how big to make a run?


In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 8, 2014
Isn't it 10ft per chicken? But realistically how big would I need to add to a huge coop for 8 hens. We have an old fort from a previous owner on the property. It is roughly 8x10 with sides that come out. We will add wire to the openings and move it to use as a coop. But we are trying to figure how big of a fenced run we need. It will be fully enclosed and around 8ft high. With welded wire for most of it and hardware cloth on the lower and a ft in the ground all around. But does it need to be 8x10, smaller, larger? I have so many doodles of enclosures on pages all over my mind is spinning.

We also are on a budget so nothing extravagant, luckily Home Depot gives military discount
our run actually surrounds the coop which is probably 5x5 which has never held chicken exceeding the number of 14. our run about 8 feet radius around the coop. the chickens have plenty of room to graze and they are very happy.

*just letting you know that whatever area of land you dedicate to the run, it will turn to mud so be cautious of how much green grass you are willing to give up haha
Honestly the bigger the better. If a run is large enough grass will stay in it which will cut down on the feed bill. If you go 10ft per bird then there will be no sustainability, they will rely solely on you feeding them. Personally when I make one I gauge by budget. The budget allows a certain amount of fence. That dictates how large it can be. Say a 6' roll of 175' would make a 25x18' enclosed yard with about 56 square foot per bird. It depends on your available vegetation and growing climate but 50' per bird where I am gives them grass 8 months of the year. So 3/4 of the time they have enough bugs and vegetation to cut the feed cost by 75-90%. Depending on their choice of feeding. In the winter they eat about 4-6 oz per day each so depending on what breed you have that would be 2-3 lbs a day of feed without loss from vermin. Or about $200 a year in feed vs. about $65 if considering 3lb a day for 8 heavy breeds. Of course both numbers would go down with scraps being fed. No idea what feed is since I haven't bought any in years. Was guessing it should be about $10 a bag now.
We have no grass at all. I am in the AZ high desert so dirt, dirt and tumbleweeds is what we have. So if we do an 8x12 that gives 96 sq ft. For 8 chickens. I have large breed birds I guess. Cuckoo marans, buckeyes, mottled javas and easter eggers. They are currently in our living room brooder. My dh works at a feed store and feed is I think $15 a bag...

So far all our chicks are still alive, Iwas told to get 2 more than I wanted due to chick death rate. But so far all the girls are doing well.

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