Run advice, please!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by missjay13, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. missjay13

    missjay13 Just Hatched

    Jan 21, 2017
    North Georgia
    Hi, everyone,

    I need some advice on getting my coop and run area safe for the chickens we plan to get this spring. Our property had a chicken coop installed when we bought it, and the previous owners constructed the coop essentially between the stockade-style fence and an outbuilding/shed. The run is the small, triangular space between the coop, the fence, and the outbuilding.

    Here are my questions:
    1. The run needs some sort of covering, right? Hardware cloth? Chicken wire? Should we try to construct a solid roof? My husband thinks the previous owners created this setup because the run is sort of a small area, which he thinks would discourage any hawks or other flying predators, but I'm not convinced.

    2. Do I need to worry about the small open space under the door to the run? Our yard is completely fenced in, for what it's worth.

    3. We plan to bury bricks and hardware cloth or chicken wire in the ground on the outside of the fence around the run to keep out predators who might be inclined to dig under the fence. Will that be sufficient protection?

    4. We're planning on three or four hens, but I've poked around this forum enough to realize that we may soon end up with a few more ;) Does the run look big enough? We are planning to let the chickens free-range in the yard when we're home and can be outside with them.

    I'd be so grateful for any advice or thoughts you all can offer!

  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Chicken Obsessed

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in the Universe
    1 - The run doesn't need to be covered, but it's definitely the best option if you can afford it and want to keep your chickens as safe as possible.

    2 - How big is the small space? I'm not sure where you're talking about.

    3 - Probably, but it's not guaranteed protection. A determined predator can break through a lot.

    4 - How big is the run? It's too hard to tell from a picture.
  3. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Apr 1, 2014
    Longville, La
    1. My limited experience with hawks shows they like to swoop in on prey. In that little area your picture shows, they couldn't do that. Your husband is correct, sorry. But other predators can climb the fence to get in. I would suggest a solid enclosed cover to keep rain and raccoons out.
    2. Yes. Bury some wire so nothing can dig under the gate.
    3. Go with the HW cloth along the fence line.
    4. Looks like enough room to keep 3 in that small area without too much trouble. More than that and they could get crowded. Expand the run out further in front of the coop if possible.
  4. missjay13

    missjay13 Just Hatched

    Jan 21, 2017
    North Georgia
    Thanks so much for the feedback! I think we are going to try to expand the run out in front of the coop--the current run is approximately 12 feet long and 6 or so feet wide, but it's a triangular shape and gets quite narrow in the back, so it feels a little tight to me. Not really a place I'd want to hang out in.
  5. mclanea

    mclanea Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2016
    San Diego
    First, great looking set-up! I would think 4-8 chickens would be fine in that space. 72 square feet isn't bad.

    If you're concerned about hawks I would think you would either want to do a corrugated roof like your coop, which would be pretty easy, or put up some aviary netting.

    When I look at your run I don't see something that's altogether predator proof. I'd call it "predator discouraging" :) If that's a real concern where you live you might want to redo the run with that in mind from the get go.

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