Looking for some advice- building LARGE run

TopazMaster91

Chirping
Oct 21, 2019
88
181
81
Lakeland, FL
*EDIT* Updated with pics, post #11 !

So we started with a dinky prefab, which I quickly realized was far too small.
As a result, we have built from scratch a 7x6ft, 7ft tall coop, and we're just beginning the run. My dad said he'd help, but he's not a builder and I was a bit hesitant about it since we're going to make it huge as possible (24ft long, 16ft wide, 6-8ft tall) and it needs to be built solidly, it's not going to have a roof, only bird netting and a tarp covering part of it for shade and rain. Anyhow my dad insisted on helping build it before I was ready or sure about what to do, and so we got one wall framed (no hardware cloth yet) using his methods, using 8ft long 2x4s and some shorter pieces we cut. That is precisely when the obvious occurred to me, and him- how the hell is this 8ft tall, 24ft long section of wall even going to STAND UP without breaking apart or just falling over?! And for that matter, how can we do this WITHOUT building some sort of roof or support beams to keep the entire thing from keeling over?!
We are NOT builders, I only have what knowledge I've gleamed from this website, and my uncle who IS a builder. We need serious help!
Is there any general or specific tips anyone can give me on how to build a large run like this, and/or pictures/plans relevant to the size we're making this thing? This is turning out much more difficult than it looked!
 
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HenOnAJuneBug

Crowing
May 20, 2015
2,327
4,413
362
One of my runs is 30 x 10 and has a sloped open roof with cattle panel covers. I used 7, 6 x 10 dog lot panels and the necessary hardware to form the slanted roof. I could have made it 40 or 50 ft long by adding 2 or 4 more panels, if I had wanted to. No building required. Something that long though, needs to be braced along the sides so it doesn't fall over.

Example
 
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TopazMaster91

Chirping
Oct 21, 2019
88
181
81
Lakeland, FL
One of my runs is 30 x 10 and has a sloped open roof with cattle panel covers. I used 7, 6 x 10 dog lot panels and the necessary hardware to form the slanted roof. I could have made it 40 or 50 ft long if I had wanted to. No building required. Something that long though, needs to be braced along the sides so it doesn't fall over.
I think my dad used entirely too much wood, we don't need it to be indestructible, just a basic frame for hardware cloth to be attached to, you know? But he wanted to "help" his way, despite never having built anything like this before, and the way he had us do this one wall, it's more like a wall for an actual building then something to just fence up in a rectangular shape, you know? As a result this 24ft section weighs far more than it should and is impossible to pick up off the ground, I really wish he had waited to help until I had done some more research and at least come up with a basic plan first. He basically winged it, saying he knew what he was doing (he doesn't, lol). I appreciate his help, but by what I see from other creations on here and from plain common sense, I think we're going to have to take the entire thing apart and start from scratch. We don't need massive heavy walls, just a super basic frame for hardware cloth, not actual real walls, you know.
I considered using just metal to build it but the local store only has these short, skinny things that cost like 10 bucks each. Figured it would be easier to get some 2x4s, and figure out a super basic framing for hardware cloth. I guess making something this damn big is a bit complicated though.
 

21hens-incharge

Addict
Premium member
Mar 9, 2014
16,503
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Northern Colorado
There are a lot of ways you can build a run- will it be permanently in one place or will it move?

Id suggest going to YouTube and checking out building chicken coops / runs and "how to frame".

If you can attach a picture of coop and where the run will fit in relation, you might get some specific ideas.

Good luck!
Yes definitely need to know if it will be permanent.

My run on my big coop is 16'x23'. I have fence posts concreted in the ground.


Please post pics of what you currently have built....even if it is just the coop and one run wall laying on the ground.
 

Ninjasquirrel

Crowing
May 11, 2018
1,742
4,227
286
Northwest Indiana
I'm not a carpenter but I think for a structure that large you would need to pour a concrete slab and secure the bottom of your wall posts to it. The problem with concrete though is that its cold. You might want to rethink your build. The other option might be securing the posts in concrete in the ground

Edit: spoke to my "carpenter" this morning. He said if you built it like a house wall it won't fall over. It might be a good idea to "span" in the corners i.e. putting a 2 x4 to connect the two walls.

I hope this helps
 
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Tycine1

Crowing
May 26, 2009
1,679
3,917
371
David, Chiriquí, Panama
With the exception of the weight, a single solid long wall, or two abutting short walls could act as a very nice wind break; cover this area with your tarp (or if at all possible, a sheet of zinc roofing material) and you'd have the makings for a sturdy, shady, dry spot for your flock to get in out of the weather. This is the area that you'd hang your feed bucket and waterer, and also where you'd install some roosting bars... Do not put the food and water UNDER the roost, as they'll get 'dirty'. Opting for roosts on one wall of the corner, and hanging groceries on the other. Since you're in Florida, and the temperatures don't get near freezing, I see this as an acceptable start to your coop. You can often find excellent how-to videos on building chicken 'tractors' or coops on youtube, and may even find a few that will help you incorporate that huge slab of a wall that you've already got built.
 

TopazMaster91

Chirping
Oct 21, 2019
88
181
81
Lakeland, FL
There are a lot of ways you can build a run- will it be permanently in one place or will it move?

Id suggest going to YouTube and checking out building chicken coops / runs and "how to frame".

If you can attach a picture of coop and where the run will fit in relation, you might get some specific ideas.

Good luck!
Definitely gonna be in one place!

I'll see what I can find there and if any of it helps;

My phone is totally dead and gone so when I get the chance to use someone else's camera, I'll take some pics and upload them here. Thanks everyone for your advice so far! Once I have some pics, I'll elaborate more on what we're doing :)
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
10,005
64,515
1,302
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My Coop

TopazMaster91

Chirping
Oct 21, 2019
88
181
81
Lakeland, FL
You may find it helpful and more economic in the long run to think more as if you're fencing a tennis court rather than a chicken run.
24' x 16' isn't very big when you look at it the above terms.
With steel posts set in concrete, one post every 6' and the four corner posts with struts and using welded mesh on a roll the project needn't be very expensive and will last.

https://www.weld-mesh.com/welded-mesh
https://www.weld-mesh.com/fencing/fencing-posts-and-systems
I like your way of thinking! Only problem is we already have a huge amount of wood, mostly 8ft long 2x4s, so if possible I'd have to imitate the "tennis court" idea using wood rather than metal, since the money is already spent and I don't think they'd take back the wood...But it does give me some ideas, especially combined with some of the advice already given here- for example, instead of the metal posts, I can stick the 8ft long 2x4s two feet into the ground vertically, every 6 ft, and go from there maybe? Either way, thanks for the perspective shift :p
 
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