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Q's about Uncovered, Daytime only Chicken Run Construction

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jennianne, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. jennianne

    jennianne Chirping

    Jun 16, 2014
    NY, Saratoga Springs
    Hi everybody. So here's my situation. I am a new chicken keeper (started last June). I live in a suburban neighborhood. We built a run/coop area that is fully enclosed and predator proof and have a fenced yard that my chickens 'free ranged' in during the day once they were old enough to be outside. I started keeping them in their coop/run area about two months ago because (1) they were about to start laying and I really wanted them to be in a limited area to cut down on the places I had to hunt for misplaced eggs :) and (2) my yard is heavily treed by both evergreens and deciduous trees and shrubs etc, but with the leaves falling and cold weather limiting natural food supplies I was concerned about predators moving in on my birds. They have over 200 square feet between the coop and covered run for nine birds so they're fine for room, but I am wanting to add an uncovered area for them to get out into the 'fresh air' for a few hours.

    The two areas I am considering clearing out to construct the additional run area are from the left corner of the run out to the fence (past the left side of the photo about 15 feet or so) or to the right of the run out to the fence behind the shed (past the left edge of the photo about ten feet). These are both sufficiently covered by (very tall) pine trees and bare oaks and can offer ground level sheltered areas for the birds to hide out.


    So, here are my questions: for those of you who have paddocks or run areas that aren't fully enclosed, how high is your fencing and what material do you use (plastic, welded wire, wood) and do you clip your birds' wings? Also looking for any ideas, advice, etc you may have to offer.

    Thanks in advance for any ideas/info/experience you can share towards this project!

  2. Free Feather

    Free Feather Songster

    I have at least a five foot fence for the uncovered runs, but seven is preferred. I have wood corner posts and every other after t-posts. That is not necessary, you could do t-posts every five feet or so and wire or zip tie the fencing to them. I have thick plastic deer fencing with field fencing and chicken wire over that. Not too predator proof, but it is just a day pen for when they are not free ranging. My other fence is just deer fencing with chicken wire or welded wire over the bottom two or three feet. That fence is pretty mismatched. I only have one chicken with a clipped wing. Most of my chickens can get over the fence, but only do it if they are scared or there are other chickens out they can see and want to join them. Do not think just because they are a heavier breed they could not fly that high. My White Rocks, Wyandottes, Australorps, and Buff Orpingtons can all clear my fence. Production breeds and bantams would have no difficulty. Just make the run nice enough that they do not want to escape.

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