Economic run ideas please

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Krysstyllanthrox, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. Krysstyllanthrox

    Krysstyllanthrox Songster

    Jan 27, 2008
    Price is very much an issue for me right now. Money is so tight that I can make a penny scream. I've got the coop itself taken care of thanks to some free pallets that I can tear apart and use as materials.

    I'm running into issues with the run. Ideally I would like to keep 4 hens in a run large enough to stand in, a door for access, and play sand for ease of cleanup. They will not be allowed to free range as we are in the city (so we can't) and I just don't like the idea of it.

    The options I've thought of so far are:

    1. Buy a chain-link 10x6 dog kennel. Cons: The kennel itself is pricey. Then it has to be secured with hardware cloth, a roof, etc. which will also be pricey.

    2. 8ft tall metal T-posts and hog panels. Cons: Materials may not be that pricey but the run still would need to be secured against predators and would need a roof. I would also have to figure out how to put in a door for cleaning everything out.

    3. Landscape timbers for a frame with chicken wire/hardware cloth combo stapled to the frame. Cons: At least $75 in just the landscape timbers alone. Would also have to buy a door and the chicken wire/hardware cloth.

    Should I just bite the bullet and realize that a run built the way I want (door, large enough to stand in, etc) is going to cost me $300, if not more? Or should I build a smaller, shorter run that I could let the girls out of while I clean it?

    I'm a planner by nature, and cheap by design. I won't actually get my chickens until I have everything ready for them. But due to funding issues I cannot spend a lot on the chicken facilites at a time.

    Ideas, please.
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I think you already have great ideas. I would suggest using Craigslist or Freecycle to find whatever materials you decide to use. That can save you a bundle of money. I just got a roll of 2x4 welded wire two days ago off Craigslist for about 1/4 of the price brand new. And, it was a brand new role with only a little used by the people! Especially since you aren't in a hurry... you can take the time to really watch those sites for some good deals.
  3. ravenfeathers

    ravenfeathers Songster

    May 23, 2008
    a dog kennel is a decent idea and you can often find them used for free or much less money. heck, i have one you could have if you weren't so far away!

    number 3 is probably the most sensible, but also the most expensive. i agree with Chirpy that you should keep your eye out for unwanted materials. you'd be surprised what's out there that no one wants.
  4. BayCityBabe

    BayCityBabe Songster

    May 1, 2008
    My run is not bear-proof, coyote-proof or Sasquatch-proof. That's why I lock 'em up every evening. It will keep out dogs & cats. That's my concern in my residential area. I think there are alot of "SHOULDs" that are shared, here. I am all for people using their own common sense, within their own budget.
    Like you, I wanted a decent area - on the cheap. My run utilizes one side of my dog's 6 ft. high chainlink kennel. Another side of the run is the front wall of the coop. We cobbled together two other sides with a gate and 4 ft. chainlink, donated by a friend. We sunk several 8 ft. landscape posts ($7 ea.) and attached the fencing. The bottom was secured with chicken wire, old wood & old cement. (I know, I know - it's not hardware cloth & won't stop wild boar!) We expanded the top from 4 ft. to 6 ft. with chicken wire. My big splurge was a $50 piece of aviary netting. I wouldn't do that again. The aviary netting wasn't quite big enough. I ended up augmenting it with deer netting. I got 100 ft. x 7 ft. deer netting at the home store for $12. For me, any net is fine. We do see hawk, here, but they stay away from a covered run - would get all tangled up. (Besides, there are too many baby ducks to munch on nearby...)
    I know that there are purist that lock 'em up like Fort Knox. I just couldn't see spending that kind of money.
    I will post pix, soon.
  5. vicki2x2

    vicki2x2 Super Chick

    Feb 9, 2008
    Central Michigan
    I just picked up a dog kennel for $30, it is 10 x 5 x 5. It does have some damage to the wire where their dog chewed on it, but they wired it back together and I just flipped the kennel over so that was at the top. I will line the inside bottom with plastic poultry fencing. The last roll ran me about $10-12 and was 2 or 3 ft high. I used zip strips to tie it to the fencing. I then cover the run with deer netting, it is cheap, like someone else said. The whole run should cost me about $50.

    Pig panels are nice, but are not that tall. You wouldn't need 8ft t-posts though, only about 4 ft. Combo panels are nice, taller, but have the smaller openings at the bottom like pig panels. I think they are only about 5 ft tall though and pigs are like 4 ft. You could use another panel as the top though. Welded wire rolls can be fairly reasonable, especially if you find a used, left over roll on craigs list or cheapcycle. It can be done, and for a lot less than $300. Good luck!
  6. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Krysstyllanthrox, having been there myself in my younger years, my own experience has been that tight-money times were not the best times for me to acquire animals. Although I never like saying "no" to myself, I personally did not like the stress of worrying about taking care of other species when I was barely afloat myself.

    I know what it's like to be crazy about animals, but maybe this is a time to stay cool and take good care of yourself. Chickens will always be out there when the time is right. What does your heart tell you?

    Just a thought. Good luck in whatever you decide!
  7. Anny

    Anny Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    try looking on for chain link dog pens I see them all the time on there and they are cheaper then buying them new.
  8. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    How about one of the cattle panel, 2x4 hoop style runs? The bottom is made of four 2x4's, with 2 cattle panels attached to the inside like a wide archway/tunnel. Cover the outside in hardware cloth or chicken wire, and it will be tall enough to make a doorway in the end.
  9. BayCityBabe

    BayCityBabe Songster

    May 1, 2008
    I do agree with whoever wrote that in tough times, think twice about new pets. (Especially with feed at $15 a bag and climbing - yikes.) HOWEVER, some of us are doing this on a shoe-string precisely because we will not put $ on the ol' credit card for a fancy coop. The chickens will poop on whatever you give them. It might as well be free.
    Here is a photo of my Budget Run:

  10. Krysstyllanthrox

    Krysstyllanthrox Songster

    Jan 27, 2008
    Quote:That is precisely the issue. Hubs and I are actually doing quite well, financially. I just try to live my life in a way as if we aren't doing well. That way we don't max out the credit cards, live above our means, etc.

    Thank you all for the good replies. I'm finding myself now caught in the aspect of wanting to build a run "right" and doing it economically. Being something of a perfectionist when it comes to building projects can be a bad thing. I do believe I need to think about this quite a bit more.

    I am woman, hear my powertools roar! [​IMG]

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