I'm not able to set posts for a run

Stonebriar Farm

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 8, 2008
Between Montreal & Ottawa
Hi all! I'm in need of a little Saturday morning assistance.

My soil is too rocky to set posts in the ground for my run (well everything is possible but hiring a backhoe is beyond my budget
) Will laying landscape timbers down, backfilling with crushed stone and using brackets for upright 2X4 be OK?

I plan to bury wire on the outside for predators - at least as much as possible. What I'm concerned about is having enough lateral support to make the run secure. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Could you frame it similar to making a portable run? By that, I mean using a 2 x 4 as the ground piece -- nailing or screwing the upright to the ground pieces, then attach the wire after you make the framework?

I'm not a builder but it seems to me if you cut your 2 x 4's the length between posts, that would work. You might then be able to use a tiller (or something like that) to bury the ground pieces.
just make a cube of 2x4s with a few extra supports., i would put some kind of wire on the bottom too to keep out predators. I use cattle fencing under all my pens to discourage the diggers
I have a similar issue with ledge and heavy rocks . I decided to use a frame style run the run is basically a freestanding box. Mine is part of the overall coop but you can use a similar technique

You make 3 or more sides (you hen coop is one side) on the ground. I used gussets in the corners to keep them square.

I made a foundation for the run by putting 4x4 lumber in the ground and attached the 12" screen that goes underground to it.

I put the walls up on the foundations up and fasten them togther then to the foundation (see my pics).

So far it is working great.
I agree with framing it out by laying down 2 x 4's, that's how my run is built. However, if you don't want to do that, or don't want to buy more wood, you can go get cinderblocks maybe? and put your posts in those?
I did not bury posts in my run.....it was on a hill and hard clay soil. I have skills, but I don't have POST HOLE digging skills



There is a thread with more pics here:


Having a solid structure on one side to fasten the run to does help......If you were worried about it "moving" you could also stake the bottom of the frame down.

My plan was to fill a "trench" approx 1-2 feet wide around the bottom of the frame with gravel and run a strand of electric at just above the bottom board. Haven't gotten to it yet, but the chickens aren't out at night and I have perimeter electric so I don't really worry about them being out in the daytime.

On a sidenote, I looped the handle of my 65lb dog's leash over one of the corner boards, not even thinking about it. And he did not hurt the pen at all when he tried to take off
Agree that what you need is a run built from freestanding panels, attached to each other in such a way that they can't fold flat and fall over.

The best way IMO to predatorproof a setup like that is with a heavy gauge wire mesh apron, firmly affixed to the bottom run frame, running 3-4' out from the base of the fence, and weighted down REAL GOOD with rocks, large pavers, concrete rubble, or covered in turf. I would not especially trust any other arrangement, because even if an animal doesn't have much depth of soil available to *dig* in, dogs and raccoons and coyotes are incredibly strong when well-motivated and you don't want them getting a little bit under your run frame and then just prying it up far enough to squeak through.

Good luck, have fun,

I started setting my post with a post hole digger and ended up on my knees with a rockbar and a trowel. I was pulling rocks out the size of basketballs. I went and rented 2 man auger from Home depot and it busted right through. Well worth the money i paid to rent it.

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