Is this a hair-brained idea or what? (for a chicken run that is)


10 Years
Mar 5, 2009
Central FL
My chickens are in a coop at night and during the day I load them up in a big plastic box in my son's wagon and wheel them over to wherever their mobile-chicken run is for the day. At night I load 'em up and wheel 'em back to the coop.

As I'm doing I think to myself... does anyone else really DO this?

So I do want to build an attached run to our coop so that on the days when I'm not up for loading up three hens and trekking across the yard to the mobile run I can just leave them to be in their coop/run.

The problem is I'm low on building skills and finances. After reading on here I've discovered that converting a chainlink dog run might be a good idea. I found on in my town on CraigsList for $100. It's 6' wide by 8 ' long by 4' tall with no roof.

Here's the hair-brained idea...

I want to be able to stand up in it to clean it out. And it needs a roof - obviously. What about building an arch top to it out of pvc pipe and wire? Or is this too much of a monumental undertaking. Our run is built from an arch just like that (thanks to AWESOME plans on BYC )

I know i'll need to put some hardwire cloth around the run to make it safe from predators.... and I'll have to put some below-ground wire too....

But what do you think of my arched roof idea? Is it really dumb? Be honest. I can take it. I do worry about the $$ of building the roof after shelling out $100 for the run. Maybe I should just wait for a taller run???

Any ideas are appreciated. Today I woke up with the worst sinus pain EVER and couldn't bear the thought of going out in 95+ degree heat to transport the hens from their coop to the run... and our run can't attach to our coop... Yeah, I still moved them, but it wasn't fun.
I was wondering the same thing about getting the chicks in the tractor.

I have TEN standard chicks that are 17 wks old and getting quite large. I'll be completing a cattle panel tractor that I plan to put in HUGE backyard that is field fenced (no climb 2x3"). I will need to somehow get ten BIG chicks to follow me from their run through a livestock fence into the tractor twice a day - morning and bedtime.

I do get them to go back in their run pretty easily when I let them out of the run to eat grass and bugs while I'm standing there.

I just grab the scratch corn bucket and shake it while making cluck cluck cluck sounds, sprinkle a little. That gets most of them in, then with the rest I use my buggy whip to gently guide them in the right direction. I have hopes the same will work for the tractor but have my doubts because they'll have a lot of space and grass to go to get from one to the other.

I love my 6' dog kennel run covered in plastic deer netting. It sounds like making an arch would work. The advantage over that would be the rain would run off. With my flat top, the rain collect on the plastic and weights it down and then drips big drips. I have considered doing the arch after seeing that on a run here someplace.

Good luck with yours.

Suggestions from others who move chicks from coop/run to tractor would be GREAT.
I just cover my runs (chain link kennels) with a tarp, then stand a wooden board up in the middle so that the rain will run off the sides.
Those chain link dog runs come in a six foot height as well. Might be worth looking around to see if you can find the taller version first? It would save you the trouble of building an arched roof, as you'd just need to put wire/netting without adding extra height.
It's cheaper to just have your local hardware man get you the pipes & fittings to assemble a arch run, add the small roll of wire and throw a tarp over it. The hardware man will cut the pipes to length. Cheaper then buying a $100 dog pen then having to add more money to it. Plus you can slide the arch run up to their house!
We have an arch run, but it's our portable run. I want a very sturdy predator-proof run to attach to the coop. The arch run isn't sturdy enough to be a permanent attached run - plus it cost a good $150 to make it.

And I don't have a ton of building skills to build a "real" run all by myself so I thought I'd have better luck modifying a dog run than I would trying to build a run by myself.
I think the dog kennel will work. You could use PVC to make the roof and strap vinal chicken wire to it. (just a couple of poles running the lengh of the run).
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