Need to know about run posts

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by FrontRangeFlock, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. FrontRangeFlock

    FrontRangeFlock New Egg

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    Apr 18, 2011
    Hi Everyone,

    I want to build a new run for my coop, I'm thinking about 6 feet tall, wire walls, and wooden posts. How far apart do the posts need to be, and do any of them particularly need to be set in concrete? I don't know the name of the type of wire, NOT chicken wire. The stuff that has about 2" x 4" rectangular holes in it.

    Thanks!

    Lisa
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I just call it 2x4 welded wire. That’s what I used for my run.

    There are a lot of different ways you can do this and we all have our preferences. If you are covering the run, you might want to go a bit taller. I bounce a bit when I walk and trust me, you don’t want to bang your head.

    I grew up on a farm where we built barbed wire cattle fences using wooden posts. We set out posts about 8’ apart, so that is sort of ingrained to me. What you are talking about is a different type of fence so you can probably get away with a 12’ spacing. How level the ground is might enter into it. The type of soil you have also can make a difference, such as clay versus sand.

    Your intermediate posts are not that important, especially with a wire fence so it does not catch a lot of wind load. I use posthole diggers to get a fairly narrow hole in undisturbed soil and use a 1” diameter 5’ long iron bar to tamp rocks around the posts. I don’t use concrete at all. But my soil is clay. If you are in pure sand, that could be different.

    The corner posts are different. I still set these in with tamped rocks, but I use diagonal braces to support them. Attach the top of the diagonal to the corner post and run it down into the ground, either to the base of the next post over or put a stop in the ground so it can’t go anywhere. Even if you elect to concrete the corner posts, you still need to brace them. If you spend some time with Google, you can get other bracing patterns, but to me this diagonal brace is as strong as it gets.

    A couple of things I’ll mention. Do not stretch the wire around the corner post to try to tighten it. You’ll break the post off. Brace the corner post before you stretch the wire and only stretch the wire in line with the fence.

    How you start the wire determines how much it sags and how tight you can get it. I initially fasten it to the first post in a way it is not too hard to take back off and adjust it if I need to. If your ground is not fairly level, you may want to cut the wire at the post where the level changes and restart from there.

    Don’t put a top rail on the fence. Chickens like to perch. If you put a top rail on the fence, they could very well fly up there to perch and who knows which side of the fence they will fly down.

    I put chicken wire on the bottom 18” or so of my run fencing on the inside. Some people do that to help prevent a raccoon from reaching in to get a part of the chicken, but I did it for two different reasons. It stops the chickens from sticking their heads out to eat the grass that grows up around the run, thus exposing their heads to dogs and such. But the real reason was to keep baby chicks being raised by a broody from leaving the run and her protection.

    I also suggest putting an apron around the run. Maybe make it 18” and it can be made of that 2x4 welded wire. Lay it horizontally on the ground and attach it at regular spaces to the bottom of your run fencing. You can remove the top 2” of sod and cover it with that if you wish. I didn’t and the grass grew up through it and it got covered soon anyway, but if you cover it like this, it keeps it out of the way of weed whackers and mowers to start with. The idea is that a digging predator will go to the fence, start digging, hit the wire, and not know to back up. That’s the theory. But I’ve found that a possum, raccoon, or in my garden, a ground hog can pretty much just go under a fence without digging if there is a very small space. Just a very little space does not even slow them down. One being able to just squeeze under worries me a lot more than one digging under.

    A lot on rambling, I know. Hope you get something useful out of this. Good luck!!!
     
  3. FrontRangeFlock

    FrontRangeFlock New Egg

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    Apr 18, 2011
    Thanks! Lots of good stuff to think about in there. I also have clay soil, and this property came with a lot of ugly river rock that I hate. Burying some around the posts where I can't see it sounds great, lol.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You need to tamp those rock tightly around the posts to hold them in place. Just loosely placing them around the posts won't do a lot of good.

    I understand about having a lot of rock around. I won't call it a rock wall because that would sound like I did something special, but I piled a bunch of rock I gathered around the property along the lower side of my gravel driveway to keep the driveway from washing away in a rainstorm. That rock pile is probably 50 feet long and a foot and a half or more tall in the middle. It works.
     
  5. hearts34

    hearts34 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I too have clay and it's the perfect post setter. Just get a rod and tamp heavily as you fill the dirt in around the post. Something I just tried to cut costs(if that's an issue for you) is using landscape timbers instead of the treated 4 x 4s or round posts. I purchased a gallon of roofing/foundation tar and painted the bottom and first 2 foot of the post going into the ground for termite and water resistence.
     

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