Is 2 feet high enough?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dancingflower68, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. dancingflower68

    dancingflower68 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone!

    So, I've been trying to figure out how to contain my chickens when they are outside of their coop. I will be getting 4 different breeds..Black Austalorp, Buff Brahma, Salmon Faverolles, and a Splash Marans. Their coop/run combo is 4x4 of coop space, with 4x8 of attached run. They wont be in there all the time, because I also have a good size fenced area about 10'x40' filled with weeds that they can wander around in. So, my options are to let them have full use of that space (I prefer this), orrr, keep them in a 4x8x 2ft high run, and move it around every couple of days. I found some plans on Mother Earth News,http://www.motherearthnews.com/Hands-On-How-To/Poultry-Pen.aspx that I think I can make, given that I will be using a hand-saw since I'm scared of power saws. Do you think 2ft is high enough for those breeds?

    If I let them run around freely in the area, I am concerned about my neighbors dog. They have a German Shepard, with a 6 foot
    (MAY be 7' on their side, I know we are elevated from them slightly) wooden fence between us. I worry about the dog jumping over or digging under. Do you think he would try? If they run freely during the day when I am home, I was thinking of reinforcing the bottom 2 feet with hardware cloth, although this may be cost prohibitive, and we are renting, so I dont want to invest too much, and then I would also have to figure out a cover since I just saw hawks the other day. Decisions, decisions!!

    Any and all thoughts are welcome and appreciated!
     
  2. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

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    2ft is not high enough to contain a chicken. My standards can fly a good 4 feet off the ground.
     
  3. dancingflower68

    dancingflower68 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, I forgot to mention it will be covered with chicken wire! [​IMG]
     
  4. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the run is covered, the 2 foot height of the walls should work. Chicken wire will not keep out the neighbor's dog. Burying wire around the wall area can consist of simply laying it on the ground.

    Hope this helps.

    Chris
     
  5. Jaxon4141

    Jaxon4141 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use something like you are considering except that I make it completely out of fencing. I use it in my garden. It is in section so it can be made to fit in any space I have. The ones pictured below are 2 feet high and are more that tall enough for the biggest chickens like your Brahma and Australorp. Each section is 5'x5' and they butt up to each other to form a tunnel. There is no wood which makes them a lot lighter.
    [​IMG]
    There are more pictures of this system in my profile.
     
  6. PAgirlinID

    PAgirlinID New Egg

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    Could you tell us more about you're run? You said the sections are 5'x5'? Is that the wire section before you bend it or are they the dimensions of the bent wire.? You hold them together with zip ties? Have you made a way to turn in this way, instead of just a straight run? How do you keep them in place? Thanks :D I think this might be a better idea for a run than stringing deer fencing around my garden for fall-spring. Plus it offers protection from hawks.
     
  7. dancingflower68

    dancingflower68 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like the fact that there is no wood! What do you use to cut the heavy wire?
     
  8. Jaxon4141

    Jaxon4141 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I cut the wire with medium size bolt cutters. The wire I used is 5'x100' roll of 2"x4" 12.5 gauge galvanized fencing. Each run is made with two 2'x5' pieces and one 7'x5' piece. The 7' pieces makes the arch spanning 5', which make the arch 2' high.
    [​IMG]
    I attach each ends of the 2' piece to the 7' piece using zip ties, bring the 2' piece up vertically and zip tie it at the middle of each piece.
    [​IMG]
    The end pieces have a 1' square cut in the middle that will be the bottom. I use clear plastic hose split to cover the cut pieces of wire so chicken not cut by the wire. I usually fill the tube with foam so thing like mites do not have a place to hide where chicken pass through all the time. I then secure the top and the end with hog ring.
    [​IMG]
    Then I just tie where the arch crosses the end pieces with zip ties. When done you have a run section that is 5'x5'x2'
    I use a 5 gallon bucket with chicken nipples for watering my chickens. I reinforce this run with PEX , zip tied to the inside of the arch, to help support the weight of the bucket of water.

    [​IMG]
    There is also a feeding station that I cover with 1/2" hardware cloth as the raccoons around here reach and turn over scooping out food. This keeps them from the food. It has an 8' door on each side to allow me to remove and fill the feeder trough. I use #1 stainless steel S-biners to keep the door closed.
    [​IMG]
    Other than the coop, these section are easy to put together and will give you about 50' of run from a 100' roll of fencing including the coop. You can cover these runs to keep out rain and snow and the wind will not blow them off. See pics in my default album. Someone else called the chicken tunnels, so I guess I'll called them the Jaxon Chicken Tunnels.
     
  9. Jaxon4141

    Jaxon4141 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I forgot to mention that on each side of the run I use 14" fencing, hog ringed to the run as predator guards. This way when I move a section I can lift the predator guard up and clip it to the side of the run so they don't get in the way when moving a section. When I put the guards down I place 12" round pavers at each section to keep them down and secure.
    [​IMG]
    You can't see the guards very well in this picture, but each paver is where a section meets the next section.
     
  10. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i would plan on the neighbor's dog making unannounced, unwanted visits.
     

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