Help with Run Design Please!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mommabice, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. mommabice

    mommabice Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 22, 2012
    Mississippi
    My Coop
    Okay, the space I am putting the coop and run is already closed on 3 sides. Two sides are the house, the 3rd is a 6ft tall privacy fence. This leaves me one side to close in (about 10-11 feet long). How best to do this? We are renting, so I don't want to permanently attach something to the house (the fence would not be as big of a deal since it is old and just wood). Here is what I was thinking:

    [​IMG]
    Don't you like my awesome "paint" picture. I thought if I made it almost like a folding screen, with a few supports on the bottom to stabilize it, that I could just attach it to the fence and then butt it up against the house.

    I should add that we are in the middle of town (behind a super market) and don't have many predators. A couple stray cats and some hawks. I am going to put aviary netting from the top of the house to the top of the privacy fence to deter anything coming in from the top. I am going to add a skirt of chicken wire to the outside of the wood fence to discourage digging.

    BTW-the whole coop/run will be in a larger privacy fenced and gated area. I have thought about just using that whole area as a run, but I am afraid the girls would fly out. Can they get over a six foot fence? Would you bother with covering a run or just use the already fenced in area?
     
  2. MamaNini

    MamaNini Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Harpers Ferry, WV
    My background is dairy cows; I'm still learning chickens. I can say with confidence that cows definitely would not get over a 6 foot fence :)

    I really like rotational grazing - for any animal. If this were my backyard, I'd probably keep them in the smaller area unless I was home to supervise their time in the larger area. Then I could be sure that I didn't have any adventurous chickens who were wanting to cross the road... And it would give the chickens a treat to be out in a larger grass area where they can hunt for bugs and do chicken things.

    Have fun with it!
     
  3. bingrancher

    bingrancher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2012
    Good idea to me, as long as its secure to the ground it should work. The only thing that might happen is if a predator like a dog or raccoon was able to push or pull on it enough to knock it down with it being hinged like that. Make sure to lay a skirt of hardware cloth around it to deter digging animals.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. mommabice

    mommabice Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 22, 2012
    Mississippi
    My Coop
    I am going to put some perpendicular supports on the bottom to keep it from tipping, or possibly some triangle type supports to give it even more stability, along with being attached to the privacy fence on one end. It will be pretty much out of the wind, but I still don't want to chance it falling over in a storm.
     
  5. OR4-hmom

    OR4-hmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2012
    Grants Pass, OR
    I'm fond of "cow panels" we get at the local farm supply store. We get ours 54" tall and 16', the openings come in different sizes but young birds could probably get through them for a while. They are somewhat flexible for the "curve" you've drawn. A couple of T-posts would hold them up. We get some heavy wind gusts here so trying to brace a wooden fence at the bottom wouldn't work for us it would just get blown down.
     
  6. bingrancher

    bingrancher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2012
    I like your idea as it allows you to expand it later. Good luck
     
  7. mommabice

    mommabice Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 22, 2012
    Mississippi
    My Coop
    I had not even thought about cow panels. That would work great! I could just attach hardware cloth to them to close the gaps, and like you said, make supports to hold it all up. Great idea! I bet our co-op carries them.
     
  8. afveteran88

    afveteran88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2011
    Deerfield, Michigan
    Cow panels are $22 at Tractor Supply. They work Great.
     
  9. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Cattle panels are only 52 inches tall, and you didn't show any way to get into the run on your drawing.

    If it's "free-standing" and one end isn't attached, it wouldn't be hard for a dog to push it out of the way.
     
  10. mommabice

    mommabice Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 22, 2012
    Mississippi
    My Coop
    I am topping the run in netting (we don't get ice/snow here so I don't have to worry about the weight...we do have hawks though, so hence the netting). It will go from the roof of the house to the privacy fence and connect to the fence I will make as well. I will be able to walk under it, since I am 5'4'' and the privacy fence is 6' and the house is obviously taller than that. A dog will not be getting into our privacy fenced area (where the shorter cattle panel fence would be). I don't know of any dogs who can jump a 6' fence...if they can, well they deserve a chicken. lol. I will use the cattle panels as the basis for the fence, but back it in chicken wire/hardware cloth and run that up higher, to the top of the supporting 2x4s that I am going to fit the panels to. Make sense? I *may* just use hardware cloth, but I feel like the cattle panels will give it a little more stability than just 2x4s with chicken wire running between/stapled to them.

    I am going to use the panel closest to the privacy fence (where I will attach the panels to the privacy fence for stability) for the door for me to get in. It is going to be a short door, with the gate at the top portion and I will step over the bottom part. Make sense?

    I feel like without building it and taking a picture this all makes no sense in words, even to me. lol

    Basically I am building a wooden frame around the cattle panels, and hinging them together. They will have perpendicular stands to help with added stability, and one side will attach to the privacy fence. The other side will butt against the house (this is the side the coop is on, so I will probably attach it to the coop as well to give it something heavy to attach to), any gap will be reinforced with chicken wire on that end.

    In a simple world, I would just attach it to the house on one side, the fence on the other, make it permanent and call it a day...but we are renting and I am trying to make it so that whenever we move we can pretty easily take it all apart and take it with us. (And a tractor is not an option for us. Not enough yard space to bother moving it around for the amount of sq.ft. per chicken we would want in a tractor...we would basically be moving it back and forth in the same two spots - so we are just using this "odd" part of the yard to put a permanent coop/run since that is a part of the yard we can't really use...we have patio furniture, a cloths line, and outdoor kids toys in the rest of the yard).

    This was really long winded...sorry. [​IMG]
     

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