Have coop, need run, and advice on how to build one!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Granolamom, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 9, 2008
    Dallas
    Hi, everybody!
    My 7 chickens have been happily roaming our fenced in front yard, but we've decided to build them an enclosed 20x20 ft run in the back, in order to "reclaim" our front yard (and keep ourselves and our guests from having to zig-zag around dozens of piles of chicken poop on the way to the front door...[​IMG]. We live in Georgia, and my questions is, how to keep the run predator safe, since it will be in our unenclosed backyard, and directly bordering a wooded area. I really don't want to use concrete around the run, since it will be so hard to remove in the future, and was wondering what kinds of other options I have to keep predators from digging in. Also, do you think it's neccessary to enclose the top (the run will be 6 feet high). Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    I am assuming that your chickens are locked up securely every night and this run will be for daytime use only.

    Hardware cloth is always the best choice but also the most expensive. If you can't use hardware cloth then I suggest 2x4 welded or woven wire with either hardware cloth or 1" chicken wire attached around the bottom to a height of two feet and buried into the ground at least 15 inches.

    If you have a bird of prey issue then you will want to cover the run with deer netting or bird netting or even chicken wire. If you don't have a bird predator problem then you probably don't need to cover the run since the chickens will be inside at night.

    Now, if you have chickens that learn how to fly out of the run (I do) you may need to cover the run just to keep your chickens in.
     
  3. TaLani

    TaLani ~ Gemini Chick ~

    Oct 2, 2008
    Bryson City, NC
    We have too many stray dogs in our neighborhood so we decided to keep our chickens in an enclosed run. We haven't put any netting over it [yet] though due to expense, but we will since we have a few that can EASILY fly up to our 6ft high fence. You may want to make your fence higher than 6ft or cover it w/ netting of some sort. To keep predators out, we buried 2 boards in the ground that we layed on top of each other [think stacking your hand 1 on top of the other in a vertical manner]. Hope that makes sense. Feel free to send me an email and I'll forward you some pics of our run & coop area. [​IMG]
     
  4. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 9, 2008
    Dallas
    Chirpy, thanks for the info. Yes, my girls are of course in a safe, locked coop at night, and they are let out every morning. I don't think I can afford hardware cloth all the way, but will definitely use it for the bottom 2 feet. We do have hawks here, but they have never bothered with the chickens. Also, there will be bushes and small trees in the run, which they can take cover under. Someone told me that hawks get more aggressive in the winter, due to not having so much food available, and more than likely we'll cover the run.
     
  5. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 9, 2008
    Dallas
    Wow, guys, are you kidding me? How can your chickens fly over a 6 ft fence??? Mine are so plump and chubby, they look like butterball turkeys when they fly off the front porch, and when they plop down, it's not very graceful. Maybe it's because mine are mostly Barred Rocks, and they're kind of on the heavy side...?
     
  6. TaLani

    TaLani ~ Gemini Chick ~

    Oct 2, 2008
    Bryson City, NC
    My Silver Laced Wyandottes are VERY BIG if you ask me and they can do it w/ not much effort at all! It surprises me too that they look like "butterball turkeys" & can still fly up there. I will say that for the most part, my 2 American Game roos & 1 Amer Game hen are the main ones to be escapees, but my SLW girls are rt behind them. I've not gotten my "first egg" from any of my hens, but my fear is that either my Amer Game hen or SLW hens will get out in the am & lay an egg outside of the run. [​IMG] Hence, the need for us to bite the bullet & put netting over the top of the run. Donations anyone?? He he he! [​IMG]
     
  7. FrChuckW

    FrChuckW Father to all, Dad to none

    Sep 7, 2008
    Louisville, KY
    If you aren't worried about how it looks to much you can use saplings from the woods that are pretty straight to use as fence poles, (gives the run a rustic look) Or you can use those 8 foot long lanscape timbers as fence posts. To predator proof the runs from being dug into you can dig at least a 2 foot deep trench along the outside of the run and lay hardware cloth in it, fill the trench with gravel and attach the hardware cloth to a board running along the base of the run. This will also help provide a drainage area around the run.

    When setting the posts in the ground remember to put some gravel in the bottom of the hole first then put the concrete in around the post. This will help keep the post from rotting. You can use chain link fencing for the run part and just use inexpensive poultry fencing along the bottom part.

    As to covering the run, you can make a cover using landscape cloth, or an inexpensive tarp. You can also make an inexpensive frame top using PVC pipes as support.
     

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