Need Help with Run Fence!


12 Years
Jan 13, 2008
Hey all. I have a small coop with a small area run but need something sturdier. I have 3 dogs that ate our first chicks when they were 2 days old. The chicks I have now are fine, in their brooder in the basement. I had the people that put up our backyard fence to come and give an estimate. $1000!!! for a corner of the yard to be fenced in (plus a spot where a neighbors tree damaged the fence). My husband is having a fit. All this for 4 chicks, lol. The fence would of been a 5ft chain link fence.

What can I do? I was thinking of getting some sturdy fencing from home dept and putting it in myself but was worried about the dogs and not sure if I can get 5ft. Can't chickens get across 4ft? Does anyone have any idea? THe chicks are 5 weeks old now so wanted something soon so they could go outside.


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Feb 28, 2007
South Eastern Indiana
Hi, and welcome. In the search line, type in coops and runs" There are several great looking run ideas. You can use RR ties, or 4x4's for a frame around the bottom of the fenceline...and 2x4 frameing for the "fencline" Then attach your fence to that, adding bird netting to the top to keep your babies in, and hawks out. Make sure you bury the fence so the dogs can not dig under...maybe put a stand of electric around the outside of the fence about 12 inches up. A few zaps and they will learn to respect the fencline.


12 Years
Jan 13, 2008
THanks Deb for the fast reply.

I'm not worried about them digging, it is more jumping at the fence and knocking it down. This will be at the back of your yard so don't want electric or have to rig electric all the way out there.


11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
Out of the government's sight

Chain link seems like overkill. Unless your dogs are brutes chicken wir will do. Welded wire would be stronger.

Would suggest 4x4 wood posts at corners and six feet apart on the sides. Set about 24 inches deep. Fill around posts with dry ready mix and water in. That will give you deep enough set posts for our area (maryland) to prevent frost heave.

For the fencing. I used two runs of 48" x 1" mesh chicken wire strung horizontal one above the other on the sides. Use a soft galvanized or aluminum wire to lace the two runs toether at the seam. For the lower part I buried the bottom 24" of wire about 4 inches deep outward from the run. This will discourage dogs/foxes from digging in for at least the first few years until he buried part rots away.

I used this setup here in Maryland with good success.


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
The safest thing would be 1" welded wire mesh fencing; if you are not worried about weasels or rats, 2x4" welded wire mesh fencing is cheaper although you might oughta run 1" chickenwire over the bottom 2' of it to discourage raccoons from reaching through (although that's not such an issue if chickens will be locked into coop during nighttime hours).

For just 4 chickens your run may be small enough that you could just go the rest of the way and put a roof on it, either of 2x4 welded wire mesh fencing or an actual roof (e.g. painted plywood or metal roofing or thjat translucent plastic stuff). Then you would not have to worry about dogs, raccoons etc climbing up and over, or chickens flying out (they can fly over a 6' fence if they want to), or hawks.

Whatever you use, frame the fence *sturdily* -- pressure treated 4x4s for the corner posts and 4x4s or 2x4s as line posts, sunk at *least* 2' into the ground, and sufficient bracing to make the whole thing reasonably rigid (in particular, make sure to connect the tops of the posts to each other at the top of the fencing).

Check out feed stores and TSC stores for a wider selection of wire mesh than home depot is likely to have.

Alternatively, you could buy chainlink dog kennel panels and just assemble them into whatever size run you want, if for some reason you really want chainlink. You can sometimes get them secondhand for cheaper, and it would prolly be a better buy than having real chainlink installed (unless you are wanting a really really big run).

Good luck,



Birds & Bees
12 Years
Jun 1, 2007
Northern York County ~ Pennsylvania
We built wooden frames that are 4' wide and used 4' welded wire vertically on each frame. You can make them as tall as you want. We then put 2 x 4s across the top spaced to 4' and put the same wire on the top to keep the chickens in and the hawks out. We covered one 4' section with the same metal roofing as on the coop roof to create a shady and dry area.



12 Years
Oct 26, 2007
Los Angeles, California
What a nice area for your chickens. Beautiful with the trees... it looks so peaceful. The run seems really sturdy. Chickens just don't know how good they've got it sometimes!



Lost in the Woods
12 Years
Apr 16, 2007
Evening Shade, AR
Here's our cattle panel hoop run...nothing's getting in and nothing's getting out.

We have several preds here: coon, oppossum,skunk, fox, coyote, hawks, stray dogs and haven't suffered a loss.

Hope this helps!


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