How can I enclose this run? Need some more ideas, please

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Marianne_67410, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. Marianne_67410

    Marianne_67410 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2011
    I'm sure most of you are tired of answereing the same questions (over and over) to the newbies...but...

    My hens have a totally enclosed run behind their coop (just dirt now). In front, they have a fenced 'yard'. We used 5' tall, 2x4 welded wire with metal T posts. The last bunch of hens stayed in there without flying over the fence, but the new girls? Nope. I have a young leghorn that has gone over several times and I'm sure the rest will follow eventually.

    I do let them free range often, so their front yard is grassy, not just dirt. But the farm fields around us have been planted with milo and sorghum which give plenty of cover to predators during the day. Last year we lost two hens in one day. [​IMG] Soon the girls have to be locked up until after harvest.

    Here's the deal -
    DH has LOTS to do around here, job takes him away for days at a time, so if there's something that I can handle by myself, that would be best.

    Position of door on the coop and the gate to the yard do not line up (picture opposite corners of a square), so just putting chicken wire over the top won't work.

    I don't care if it's a one season only temporary fix.

    Any ideas? Suggestions? I thought about using nylon twine and running zig zags across their yard, leaving the gate and walk open so I could get to the coop, but then they could fly right over the gate, which is only 4' tall. [​IMG]

    The only reason that I hesitate to clip wings is when they are free ranging, I want them to have every advantage to get away from stray dogs, whatever.
     
  2. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How big is their yard? Also, do you need to walk in it all the time, or are you only in it a few times?
     
  3. chickensbythesea

    chickensbythesea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, I'm not sure how well this will work given your door positions, but I'd try aviary or deer netting over the top, or put up on posts attached to the T posts. Like a mesh screen a few feet above the top of the fence. It's not sturdy like your fencing, but should be a good deterrant if you either add a few feet to the top, or do like they do with barbed wire, and put the posts at a 45 degree angle leaning into your coop, so even if they get the height, they can't get over.
     
  4. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you provide dimensions for the run you are trying to enclose? I am wondering if you could install PVC arches and cover it with a tarp and/or chicken wire. Hard to tell without a better description or picture of what you are trying to enclose. I like the PVC because it is EASY to handle and cut and with the metal t-posts, you may be able to use the tops of those to attach the PVC to.
     
  5. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    Netting would be easiest. You can easily attach it to the fence you use now, center can be supported using a post with a round wooden circle attached to the top making it like the center pole of a tent.
     
  6. ChooksinChoppers

    ChooksinChoppers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2011
    Ocala, Florida.
    Quote:OOOh this is a good idea! easy to do to! You could Even use bird netting.
     
  7. Marianne_67410

    Marianne_67410 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2011
    ailurophile23 - Their front yard is appox 21' x 23'. I know exactly what you're referring to with the PVC. We did that to enclose the back run, love the way it looks! But the wire part of it sucked and took a lot longer than we thought it would!

    Kaitie - Ya, I'm in there twice a day, anyway. There is a small 'door' that I open to let the hens into the front area. The coop is raised so they can get underneath during hot weather. That's their only access to the front unless I open the people door and let them go through that. Anyway, I'm in their yard in the morning and eve to open and close that little door and to gather eggs, etc.

    chickensbythesea - I wondered about the 45 degree angle thing. How far out would you suggest I go with that part of the fencing? I have all full bodied birds except for one hyper banty. I kind of remember reading here a LONG time ago that most birds can't get over 6' fencing. All of mine are fliers and roost in the rafters. The netting would work if I can keep it there (lots of wind here) but my bu_ _ cheeks will get a workout doing a duck waddle underneath it to the coop twice a day. [​IMG] I think my biggest problems are going to be the location and how short the gate is. I just hate to ask DH to move it or build another one, ya know? He really does have bigger fish to fry at the moment.

    I know a picture would really help! Unfortunately, I'm so techno lame that I didn't even bother to ask how to use the digital camera when we got it. [​IMG]
    I'll ask DH to get a couple when he gets home and post them.
     
  8. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Netting is the best bet for the big area...Try to watch how they are getting over the gate. I have a short gate, that they were getting over all the time. What I noticed was, they would jump up and sit on the top of the gate, and then jump over. I attached pieces of small wood all the top of the gate (sticking up), so there is no comfortable place to perch. No more chickens outside! Good luck!
     
  9. ChooksinChoppers

    ChooksinChoppers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2011
    Ocala, Florida.
    Their front yard is appox 21' x 23'. I know exactly what you're referring to with the PVC. We did that to enclose the back run, love the way it looks! But the wire part of it sucked and took a lot longer than we thought it would!

    No wire needed ...just attach the pvc hoops to the t posts and drape bird netting over it then maybe use zip ties to keep it from blowing around.​
     
  10. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    Here is my take on it. Built it last week but there was nothing there before but a pile of wood and weeds. This way your ladies would be safe from predators. 100% woman built whose husband is also gone throughout the week. All you need is some long nails, a hammer and something to dig a 2-3ft hole in, a square, a measuring tape, a saw and a level. [​IMG]

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