my temporary run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jomercer, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. jomercer

    jomercer Songster

    I don't have a camera right now, but I'll try to describe my setup.

    On July 4 weekend, I needed to have a temporary run for 4 8-week-old pullets until I got their permanent coop finished. I built one out of 8 2x4x8s, a roll of 4'wide, 2x3" coated welded wire fencing, 4 feet of hardware cloth, bungee cords, some leftover plywood, two scrap 1x3s, heavy duty staples, and a handful of small carabiners, wire ties, and decking screws.

    I used a large plastic doghouse (that the dog has never used--long story) for their nighttime shelter.

    The run's frame is 8 feet long, 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide (outside dimensions), and covered on all four long sides with the welded wire.

    The short ends of the run are covered with "doors" of wire using carabiners for hinges along the top edge. On the end of the run with the water and feeder, the door is secured with two bungee cords stretched from side to side so that they hold the door flat and tight against the framing.

    The other end is where I slide the doghouse in and out morning and evening. That wire flap is augmented with hardware cloth and wire ties to keep the chickens in the doghouse and to protect the chickens from something reaching in to grab them. The doors flips up completely onto the top of the run, out of the way.

    I inserted 2 1x3"s through wire across the short dimension for perches. I laid plywood left from another project on the top for rain protection. The feeder hangs from an eye hook in the plywood ceiling. The fount sits on a pad of concrete paving stones. I can reach the feeder and fount without having to crawl around in a 4-foot-high space.

    The chickens are in the run all day except for a couple of hours in the evening, depending upon the weather, when I let them roam the fenced-in part of the yard.

    In the morning, I use a short length of 1x3" to push the doghouse away from the hardware cloth gate (the doghouse was positioned snugly against the door to keep the chickens in for the night.) The girls immediately scurry to the opposite end of the run for food and water. While they're occupied, I quickly open the doghouse end of the run , slide the doghouse out, and lock down the door. I insert the two perches, give them a treat of greens or scratch, and then leave for work.

    In the evening, I open up both doors to let the girls out, clean, refresh the water and feed, take out the perches, and check the fittings on the run. Then I slide the doghouse in the other end with the door facing me, but about a foot in from the edge of the frame. The girls can scoot by the doghouse for feed and water, but don't have perches to tempt them from going into the doghouse as it gets dark. They eventually all get in the doghouse (with pine shaving bedding) and settle themselves for the night. That's when I can slide the doghouse forward tight against the framing and let down the wire/hardware cloth door and secure it.

    Even with the 100+ day and 85+ night temps we've had this summer, they had plenty of ventilation at night and have come through healthy and happy.

    The setup was dog-tested; my 80-pounder and 50 pounder have developed a taste for chicken poop, and try their darndest to get in the pen (they also follow the chickens around in the yard to slurp up each poop, and the big dog can sometimes get close enough to lick their butts! Ish!). Once the bigger dog accomplished a break-in and so identified a security problem, which I fixed.

    The thing is pretty heavy for one person to move--impossible for me to drag--but it's doable if I alternately lift and walk each end to the new location.
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Sounds like you went to a lot of work for this temporary set-up, so you must really be trying to keep them safe. It's also sounds like a pain dealing with their nighttime housing... [​IMG] Good incentive to get that permanent coop built!! How nice of your pooches to help you "test" coop sercurity too!!
  3. mcostas

    mcostas Chirping

    Aug 2, 2010
    I would like to see a pic of that, does your cell phone take pics? [​IMG]

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