Ideas for a large enclosed run...40x24 ft

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jfishdr, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. jfishdr

    jfishdr Chirping

    Jul 10, 2011
    I am in Gilbert, a suburb of Phoenix and am planning a large enclosed run. I'd like to build 40x24 with a roof over 2/3 of it and a pergola attachment on the front.

    I do not love the look of chain link and would like to use pressure treated lumber with 4x6 corner posts and 1x3 inch welded wire on the sides and top.

    I was wondering if anyone had any pictures of a large run that they have seen.


  2. boogiedog

    boogiedog Songster

    Apr 19, 2010
    Oakland hills, CA
    I would go much smaller than 1x3" welded wire - raccoon hands, rats, etc can easily fit through that. I would go 1x1 on the sides of the run; 1/2 x 1/2 in the coop (windows, etc) where you lock them in at night. I used chicken wire to top my run - heavily overlapped - and zip-tied it together, before putting about 4" of dirt in for the bottom; heavily overlapped and zip-tied as well on the top. Top and bottom wire is both heavily secured to the wood "baseboards". (My objective was to literally create a solid framework of wire enclosing the run.) If you used 1x3 on the top of the run, and your hens were locked in a coop at night, you would probably be ok. You may see rats and weasels, however.

    Since I lock my hens in the coop at night, I was not too worried about nighttime predators coming through the top of the run, which they probably could, but would not be able to access the hens in the coop.

    I have had weasels and rats try to access run at night (likely for the food in the feeders) - they dug significant holes under the run but thankfully could not breach the wire underneath. (I have since gotten rid of the predators, but wow, they can excavate a TON of dirt in just one evening.)

    The sides of my run have a base board, "mid" board and top (2x4s) where I have securely u-nailed the 1x1 wire. And attached the bottom and topping wire as well.

    I have no idea how to attach a pic of my run and coop, but would be happy to send one to you. If interested, let me know I can email it to you seperately.

    Good luck, and have fun!
  3. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    If you look at the coop designs link at the top of the pages, there is a wealth of information and ideas. I like the sound of what you propose. You may want to reinforce the bottom with a smaller mesh hardware cloth, as 1x3 would allow certain predators to reach through and grab them.
  4. BgNH

    BgNH In the Brooder

    May 25, 2010
    Mont Vernon, NH
    That's a large run! Good on you.

    I use kennel panels. I originally bought a 10x10 kennel made of painted welded steel fence. It is very strong - strong enough for me to build a wooden roof that sits on top of it; at least it does now, but I'll have to provide supports before the winter snows hit.

    Anyway, the reason I prefer the metal panels is that I can easily expand if I'd like. I've added on to the original kennel set. The current configuration is 15' wide. You can see what it looks like here .

    So if I buy just two more panels, I get another 150' sq. And they are also easy to work with, and its so simple to change the overall configuration of the run area - just move the panels around as you like.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  5. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Songster

    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    I am in the process of building what you have in mind. Mine is only slightly smaller 32x20. I will have a roof over half that area.

    I have 4x4 posts sunk every 8 ft on the long sides, one each midway on the short sides and in the middle of the run. 2x8 boards are run at the inside of the 4x4's and at both sides of the middle posts. 2x4's will be run at the outside of the long sides. I have 4x4 in between the 4x4 posts, horizontally on the ground. In between the 4x4 posts I have 2x4's that sit on the horizontal 4x4 and are nailed to the 2x8 board. So I have some sort of support every 4 feet, and I can run 4 ft HC panels to minimize cutting that stuff.

    I will attach 2x4 rafters with hurricane ties, the roof is ondura panels. The roof will be pitched with a 2/12 pitch (like a gable roof).

    I have not taken any pics as of yet. I am currently installing hardware cloth on the long sides before the outside 2x4 is going to be mounted, so that the HC is sandwiched. After that is done only the roof needs to be put on. I plan to use HC on the non-covered part of the roof as well.

    Be prepared for the price tag. So far I've spent at least over $1000. (this is where I stopped counting).
  6. Capvin

    Capvin Songster

    Apr 13, 2011
    Lake Placid, FL
    My run is only 8' x 16' and even though I only have 6 chickens I wish I made it larger. The previous poster (fiddlebanshee) has the right ideas. It is absolutely necessary to make the run as preditor proof as possible and that means hardware cloth everywhere, plus a hardware cloth apron to discourage digging, and a covered top for shade. Where you do not have a solid top then you need to muse hardware cloth there also. There is just no sense is building a large run that will be easily broken into by any preditor.

  7. jfishdr

    jfishdr Chirping

    Jul 10, 2011
    Thanks for the great ideas. I like the look of the last one and will expand this idea further. I was thinking the welded wire was stronger than hardware cloth but maybe I'll do both on the side panels and then chicken wire on the top, double layer.

    I am planning a roof similar to the picture for 3/4 of the run and have enclosed coops at the back for at night sleeping. I was thinking of doing plywood panels across the back of the run for shade from the evening sun (back wall on West and front open wire facing East.

    I would also like to extend out a pergola like structure over the from half of the run so some dappled shade could be in front over the grass area but then the chickens could stay toward the back in the AM if the sun was too hot and then move anywhere during the afternoon when the sun is over the West side.

    I have also planned misters to be suspended from the rafters at the front of the roof to reduce temps as needed.

    I like the idea of the "floor boards" but am planning a cement foundation in a trench all the way around to fix the 4x4 posts and support 2x4 every 4 feet.

    On the outside I am planning to bend the Hardware cloth out and extend a skirt of 3 feet and then set rail road ties on top of the skirt all the way around.

    I am then putting a garden around the ties to grow vegetables. I plan to run grape vines up the sides of the wire to provide additional summer shade and winter sun.

    I am trying to get some sketches in so I can show you my proposal.

    My general contractor is happy and I am sure I am into the $3000 range pretty easy...that is leaving all the wire work to myself.

    Thanks again all

  8. Capvin

    Capvin Songster

    Apr 13, 2011
    Lake Placid, FL
    For the size of the run you are planning the sum of $3000 seems the least you will spend as materials are pretty expensive. Your ideas are great and since I am a big advocate of misters I would recomment that the misters only mist about 1/4 of the run. That gives the chicks a chnace to go into the mist when they want and leave it when the want. My mist system is mounted on one end only and without it I am sure my chicks would not be faring too well the this fantastic heat we are having. Regarding a floor for the run my only recommendation is sand. Nothing else we have tried works as well and cleasns up as easy. Would love to see your work as it progresses.
  9. chi-rn

    chi-rn Chirping

    Jun 11, 2011
    No pergola, but we have a very large run... started out with a commercial "carport" & just expanded from there!
  10. 2overeasy000

    2overeasy000 Songster

    Dec 1, 2010
    Quote:Is that 2x4 welded wire? and have you had any trouble with predators getting through that?

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