Is your run covered?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by TheSpiceGirls, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Crowing

    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    I'm curious how many people completely cover their chicken runs?

    My run is about 12 feet wide by 18 feet long. I have 4 feet of the 12 foot side covered and under that is their little house (3' by 4') which leaves enough room for their feeder, treat bowl and sand box so it stays dry.

    I'm wondering if should cover more of it? I'm in California in Silicon Valley. We probably get about 12-13" of rain a year and snow is a very-very rare occurance. My set up is probably fine and I just feel bad because it's Christmas and it's POURING today. But I'm wondering if I should cover more of their run.
  2. deborah

    deborah Songster

    Oct 22, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    We let our chickens free-range, but we have an 8X8 hen house and attached 12X8 run completely roofed with metal over plywood. There have been times we have had to confne them to the hen house/run because of predators. The run has hardware cloth walls and hardward cloth was run a foot down and a foot over around the perimeter. It does keep rain and snow out of their feeders, but it was originally done that way for protection from predators. Hawks are our biggest threat.

    We are located in Michigan
  3. stilldeb

    stilldeb Songster

    May 28, 2010
    NW Kentucky
    We have a heavy plastic netting over our runs and also blue tarps secured with bungees that we can adjust according to the wind/sun, etc., and put the feed/water under the covered areas to keep them out of any weather. My chickens hate wind, and we live on top of a hill where it seems the wind is always blowing, so I try to block a bit of it for them when I can.

    deb g
  4. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Crowing

    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    Our run is covered with heavy gauge wire to protect them from hawks. And I’ve buried the same heavy gauge wire 12 feet down to protect them from skunks, raccoons or possums digging into their run.

    I work crazy hours. Their hen house is inside the run, but I don’t lock them in it. I feel they are safe inside their run. And I don't have to worry if I'm not home to lock them in or if I want to sleep in, I don't feel the need to get up and let them out.

    But I feel bad when it rains this hard. Which doesn’t happen too much. And it almost never rains here in the summer. So I’ll have to watch and see if maybe I need to add some more panels to the top of the run to make for more dry space.
  5. MamaChic21

    MamaChic21 Songster

    Dec 2, 2010
    Jackson, NJ
    Our run is 17x10 and it was all chicken wired and predator proof but during the summer, the sun was directly at them so we put those plastic roofs. I got it from Lowes. If you want you can cover som part of the area with that.
  6. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Crowing

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I have secure coops for at night, but the runs are just a chain link chicken yard- no cover.
  7. Roosterfry

    Roosterfry Songster

    Nov 26, 2010
    North Mississippi
    absolutely cover your coop if you have preditors such as racoons or possums that can climb and if you EVER see a large hawk or eagle u need to keep your coop covered or you will experience losses. I live in North MS and keep my coops covered. but i do have an advantage i have a dog that barks at raptures big time! and keep foxes and coons away so far thank God! [​IMG]
  8. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Hawks and owls love an uncovered run. Ask me how I know [​IMG]
  9. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    Um, my coop is partially covered (as in, roofed) and partially uncovered (as in, just covered in hardware cloth). The Big Girls don't seem to care much either way. I haven't noticed them really staying in the covered part - although that is where I put the food, so I find it handy to have it partially covered.

    Do make sure the run is predator-proofed, even if you don't cover it. I don't cover mine entirely cuz I want them to be able to get some sun in summer without having to go out (in case I'm busy and can't let them out during the day).
  10. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    One of my runs is covered and made of hardware cloth. The other of strong wire and has no top. I think I might get a clear top for my run though, because we have very mushy soil in there, and it's gross when wet. I have no current plans to put a top on the open run, though.

    Edited for typos
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2010

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