Not having a roof on a run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by clucknpeck, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. clucknpeck

    clucknpeck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2012
    We are building a coop on a budget and putting a cover on the run would be more expensive so my husband says we don't need it. I am unsure if that is an ok place to cut corners.
    His dad always had chickens and said they never had a covered run because they had roosters and the roosters would alert the chickens to when they needed to run back into the coop. We too will have a rooster, and we have 2 dogs that will help with keeping the yard predator free.
    The chickens will spend a lot of time outside the run underneath the open sky free ranging anyway. So do we need to cover the run?
     
  2. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are going to use the watch dog method at first and did not put a cover on the run...but we built it so that one can pretty easily be added if there turns out to be trouble.
     
  3. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    How hard will it be for you to have a hawk or some climbing critter in the pet eating one of your flock.

    Just this week here the hawks started coming out in force here.

    Even string with CD's on it all the way across like a net would help.

    Besides if something gets in you have to buy the birds all over and start over raising them... loss of time and feed and heartache.

    Here is my coop and run, after losing most of my original flock to a high predator load...

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/gallery/album/view/id/6177963/user_id/44847
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  4. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also look into the setups your neighbors have, if there are any. A family around the corner from me has had chickens in uncovered runs for the last year and a half and has not had any losses, so that was encouraging to us in constructing an uncovered run.
     
  5. TheLoveShack

    TheLoveShack Out Of The Brooder

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    Hawks are the biggest predator we have here, so I personally would not go roofless.
     
  6. rapturecidal

    rapturecidal Out Of The Brooder

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    my run is covered with wire. and i had a solar panel on the top of it for the pump to the water well i made for my chickens. but a hawk ripped it off. if you look at the sides or top of their run you can see the damage the hawks have done to it trying to get at them. at least the cats just try and dig under it. and my rooster can handle most domestic cats if they do make it under.

    but my rooster cant carry a solar panel. so i think runs should probably be covered.

    i still dont know what that hawk did with my solar panel.
     
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    A roofless run is fine as long as 1) you have cover available in the run - birds have cars, shrubs, outbuildings, trees, etc. to huddle beneath or along when freeranging, so maybe barrels, branches, etc. in the run??? 2) you close your birds inside a secure housing each night - a fence 12 feet high isn't going to keep a raccoon out...
     
  8. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

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    A hawk killed our favorite rooster - so we put a top on our run. It cost more, but it seemed less wasteful to us than losing a flock - or even one chicken - to a predator. Domesticated chickens depend on us to protect them. It is definitely upsetting to lose a chicken to a predator. And some predators can climb fences. I wouldn't consider the chickens safe in an uncovered run.

    With that said - many people have uncovered runs and let their chickens free range - and they consider the risk part of the deal.
     
  9. clucknpeck

    clucknpeck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you everyone. I think my run will be covered. I think I will also look around and see if there is anything I can recycle for use of coverage in the pasture they will free range in. It's completely bare and it sounds like predators are more determined than I thought.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  10. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Old barrels turned on their sides, a piece of plywood up on stumps or blocks, a downed tree section pulled over into the field...even a tractor or piece of equipment parked in the middle of the field...anything can provide ground cover as long as you don't mind a bit of an eyesore...lol. Places where the birds can huddle when hawks are out an about.
    Mine typically head under a line of cedar trees, in to one of the runs (ours are covered), or under a car when hawks circle here...
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012

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