Fully enclosed, covered runs.....cheaply?

ChickenPox

Songster
8 Years
Feb 2, 2011
763
35
148
Middle GA
Did I just write an oxymoron? LOL!

I need more runs. Unfortunately where I live, EVERYTHING has to be fully enclosed as I cannot let my babies free range (WAAAAAY too many preds on the loose.) And where my current pens are located, I need to have them covered. The ground is not perfectly level and rain can do AWFUL things. Haha! (I did add sand a few months back, which helped tremendously.)

I need fully enclosed runs, not huge, side to side preferable.......but they have to be economical and be done by just little ole me. I have no help. I"m thinking about a few 4x6 or 6x8 pens (I have breeding pairs of bantams.) I am fairly handy, but I am not confident when it comes to making a leak proof roof. (Or making it square.) I feel like if I could just get 6-8, 4 bys, squared, and trusses and a roof slapped on, I could do the rest. But that's also sounding like $800+, which I don't have. I have considered getting a carport, but again, the ground is not level and I don't know how to level ground for something like that.

Ideas?
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
24,340
42,778
1,156
southern Michigan
I feel your pain! This week I'm spending $$$ to have my run completely rebuilt with a solid roof. Lumber costs are way higher than last time I bought, and the carpenter isn't inexpensive either, but I'm not doing roofing! Have you considered using cattle panels to make tractor type runs? They are easy to build, and with skirting or some type of dig proof base, would work well for less money spent. Mary
 

Nupe

Songster
5 Years
Jun 13, 2014
593
214
156
Georgia
I have the same problem in my neighborhood. We can build a 12x12x6 run for about $100 in Home Depot wood and Tractor Supply welded wire. It takes a table saw and an air driven crown molding stapler. We take 2x6x12 pressure treated lumber and split it into 3 strips. Then we make 12x6 panels with 2 braces to staple 4' welded wire to horizontally. Make 4 panels to form a cube and run strips of wood and fencing to cover the top and bottom with a few vertical braces inside. It won't hold a snow load but it will keep all the critters out. We started with one cube, then pulled the farthest panel off and added another this spring.

This is an old pic. The crown molding stapler was worth its weight in gold. We got the HD Rigid brand for about $100. It drives a 1/4" x 1 1/2" galvanized staple. We used 3" deck screws to hold the wood together. Its about a year old now and not one has tried to back out. I threw shade cloth over the top.



 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Feb 25, 2014
17,412
34,033
837
Northwestern Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
I have a cattle panel run and I love it! Cheap, secure and easy to build. When we built ours we made the end panel out of welded wire covered with chicken wire, as is the rest of the run. It has a hardware cloth skirt and apron and was attached to the sides of the run with twisted wire. We expanded it this spring. Piece of cake! Just cut the ties and the end piece came off in one piece, with the chicken wire, skirt and apron still attached. Drove two fence posts into the ground - one on either side of the run, arched another cattle panel and tied to the existing ones with wire, the put the end back on. Addition done. And we think it looks nice, too.


The basic run. We covered it with white vinyl lattice as a spacer, then clear greenhouse plastic for winter. Withstood snowload and winds in excess of 60mph.


End removed in preparation for putting on addition. Stupid chickens. Ken said they should be out while we worked, so I clapped my hands and said, "Let's go outside." The dummies ran to the run door on the opposite side and waited for me to open it!


The end panel came off in one piece - wire, hardware cloth skirt and apron. After the new panel was added, we just put it back up.


The run with the addition. Just have to extend my purty little fence.
 

ChickenPox

Songster
8 Years
Feb 2, 2011
763
35
148
Middle GA
Wonderful ideas! My main pen is cattle fence, but I have run into the problem of making it rain proof. At one point we got so much rain, and the tarp wasn't long enough or pulled tight enough, that it piled on top and bent the panel. (!) Also, since the ground is uneven, the water ran off the sides and made a river through the pen (which turned into a mudhole. I has to soak legs a loooong time to get the mudballs off toes. Yuck.)

I really just need to get a carport. Or a pole barn. $$$$ Sigh...... LOL!

I like the ideas of the wooden panels, or perhaps a hoop coop just straight to the ground. Mine is on pallets, so it's like 12 feet tall in the middle.....part of the problem of finding a large enough tarp (which are also $$$, haha!)
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Feb 25, 2014
17,412
34,033
837
Northwestern Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
<smacking forehead> I always forget to check to see where people are from before I post a response! We don't have the rain and water issues here that you do in Georgia, and I didn't take that into account when bragging up our run! It's common sense that what works well in the dry, semi- desert area of Northern Wyoming where I'm at won't necessarily work well in your more humid, rainy area.
DUH, Diane!!
hide.gif
Need to start paying more attention!
 

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