Help with building run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JoieD, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. JoieD

    JoieD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First here is my coop. I have done a lot since this pic was taken. the run will be built off to the right. The second pic is of my idea of what we might do, using google sketchup for the first time so it isn't very good, but gives you an idea of where I'm headed. Can anyone think of a better way to do this. At its highest point the run will be about 5'10". Not counting the space under the coop it will be about 12' x 6' Even though I have sketched this up, I really don't know where to begin or if there is a better way.

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  2. smokinjay

    smokinjay Out Of The Brooder

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    That would be the Easiest way. If you want to put a roof on it just run your 2x4 24 inch on center.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011
  3. JoieD

    JoieD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there a Harder way that would be best in the long run?
     
  4. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any run design that allows you access, the chickens space&safety, and ties into the structure of the coop should be a good one. If you've never done this before, it will be a learning process. Be adaptable. If you have done this before, it will be a learning process. Good Luck!
     
  5. smokinjay

    smokinjay Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Dont know if it would be better. For me it would just depend on where north south east and west is. I douple pitch mine more like a house. This will give a great air flow even in the coldest months with the walls plastic in, and not letting in snow.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    There are a lot of different ways you could build it. Which way might be better for you depends on a lot of different things. Your answer is quite likely different than mine.

    What are your goals? What are you trying to accomplish relative to predator protection, cost, appearance, keeping the run dry, keeping wind, snow, and ice out of the run. What are your skills. What tools and how much help will you have? How rocky is your ground? There are so many different factors involved, I'm not going to try to tell you which is best for you. I will offer a few observations though.

    Your coop roof is sloping into the run. That means rain will run off into the run and could cause a problem. I'd give consideration to guttering or some other way to avoid putting water in the run, or do something to get it out of the run.

    I don't know how tall you are, but I think you will greatly appreciate being able to walk in the run without banging your head. If you are going to slope it, all of it does not need to be high enough to walk under it the entire width, but the high point should be. Don't forget that when you step, your head does not stay horizontal. It bounces up and down. Give yourself some extra head height. And don't forget the the thickness of the supports for the top, if you put a top on it. The height to keep from banging your head is the bottom of the lowest thing in there, not just the height of the roofing material.

    I think you are going to cover it since you sloped it. If you use a solid covering, that slope will help get the rain off instead of it setting up there on a flat roof and probably leaking.

    If you do not plan on covering it, chickens will often fly up to a solid top rail just to perch. When they do that, you have no idea which side they will fly down on. No, they do not understand the concept of flying back up there to get back in. Once they do that and get out, they are effectively locked out. If you don't cover it, I suggest the top rail be about a foot or so below the top of the wire so they don't have a solid place to land.

    I don't know how much space you actually have available for a run, but I always suggest giving them as much as you can. That usually makes it less work for you to do proper maintenance. How your build it will also influence this too, but a lot of building material comes in 4 and 8 foot standard lengths. With certain types of construction, you migth be able to make your run a little bigger without really spending any extra money and with virtually no extra work. I'm thinking mostly of runs that are basically wire and posts more than those with a lot of horizontal wooden segments, but it is a general concept to keep in mind.

    If you are covering it, especailly with a solid roof, don't forget snow and ice load if you live were that is important. Wire can pick up ice load and then snow load too, so don't get too complacent on building it strong enough. Another important consideration along these lines. The wider you build it, the bigger the members spanning that width need to be. It is generally better to build it longer and narrow instead of short and wide if you are going to cover it.

    I can't see under the overhang on you coop, but if you don't have it, I'd take advantage of that overhang and provide a lot of ventilation under there where rain won't blow in. Maybe cut out a long narrow strip and cover it with hardware cloth to keep predators out.

    Good luck with it. I think it will turn out nice.
     
  7. Cosmopolis Chick

    Cosmopolis Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow! Ridgerunner gave you a very complete and careful answer!
    The only thing that occurs to me to add at the moment is that if you possibly can make the run really predator proof you will be able to be gone for a day or so, on vacation or just out of town without so much worry. You may still worry a little but if you've really thought it through and every part is tight and strong you'll be glad in the long run.

    I live right in a city and I've had raccoons devastate the flock twice and a coyote was spotted right in the middle of the street not far from here. Dogs are allowed to run loose around here too.
    My coop is on a cement slab. I built the run with concrete rubble buried 15-18" all around the three sides, a concrete strip poured over, and the welded wire walls inserted in the wet concrete.
    My chicken run just got a corrugated metal roof and now I feel I can rest a little easier if I am not at home.
     
