How big a run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mikee1948, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. Mikee1948

    Mikee1948 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2011
    I'm redesigning my coop's run, to be more secure, and thought an 8x8 ft run area should be sufficient for five hens, based upon what I see is available commercially?
  2. Toothless Willie

    Toothless Willie Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2011
    Based on the 10 square feet per adult bird, you are 30 percent over the minimum.
  3. Imker

    Imker Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 4, 2011
    Limestone Cove
    I'd never built a run before. Knew nothing of chickens. Wasn't a member Backyard of Chickens then. Wife wanted chickens.

    So having ordered the 6 chickens, my wife asked me to build a chicken "run".

    I asked my wife, "How big do you want this chicken run?"

    She said, "Well... imagine you're a chicken."

    I had never imagined I was a chicken before.

    Well, sober anyway.

    So I built this chicken run 8 feet high and 16 feet long, up against the woodshed, covered from above and every directions with chicken wire. I put in a jungle jim (tree limbs) for the hens, places to admire the world from. It's the Hilton Hotel of chicken runs.

    I dug a trench all the way around it and put the wire down and poured cement on the wire. It don't know how many fence nails it took, perhaps a half million.

    The day before we got the chickens, while my wife and I were at dusk admiring the new chicken run, a red fox ambled across the lawn and looked at the run, before trotting off. A big hawk flew overhead the day before. We live out in the mountains of East Tennessee, and there must be a predator newspaper they all subscribe to, or maybe one of 'em just can't keep it to themself.

    I had dug up the soil in the run and had put a lot of compost in so there would be worms, and I had planted grass. And the grass had grown green and lush and looked great.

    For a while that is.

    Then the 6 hens got there.

    Now there's no grass at all. [​IMG]

    Maybe if there's a moral to the story, it's be wary when someone asks you to imagine you're a chicken. Ask 'em the price of fence nails. Look around to see if an owl or a racoon is listening. There's more things in heaven and earth than in your chicken-sized imagination, Horatio. Log on to Barnyard Chickens and ask somebody with experience, maybe you will learn something.
  4. Wyogirl

    Wyogirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2010
    Cody, WY
    Quote:Very entertaining story, Thanks:lau

  5. carladababe

    carladababe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2010
    Dixon, Missouri
    Sounds like your chickens are happy and you are having fun. Enjoy, life's too short not to have chickens.[​IMG][​IMG]
  6. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    8x8 is fine for a up to 6-7 birds but you might consider a a little larger due to this site being the main carrier of "Chicken Math Disease" [​IMG] beside if there is a little extra room, you can set you coop inside and have a Ft Knox for your birds. [​IMG]

    You might even consider a chainlink dog kennel and buy a extra panel for the top. They are quick to set up, semi moveable, easy to add on to and with a few modifications, pretty predator proof. [​IMG]
  7. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    We made our run about 10 x 24 and I feel like it's not very big. We have the 6 x 4 coop in it so that cuts down on the room a little.
  8. Mikee1948

    Mikee1948 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2011
    I increased the run to 12x8 ft. Should be enough for 5 hens, and maintain security.
  9. liebe

    liebe Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 26, 2011
    8 by 8 should be big enough, but bigger is always better in terms of chickens. The more space, the easier it is to keep clean, for new vegetation to grow, more air circulation which keeps down sickness.
  10. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Have used 5sf/bird and did fine. But you have the real estate... go nuts with it.

    Yes, they will strip the ground bare, regardless. I recently installed a salad bar in the run, and it is looking good.

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