Flexible Run for my Chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Cathand3chicks, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. Cathand3chicks

    Cathand3chicks New Egg

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    Oct 8, 2012
    Hi, I'm new to this site, and to keeping chickens! We have a small run and chicken house and 3 chickens and most days we let the chickens out to roam the garden. However I realise that in the summer its going to be difficult letting the kids run about the garden with no shoes on when there is chicken poop everywhere, I dread to think what will happen when they're playing in the paddling pool [​IMG]. Also we will need to keep them off our allotment when we actually have things growing in there

    So I'm trying to find some sort of flexible run that I can use to fence off certain areas of the garden. I was thinking something along the lines of a camping windbreak that I could just run across whatever part of the garden I want to keep them in (or out). It really doesn't have to be anything too sturdy, it won't be a problem if they get out once in a while, they'd be in no danger, I'd just like to keep the poop a little more contained!

    I've been looking for windbreaks but they aren't see through, and I'd like to be able to keep an eye on the chickens (also the dog loves to watch them all day)

    Is there anything on the market that would suit? Or does anyone have any ideas on how to make it?

    I'm in the UK by the way

    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    :frow Welcome to the forum! :frow Glad you joined us! :frow

    I'm not sure how long a fence you are talking about, how pretty it needs to be, how you would fix the ends, or how often you might want to move it. There is a fair chance you'll want to move it every time you mow the lawn if I am envisioning this right. If it is very long, you'll need intermediate supports as well as being able to keep it stretched pretty tight. Wind could be a problem if it is not supported properly. I'm assuming you won't have this up during winter so snow and ice load is not a problem. Another consideration is that your dog might destroy it just playing around. I don't know how level your ground is either. If it is very uneven they may be able to go under it in the gaps.

    Wirh all this, it sounds like it will be hard, but it probably isn't. I use electric netting to contain mine, but I don't know that you need the expense or even what is available to you in the UK. I envision this stretching straight across from fence to fence. I'd suggest something like a small diameter pole at the end of your movable fence that you can attach to your permanent fence. If those permanent fences are wire, you can just tie them off. If they are wood, you could use screwed eyebolts to provide attachment points.

    If you need intermediate supports, that can be more of a challenge. You could just guy wire them on each side to support them. Possibly find something or create something with a spike you could push down into the ground and depend on the tightness of the fence to keep them upright.

    For the fence, I'd suggest you consider the netting used to keep birds off cherry trees or some similar netting. That stuff is a little hard to work with as the stuff I have used tends to tangle, but look at some type of netting from a gardening store. To keep the chickens from just going under it, let a bit lay loose on the ground. The grass will grow through it and tend to hold it down. You may need to move it regularly for that reason.

    I'm not sure what is available to you, but if you use something dark, you can see right through it without any glare. Black or dark green seem to be the best colors for that.

    Your dog creates a potential problem in that it might destroy the fencing material. You may need to go to a heavy netting such as a fishing net or even metal fencing. I'm not sure how trainable or destructive your dog is.

    Good luck. Hopefully you can get something useful out of this. And once again, :frow
     
  3. Cathand3chicks

    Cathand3chicks New Egg

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    Oct 8, 2012
    Thanks for the reply. I've just looked up electric fences and this is just the sort of thing I was looking for (only without the electric) and even better a few places do sell spares like the posts and spikes so all I have to do hopefully is find some sort of plastic coated netting or mesh and then attach the posts and spikes to this. Sure they'll have this at a garden centre

    Hopefully it won't stay out all the time so I don't really care what it looks like and it should be flexible enough to move around the garden depending on whether I want to keep them off the lettuces or away from the paddling pool. I'm sure the dog will be more than happy for us to keep the chickens away from him, he's already very jealous of all the scraps they get that he's not allowed and the fact he's not allowed to chase them anyway (no fun)

    I've got all winter to sort it out, wish me luck
     
  4. Mskayladog

    Mskayladog Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use deer netting to keep the birds where I want them and off the parts of the field I don't want them in.
     
  5. Red Barn Farms

    Red Barn Farms ~Friendly Fowl~

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    One good choice is using the deer netting as mentioned above but also making a frame from PVC pipe much like a chicken tractor run area in design. It would be light weight enough to be moved by hand to various locations in the yard. It could be built to any dimension you need using the half circle method.
     

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