How long should my run be?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hawkeye95, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Songster

    I'm wanting 10 chickens, and I've already dug the holes to make an 8X8 floor plan for the coop. Next, I'm going to dig holes for the posts for the run... but then I wondered, for 10 chickens (what if I get a couple extra?!) how long should the run be? It will be 8 feet wide (coming straight off the sides of the coop) and then extend far?

    I'm thinking of putting in 4X4 posts into the ground for the Run.. is that overkill? Is there another post I can use, or is that the best way to go about it? The coop is being put on 4X4X8 posts. I want to be able to walk into it without having to duck or crouch in there. Should they be 4X4X12? How far apart do you space them????

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I don't know how you are building your run so I can't tell you what to use as posts or how far apart to space them. There are a tremendously lot of different ways you could build your run.

    As far as how much space they need? There are some rules of thumb that people will argue about and disagree over. The most generally accepted bare minimum on this forum is 10 square feet per chicken in the run. I find that if I go above the bare minimum I have to work less in keeping it clean and I have more flexibility in how I manage them. I suggest you look more at how big can you afford to build it with your available space to give them as much extra space as you can manage. It is easier on you in the long run.

    We have different goals and different management techniques. My permanent laying/breeding flock is only one rooster and 6 or 7 hens. But I raise them to eat also and hatch out a bunch. My total number got up to the mid-30's last summer, went down to total of 6 adults over the winter, and is now back up to a total of 26 with probably a fall hatch to come. I free range mine a lot but my run is 12' x 32'. I never have to clean it, even when I leave them locked in there for a month with no free ranging. Some people that go with the bare minimum are out there raking the run every day.

    We are all different. There is no one correct answer for any of us.
  3. gavinandallison

    gavinandallison Songster

    Jul 25, 2010
    Matthews, NC.
    If it's any help, I have 10 birds in a 10x20 run with bird netting over the top, with posts down the center to raise it up in the middle like a normal roof would be?
  4. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Songster

    Quote:thank you! that does help! so at the very least, probably 20 ft or more out.
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Should they be 4X4X12?

    No, because they don't have to be set deep in the ground.

    You could even use shorter posts, and then build a floor platform to set the walls on and save money on materials.​
  6. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    The bigger the better!
  7. wayne hulgan

    wayne hulgan Chirping

    Jul 24, 2011
    Quote:we built a 30x50 for our chicks. we only have 5 now, but are planning on about 10. we think ours is plenty big for that many. as for building your fence. we figured materials for our fence, then called the fence company. our plan was very much like yours. we were using 4x4x8's spaced 8' with 6' welded wire 1"x4" spacing. building our own gate. all the material was arround $1100 bucks. the fence company wanted $1300 bucks. I would have sweated more than 200 bucks. we have nice shiney new store bought fence. think someone here quoted around 10 square feet run per chick and 4 square feet in the coop. my memory is not good, so do a search and check my figures. have fun

  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I used landscape timbers for posts in my run, because we had a bunch already, and because they were cheaper than 4x4 posts. If your run will not be covered or roofed, that would be a cheaper option. If you think you'd ever want to cover it securely with welded wire, you could just box out a frame with 2x4s. It kind of all depends on how you plan on doing your run.
    So that material wasn't wasted, we used 8 ft increments for posts (because used removeable "frame" sections for my run. But if your run is put together like cattle fencing (no top), then the spacing doesn't matter so much.
  9. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Songster

    Lots of great ideas! I really appreciate the input! Sounds like it could get pretty pricey, but I want it to last. I also am planning on putting wire on top, too.
  10. stcroixusvi

    stcroixusvi Songster

    May 5, 2011
    Western NC
    My Coop
    We used 4 x 4 x 10 treated on the first run but will use landscape timbers on the extension. Our run is 10 x 20 with 22 chickens (can't seem to part with any of them) so we are extending the run to at least double its size.

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