Official BYC Poll: Is your RUN Covered or Not?

Is your RUN covered or uncovered


  • Total voters
    473
Jul 25, 2020
60
92
50
My run is covered with fishing nets due to the eagles and owls. They free range all day in Summer out of the run but locked in coop at night due to the brown bears. In run all winter as they are then easily seen by the eagles.
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
3,569
8,885
562
Nevada County, CA
Covered! I have LOTS of predators: foxes (so so many foxes), raccoons, possum, skunks, bobcats, coyote, mountain lions, bears, hawks, eagles, owls... My run is covered with welded wire AND hardware cloth. And it's over 200 sq ft. My flock also has a yard where they get to forage while closely supervised. It's surrounded by electric netting.

I ain't messing around.

I'd LOVE to let them free range all day long, but if I did, I wouldn't have a flock for long.
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
3,569
8,885
562
Nevada County, CA
Covered runs tend to run smaller and be more permanent, at least from what I've seen. I run my birds on a fenced in section of my garden (electric fence, no cover), and a couple times a year I move them and the fence to another section. So they're always doing something useful: either prepping new ground for future garden space (trampling down grass and shallow tilling), or cleaning up the remnants of the garden and eating the pests that hide in the soil at the end of the season, or just laying down fertilizer in the winter.

Whenever I see a static/permanent run, I can't help but think that if you have any sized garden, you're missing out on an opportunity to fertilize it, and you're also increasing your food costs by not providing an area where the chickens can forage. By always having them on grass or garden space, they always have access to greens and bugs, so I don't have to feed them as much grain. I have a small covered run attached to the coop but I only use it if I'm on vacation or need to separate out birds from the flock for some reason. It fills up with weeds every summer, but as soon as I let the birds into it, they trample it down to a dusty wasteland in under a week.
Sounds great! I couldn't do that and have a flock for long. My chickens get to forage daily, but I have to supervise closely. Too many predators here! Yikes!
 

sunnie7

Songster
Oct 24, 2016
661
571
176
Southern Indiana
Sounds great! I couldn't do that and have a flock for long. My chickens get to forage daily, but I have to supervise closely. Too many predators here! Yikes!
When you want them to go back in from free ranging what’s your method to get them in?! I’ve tried treats but it won’t work! Ideally it like to take them out once I get home from work but then it’s like of they get a taste for freedom they want to stay out until almost dark!
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
3,569
8,885
562
Nevada County, CA
When you want them to go back in from free ranging what’s your method to get them in?! I’ve tried treats but it won’t work! Ideally it like to take them out once I get home from work but then it’s like of they get a taste for freedom they want to stay out until almost dark!
Mine will follow me just about anywhere if I have treats. I don't know what else to suggest. Maybe try different treats? Wish I could be more help...
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
11,728
21,687
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
When you want them to go back in from free ranging what’s your method to get them in?! I’ve tried treats but it won’t work! Ideally it like to take them out once I get home from work but then it’s like of they get a taste for freedom they want to stay out until almost dark!
Maybe try changing up treats?

I use a combo of treats, herding, and verbal cues. Though mine don't actually follow the treats in... they return to the run for the promise of treats (they don't get them until they're all back in the run, and then I go into the coop to get them, so they all cluster around coop door).
 

BDutch

Crowing
5 Years
May 19, 2015
1,543
5,050
367
the Netherlands
My Coop
When you want them to go back in from free ranging what’s your method to get them in?! I’ve tried treats but it won’t work! Ideally it like to take them out once I get home from work but then it’s like of they get a taste for freedom they want to stay out until almost dark!
I often let the chickens out from 5/6 pm until they return to the coop themselves. Chickens tend to roost at sunset/ about half an hour before its gets dark. Most (95%?) chickens choose their coop to roost. So In general there is no problem if you close the coop before its getting really dark.

Most evenings I give my chickens a few hands of grain around sunset in the run. To be sure they all come home.

I always close the door to the coop and leave the door to the run open when they free range in the evening. If I can’t ( or forget ) to feed them some extra!s at sunset I know the chickens be safe for the night if they cone home because an automatic door closes between the run and the coop. I have two chickens that like to sleep outside sometimes. But if they do, they always roost on the same spot on top of the run door, where I can pick them up.
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