Portable Run Advice?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Crusty McPottydoodle, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Crusty McPottydoodle

    Crusty McPottydoodle Songster

    Mar 14, 2009
    The Wet Coast
    Hi there,

    As you can see from my post count, I am new to BYC, although I have been lurking for a number of weeks now.

    I live in Vancouver where we have coyotes, raccoons, eagles and skunks. My backyard should be coyote-proof (it is fenced for my dog), but smaller skunks could possibly get through the gaps in the fence boards and of course, raccoons can get into my yard with no trouble - I have seen them walking along the top of my fence.

    After much research, I have pretty much nailed down our coop design to something close to:


    The main modification would be hardware cloth on the bottom of the run.

    Firstly, I would like to know whether you think this set up will be predator-proof.

    Secondly, I would like to set up a portable run that is easily moved within the yard to make it as close to free-ranging as possible given the limitations. I was thinking of using portable dog exercise pen panels for the sides and top - something like this:


    I work at home, so they would be semi-supervised whilst in the portable pen. Do you think this would work, or should I come up with plan B?

  2. [​IMG]

    I would search for another alternative to the exercise pen. The pet playpen is a good idea if you can figure out a way to put a top on it. Sounds like you are in a predator prone area, so it would be rather easy for something to swoop in and grab a bird. Give me a second and I'll post a pic of the exercise pen we got at WalMart that was rather affordable and much more secure. Especially from hawks. Its about 4x5 and only about 3 or 4 feet high.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2009
  3. But then again... that coop that you are going to model yours after has a built in play area that is open to sunlight....
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I would not recommend the puppy pen. What you want is basically a 'day tractor', I think. Look at peoples' tractor designs, including meat-chicken tractors (which might actually be more appropriate for your purposes). Basically you want a box built mostly of 2x2 frame, with 2x4 bottom rails, maybe 4x8 or whatever and 2-3' high, with sturdy wire mesh all over the sides and top.

    Good luck,

  5. Crusty McPottydoodle

    Crusty McPottydoodle Songster

    Mar 14, 2009
    The Wet Coast
    Thank you for your replies. I guess I will be coming up with a plan B for the portable run part of the set up.

  6. hcammack

    hcammack Crowing

    Oct 5, 2007
    Hi I have a movable coop and run setup with two heavy weight PVC runs. I have 7 hens of different breeds right now but I am getting a few new pullets tomorrow. I will try and find some pictures of my new setup its working pretty well so far. My coop is a horizon structures coop with wheels attached. Hope this helps a little I will try and get some new pictures.

  7. ChickenPalace

    ChickenPalace In the Brooder

    I live in Oakville WA and have plenty of wild animals - coyotes, skunk, hawks, eagles and racoons. I intended to add a run with my coop but was able to train my dogs to treat the chickens as pack members. Now all my chickens run in the pasture - which is about 4 fenced in acres.

    We use stage 3 horse fencing so things cannot get in very easily -plus the dogs protect the flock. If you have dogs try to train them to accept the chickens to help keep the predators out.

    Another though that we use as an interim option - I have a 6 foot dog kennel that I used at our old house. It helps to keep the chicks in when they were not fully grown and still flighty. Now - they are big and cannot even get off the ground easily.

    The nice part about the dog kennel is the pieces can be added to and you can make the run bigger if needed without needed to buy a new kennel.
  8. one_egg_at_a_time

    one_egg_at_a_time In the Brooder

    Feb 25, 2009
    Dade City, FL
    Quote:Well what kind of plan b are you going to go with?
    Do you want to move it all the time? I have been pouring over plans and just made our 1st coop. I love it but time to go bigger [​IMG]
    But what are the list of what you have to have in your coop? Mine was I wanted to get the eggs from the outside of the coop.
    Oh and welcome![​IMG]
  9. Crusty McPottydoodle

    Crusty McPottydoodle Songster

    Mar 14, 2009
    The Wet Coast
    Quote:I don't have a plan B just yet - Looks like I have some more research to do. I want to be able to move the chickens around my entire yard - both front and back. Moving the tractor set up is only practical through parts of my back yard. Given the location of my house within the city and the height of my fence, letting the chickens run free in the back yard is not an option.

    The tractor will have the nest box and the girls won't be moved to the portable run until afternoon once they have finished laying for the day. The plan is for 3 (maybe 4) hens total - well, unless we win the lottery and buy a place in the country.


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