How high to build the run and cover it with what?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jimla, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. jimla

    jimla Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 23, 2010
    Besides the chickens using it, how frequent and for what purpose would a person need to get into it, assuming their need to scratch is met elsewhere?

    I am thinking of a 4x4 foot Purina Coop with an attached 12 foot run extending from it for 4 birds. The egg box and cleanout door would be outside of the run. A 6 foot tall run makes it convenient for me to enter the run but much of that vertical space is wasted on the chickens I've read. And with a roof this tall wouldn't rain blow in from the sides?

    I was thinking of covering the run with a shed roof that slopes from 4 feet along one long 12 foot side to 3-3.5 feet on the other side. The slope would shield the prevailing wind some and provide greater view of the birds from the backyard. I likely need some type of door or removable panel for crawling access to remove a bird, egg or predator-not. Any thoughts on this approach?

    Also, rather than a shingled roof, I was considering some type of panel. Any one have experience with corrugated metal or Tufftex either solid color or translucent? I like the idea of translucent for light yet rain cover but is it durable enough? As an option I could get a cattle panel from Tractor supply and bend it in hoophouse shape, cover with hardware cloth and a removable plastic tarp. Any thoughts on this design?

    Thanks for all your experienced help and advice.
  2. LiLRedCV

    LiLRedCV Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2010
    Land of the Rain
    You can try corrugated roofing panels over the run or coop. We used the clear ones for the roof of the coop AND run combo we built last summer (2010) and had great success with giving the girls enough natural light that I didn't need to light them during the winter months. We're building a larger coop this year (10x10 shed kit we're converting) and the South facing half of the roof is also the corrugated clear panels - the North facing is the plywood with shingles.

    Also, I have runs where they're about as tall as the chicken needs them to be and run which I can fit inside with comfort. I prefer the one I can fit in with comfort. Why? 'Cuz if I have to catch up one of my girls, I found it's easier without having to stay bent over so much. If you're feeding/watering out in the run, then the taller one would also make it easier to do this...

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  3. georgiagail

    georgiagail Chillin' With My Peeps

    We used the same roof panels on our coops:


    However, the roofs on our coops are PVC/electrical PVC pipe covered with hardware cloth:



    As previously mentioned, the advantage of the clear roof panels is that it provides more light in the coop (we do not have electricity in ours). The disadvantage is extra heat if you live in a warm climate and the coop is in full sun.

    The advantage of a tall run is for the human, not the chickens. You're looking at a 12 foot run for your girls. There's going to be a time when you want to clean this out and it is nice to be able to walk in upright. We go in our run at least twice a day.

    This summer we added some shade cloth to the portion of the run not shaded by the trees on other other side of the fence.

  4. Hiram

    Hiram Out Of The Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    I agree with GA gail. I'm a GA boy by the way. I made my run 8ft because I'm 6'2. You will have to go into the run to clean and I couldn't see myself all bent over. My mama's run is shorter about 5ft and I hate helping clean. It doesn't matter as much for the birds so think about your comfort.
  5. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2010
    Our run is just over 6 ft - easy to get into to clean daily and to fill/clean the feeders and waters. It was originally covered only with chicken wire but with the horrible heat this summer, we added a "roof" over the run using metal emt pipe and a heavy duty tarp. Works great for shade and keeps the run much drier during rain - some comes in the sides but still much better than without any roof.
  6. mtnhens4

    mtnhens4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    Western NC
    Our run is about 6 1/2 feet high and we love it, it's covered with Tuftex that lets some light through which is great since we have very little shade in that area, the hens still have the area under the coop if they want total shade. I clean and rake my run weekly and my husband likes to go in to hold and pet the girls so the ability to stand up straight is very appreciated.
    I especially love the Dutch door to the run, it allows me to toss in treats and watch the girls without the fear of letting them out, there's been a hawk watching my girls like a you know...
  7. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Bending over all th time in my COOP is a PITA. Next time I will build with the idea I go in the 2 times a day at least to do or fix or clean something and make is at least my height 6'.

  8. jimla

    jimla Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 23, 2010
    Thanks for all your replies, they have helped me finalize my design and materials. I see the need now for access to the run, but a 6 foot tall run and cover is too much for the location. I plan to still do the shed roof run design (4 feet sloping to 3 feet over the 4 foot width of the run). The cover however will be of corrugated plastic panels that are hinged for access when needed. A one and two foot wide section of fixed, shingle roof at the ends of the run will add stability. Thanks again.
  9. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Can I add a question to this post? we have an outside area that is aprox 30 x 25....we are just finishing putting up a 5 ft fence around it..and buried it about 3-4 we are just under 5 ft. I will have barred rocks 9which should be ok) as well as polish and a couple cochin bantys. Do you think they will fly out of this?
  10. Moxiechick

    Moxiechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2010
    Something else you may want to consider, depending on where you live, is the ability to either hold a lot of weight or the ability to let snow fall through. If you live up north and want a solid roof for your run, make sure it can hold the weight of snow, which can be considerable. If you're using some sort of mesh, make sure it is wide enough so that the snow falls through and doesn't accumulate. We used 2"x4" galvanized wire with good results. [​IMG]

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