer side and raised 15 on the fryer side), and both sides are devoid of any vegetation. The fryer side has been absent of chickens for about 3 weeks, and no recovery of note (and we live in Oregon, the greenest of green states for vegetation growth). We have 25 fryer chicks arriving this week, so it's not likely to have any vegetation for them. After this batch, it will be vacant until February or so.

So, I think unless you have a HUGE run size, or can really keep one side vacant and reseed (with ample growth time), it will be hard to actually maintain vegetation.

We supplement the chicken runs with LOTS of house and yard scraps/weeds/trimmings, and give them plenty to scratch through and eat, too.

That's our experience ... hope it helps. Good luck with your planning!

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