Question regarding runs

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bradgsanford, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. bradgsanford

    bradgsanford Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 22, 2011
    Hello all. I'm new to chickens and am weighing all my options for a coop. My son brought home some chicks from his pre-k class (small rural school) and I've got them in a brooder box at the moment so I have five or six weeks to get everything settled, but searching through these forums and looking at pictures has given me just as many new questions as it has answered.

    I have three and a half acres of land, south of Tuttle, OK. The only fencing is barbed wire. I have an empty 8x10 storage shed just sitting there waiting to be turned into a coop. From reading up, I know I need to make sure it is well ventilated without being drafty, I need to build a roost, some nesting boxes, and cut a door in the side for exit/entrance. All of this seems well within my abilities. What I'm unsure of is the actual need for a run. My wife and I plan on letting the chickens just roam the yard at their leisure as her mom has a yard full of chickens and guineas that pretty much do the same. Our land sits in the middle of pasture so neighbors wouldn't be an issue. My wife works from home and there will always be someone here in the morning to let them out of the coop, someone here in the evenings to put them up, and everything else that is required for their care.

    Given all of this, is it anyone's opinion that a run is actually necessary? I understand some chickens may wander. I understand the predatory issue...we do have lots of coyotes around here, but am unsure if I should be worried about coyotes during the day. The chickens would be in the coop at night. I'm really just needing some opinions and advice.

    Also, I forgot to mention, we don't plan on having more than 5 chickens or so, mainly for eggs and for my kids to learn the value of raising animals. We also don't plan on having a rooster but if this were to accidentally be the case, it'd be ok.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Basically, a run is never wasted and there will generally be moments when you are glad if you can lock 'em up that way; but if you don't want to build one right now, don't, just be aware that there will be moments when you say "oh man, I sure wish we'd'a built a run last spring" LOL Such as when you want to lock them up in the morning to teach them to lay in the coop (rather than randomly all over the landscape) but hate to keep them actually locked *indoors* for it; or if one or more are injured/ill and you want to keep an eye on them; or if someone's loose dog is wreaking havoc in the area for a day or two; or like that.

    But it's up to you whether the work and cost of building one is worth it for those most-likely-infrequent occasions.

    Good luck, have fun,

  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I don't let mine free range even tho I'd like to.....I got tired of destroyed gardens not to mention what my current dogs would like to do to them.

    If you're only going to have a few it wouldn't take much to build them a run so if and when you're gone on vacation, or gone for the week-end or whatever they don't have to be penned in the coop the whole time.

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