1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

How high does the run need to be?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tracylhl, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. tracylhl

    tracylhl Songster

    May 20, 2009
    Myakka City, Florida
    I'm sorry if this has been asked before. I haven't been able to find a thread on it, though. We just built a new big coop for our birds. We want to make a fenced area for them to run in but don't know how high the fencing needs to go so that they don't fly out. Can you tell me how high it should be or should I just suck it up and put a covered fencing on the top too.

  2. vstoltzfus

    vstoltzfus Songster

    Aug 10, 2009
    Lancaster County, PA
    My run (8 x 40) is made of 4 foot high chicken wire, without netting over it. My hens have never flown out. I know there are others on here who would tell you 4' isn't high enough, and to cover it, but it's what I could afford at the time.
  3. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

    Jul 16, 2009
    best coast
    Four feet is very good, five feet is fabulous, six feet is wonderful going on overkill. I would be more worried about keeping predators out than chickens in.
  4. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    simple answer is, as high as you can reasonably afford. I don't have a run, I free range only, but a good friend who has runs for his uses 5 foot tall welded wire with a layer of hardware cloth along the bottom. His all stay in without any trouble, but if they do get out, you can always clip wings, or get deer net which isn't too too expensive. It won't keep raccoons or such out, but it will stop most any stray dog, and keep the chooks in and hawks out.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Basically almost any chicken can fly over a 6' fence if she *wants* to. (Some can fly a whole lot better than that, even).

    WILL your chickens actually want to fly over the fence, though? Who knows. Some do, some don't, some only occasionally.

    Thus, if keeping them in is a large concern (e.g. your neighbors would be irritated), it is probably best to just go ahead and put a top of some sort over the run. That will help protect vs hawks too.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat, who has had a full-size Sussex cockerel (fairly hefty and nonathletic bird) helicopter his way over a 6' run fence from almost a standing start in a pretty small run, when challenged by another chicken.
  6. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Like PortageGirl said "How high can you afford". If there isn't a top to it, there is a chance your chickens can jump over it.

    I've got a chicken named Houdini. She can get out of any run no matter how high you build it! She even learned to climb the morning glories that had grown on the fence as a means to get out!
  7. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    For your own peace of mind, your run should be the best that you can afford to make it. If they're in it while you're out to dinner when it starts getting dark, and you can't get home, you should be able to enjoy the meal without worrying about your chickens possibly being eaten.
    EDIT: BTW, there will be times too when you'll forget to close the coop's pop door on time.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009

  8. muttly

    muttly In the Brooder

    Nov 7, 2009
    wasatch mtns.
    Make it worry free, Dug in deep, tall and covered ! More so to keep critters out than keep them in.
  9. chickenlips1954

    chickenlips1954 Songster

    Jul 16, 2008
    My chicken yard fencing is 6ft. high and three of my 23 girls and one roo fly over everyday. The rest don't. Some people tell me to clip their wings, but I don't want to do that, plus I figure if something does go after them they have the ability to fly back into the yard or into a tree.
  10. It's true that the run is the greatest source of worry- if possible cover it, roof it when possible, bury a flange of hardware cloth, and so on...this is where losses occur, and having your hard work and those little life forms snatched away cruelly is never worth it. Think also of your comfort while working out there...

    We put our snow boards up a few days ago, makes it comforable for the hens and for me, and little shovelling.

    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by