dumb run question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bungalow10, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. bungalow10

    bungalow10 Out Of The Brooder

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    DH and I built our coop (actually refurb'd an old dog house). It has a front door that opens to a little ramp, and the roof opens for cleaning and gathering eggs (I know not ideal to approach from the top, but funds are limited). It will sit on four cinder blocks.

    My question is about the run. We plant to use hardware cloth for top, bottom, and sides (please comment if you have other suggestions). Do we make the run just high enough for the girls... about 3', or do we make it tall enough for a person to go in with them? Do we need a gate for us to get in, or is it possible to rely on accessing the chickens through their coop if we need to?

    Also, we want to make a little portable run as well, that we can move around the yard (urban, two small kids to true free-ranging won't be safe for the feathered ladies). Does that need a top as well, and what would the recommended side height be?
     
  2. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    I would make the permanent run tall enough for a person to get in. You'll want to clean it, put things in it, get a chicken out, get stray laid eggs out etc. Our run is actually a bunch a of dog kennel sections with wire and a top on it. I can enter via the kennel gate.

    The portable run doesn't need to be tall, as long as you can move it to get things out that shouldn't be there [​IMG]
     
  3. bungalow10

    bungalow10 Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:When you say "dog kennel sections", do you mean like chain link fence? Do you find that the wires are close enough together to keep the chickens safe?
     
  4. GAchick

    GAchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think dog kennel fence (or chain link, or cyclone fencing, whatever you call it) is secure enough. My DS just made two tractors from chain link fence scraps, but the holes are WAY too big. So he lined the inside of it with hardware cloth, about 18 inches up. And for my own peace of mind, we will probably go all the way over the top. (They are half-circular tubes, with shelter on one end, and a door on the other. With a skirt of chicken wire all around.) Right now these are only used in the daytime, to let the 5 week olds out of the brooder during the daytime. They still come in at night.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
  5. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    We ran chicken wire along the inside bottom of the fence, so it's wire about 3' up, and aproned into the run. We don't have much of an issue out here with predation other than hawks, so the top is covered with netting.

    KINDA can see part of the run (they are out ranging outside of it):
    [​IMG]

    Far pic:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    If you use dog kennel panels, it would be best to wrap smaller wire around the bottom 24 inches or so of it. And you would need to make sure the chickens are shut inside the coop each night, as just about any nighttime predator can easily climb chainlink for a nighttime snack. Taller runs are easier to clean and maintain, because you can go right in to reach whatever you need. If you do a really low run, you might need to make the top removeable, or hinged maybe, so that you can clean, or reach a chicken, or whatever. You don't want to have to be crawling around on the ground to do that.
     
  7. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    And honestly, if I could afford to put hardware cloth all around, I would. However, we didn't have the funds at the time, and made do with what we had. [​IMG] It's worked out well for us.
     
  8. bungalow10

    bungalow10 Out Of The Brooder

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    It's pouring here today, so I have a few days to think about this.

    Right now I'm leaning towards a hinged top on a 3' high run, but I'll have to run it by DH and do lots more reading.

    Still open to thoughts, suggestions!
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
  9. kittycooks

    kittycooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a four foot high coop and a six foot high run. If I were to build the coop again I would make it taller too as I have to stoop and crawl to clean it. I also recommend the run be high enough to stand in. Think about your rain today - you wouldn't want to do daily chores standing in the rain and allowing your birds to get wet when you open the top. Another thing to consider is that birds jump and fly pretty high. If you open up a 3 foot run they will hop out in an instant.

    Your chicken tractor could certainly be 3 feet tall. I hope to make one of those soon too!
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
  10. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    If you go with a short run with hinged top, I'd go a little shorter than 3 ft, unless you and hubby are pretty tall. To help decide height, find something, a baby gate or piece of furniture, and try leaning over it to reach the floor on the other side. Pretend you're trying to catch a chicken or scoop out a raked up pile of poo. Maybe 24 - 30 inches would be more doable???
     

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