  8. JoieD

    JoieD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My goals are to create a very secure run so I can leave the house without worry, so I have a lot of hardware cloth ready to go. I have it planned to be as high as possible considering the overhang. I wish I could figure out a way to make it higher as my husband is 6'1". I will be putting gutter up and eventually I think clear roofing panels to keep the weather out. It will have the hardware cloth across the top as well. The coop itself is already secured against predators with the cloth. At least 6 buried post. Do you think it would be better to make the sides, cover with the wire and then put them up or build as we go? I worry it will be rickety so need to get my measuring and leveling thinking cap on. What are the best fasteners for the cloth? screws staples etc? I have read everything I can on this forum. I guess I am worried about my skills creating the overall design and then the little technical difficulties. Really I'm scared to death to begin.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You'll probably make mistakes as you go, but you'll probably correct them and get it right. These things usually come together better than you expect.

    There are different ways to securely fasten hardware cloth. Many people us screws and fender washers. I use strips of wood where I can. Take a strip of wood maybe 1/2" thick and a couple of inches wide. Drill pilot holes for the screws so the wood does not split. It sounds like a lot of extra work but it really is not. Either have a separate drill and electric screw driver or it really does not take that long to swap the drill bit for the screwdrive bit with most modern cordless screwdriver/drill combos.

    When you put a screw in, make sure it goes through a hole in the hardware cloth. If you tighten it down, that hardware cloth is not moving plus you cover up the sharp ends of the cut hardware cloth.

    Where I attach it to a post, I use fencing staples. There are electric staple guns capable of putting a big enough staple securely in the post to hold it, but I am not talking about the staple gun you use to clip a report together. Most of us do not own an electic staple gun big enough to do the job. For corner posts and the ends of the hardware cloth, I use the 1-1/4" fencing staples. For intermediate posts and in between runs of wire, I will use the 3/4" poultry staples, but I really don't trust those on the ends and in critical positions.
     
  10. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You'll do fine. You can't plan everything and there will always be curve balls thrown at you. This is an adventure so embrace the unknown. Thats how I look at it.

    Regarding the wire on the walls, I would build the walls on the driveway or somewhere flat, brace them with 1x4 diagonally on the inside (like you see on a gate) and wrap them while on the ground. I would wrap the wire around the framing and attach it on the inside. you can use plywood strips and screws to hold sown the screen or washers or what ever you can find. By wrapping the wire first, it will be held between all the unions of the framing itself and be much more secure. After your walls are up, put a top 2x4 all the way around, but lay a piece of fabric on top of the wall first that can be used to cover the openings where the roof rafters overhang. Then before you put the roofing material on wrap it over the rafter tails, and secure it to the top of the rafters with the roofing material it self. Collect all your scraps, and screw a piece of wood between the rafter tails to hold the screen up to the roof. If you are going to put facia board on, hold the screen to the rafter tails with it.

    I would place all the walls (after wrapping) onto a pre placed pressure treated 2x4 and screw them together. This way if the pressure treated dissolves, and rots away, you can just remove the crews, remove the screws holding the buried wire lift off the walls and replace the pressure treated. and the buried screen if need be.

    The fabric that is buried will be separate from the coop so it will be easily replaced.

    Frame the opening and the entry door into the run on the ground. wrap each independently, and put all the hardware (at least the hinges) on while it lays flat. it is much easier to measure, space and attach with gravity working with you. If you get paint stir sticks, you can space your door evenly in the opening with them, then attach the hinges. I would use two at a time, two per side. that will give you about a 3/8" reveal all the way around. Be sure to have a diagonal support on your door in addition to a latch at the top and the bottom. With a mesh door there is very little resistance to twist and a hungry coon with 5 hours to break in will bend the door eventually.

    With limited building experience I would suggest a flat roof. You can use single or double sided hurricane clips to attach the raters to the run, or you can cut birds mouths. Hurricane clips are pretty cheap, and they will ensure the roof is attached well.

    If your run is more than 4' wide, I would use 2x6 roof rafters. but we have to deal with snow load. if don't get much snow, you may not need to but 2x4's will eventually sag when used in a flat roof with a span of greater than 4' - 6'.

    And most of all, you will get done with this project and there is ALWAYS, 'I wish I had thought of's' so look forward to them so you can teach others what you did, and what you would do different.

    Just my opinion, hope this helps...
     

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