Run construction question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by louieloui, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. louieloui

    louieloui Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 12, 2010
    Since you guys were so helpful on my other post, and my shed is slated to arrive this Mon., I figured I'd ask about run construction. My plan is to make the run 10' long x 7' wide x 6' tall using "panels" made from 2x4's and wire that will attach (naturally) to the shed/coop. I also plan to dig a trench around the run and place landscape timbers in the trench, run the hardware cloth from the run walls to the timbers, attach the cloth to the timbers, then add in rocks and backfill over that with dirt to (hopefully) deter digging predators. We're going to use landscaping sand--the kind with rocks that the chicks can use for grit--with DE and wood ash mixed in for the run flooring. My questions are:

    1.) Is that size big enough for 5 chickens (with possibly a few more additions down the road)?

    2.) Can I use 1/2" hardware cloth for the lower half 3' down and either poultry fencing or 2"x4" welded wire for the upper 3' half? Or should we use 1/2" hardware cloth from top to bottom? We do have foxes, raccoons, skunks, possum, and fishers here, plus probably coyotes (although I haven't seen any yet).
     
  2. ryanhodapp

    ryanhodapp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Big enough? Yes, outside space is 4 square feet per chick, you are going to have 70 and need 20. Ohhhh, think of all the extra chickens you can get!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Are you going to coop them at night that will be secure or is the Run to be total predator proof? If at night, you have other security, 1/2 inch on the bottom is fine. If you are relying on fence to be your only night protection, go all the way to the top.

    Have fun
     
  3. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Yes, that would be big enough for 5 chickens. Keep in mind that each chicken needs at least 10 square feet of space in the run, so the bigger the better, especially if you want more birds in the future.

    My duck run has hardware cloth on the lower half and chicken wire on the upper half. It's worked out just fine so far for us.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    70 sq ft for 5 chickens is not quite 12 sq ft per chicken. Most people on this forum advocate at least 8-10 sq ft per chicken in the run; at that stocking density you would not want to put many more chickens in there but 5 should have a good chance of working well. (Some people pack 'em in more crowdedly, with varying degrees of success; many people have a lot *fewer* chickens per unit area, with pretty universal success. It is largely a matter of personal taste/conscience.)

    Personally I think that 2x4 wire (of a good heavy livestock-type gauge, not weebly garden-type fencing) is FINE for the run as long as the bottom 2-3' has something small meshed. The difference in security is near zero as long as you lock the chickens indoors at night -- the stuff that can climb up and go thru 2x4 holes high above the ground is not generally hunting during the day.

    You might want to take another look at your digproofing plans however -- most digging predators can easily go down AT LEAST 12", meaning that if you are burying wire it needs to be deeper than that; or use an apron.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. louieloui

    louieloui Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 12, 2010
    Quote:Yep, they will be locked up at dusk for sure! Okay, so then I'll do the poultry wire for the top 3' and 1/2" mesh hardware cloth for the bottom 3'.
     
  6. louieloui

    louieloui Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 12, 2010
    Quote:I had figured we'd have to dig down about 12" and fill that in w/landscaping timbers then add the hardware cloth on the outside edge of the timbers running back up to the outer walls of the coop, then add bricks/rock, etc. and cover it all with dirt. Would that work? We will also have guineas roaming the area so I'm hoping they will act as an alarm system if anything comes sniffing around during the daytime. I wish I could rely on our dogs to alert us but they are...uhhh...lazy. lol
     
  7. sally4500

    sally4500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My run is the same size as yours and I have 8 chicks in it that are 6 weeks old. I dug down 8" the whole length and width, put landscape timber along the perimeter, layed down 2X4 wire on the dirt floor, nailed 1/2 " hardware cloth attached to the 2X4 wire onto the timber and ran it up 3 feet. Then put 1X1 wire the rest of the way up to the 7 ft top, and along to the other side across the roof. I haven't put on an apron yet, but plan to this weekend. I was thinking of putting up a roost, a stump, etc. inside the run. I got the ideas from people here on the forum.

    The run is for when we are not home, and we know they will be safe. I don't think it is alot of room, but just enough. But they will have the opportunity to be out in the yard when we are home.

    I also put 1X1 wire over the window screens.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    I had figured we'd have to dig down about 12" and fill that in w/landscaping timbers

    That's an awful lot of work.
    You'd be better off to just do an apron about 18 inches wide.

    Landscape timbers wont last long underground, and an apron stops diggers BEFORE they dig a big hole that you will have to repair​
     
  9. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Quote:That's an awful lot of work.
    You'd be better off to just do an apron about 18 inches wide.

    Landscape timbers wont last long underground, and an apron stops diggers BEFORE they dig a big hole that you will have to repair

    Yup! Go with the apron. Saves a whole lot of work. I've never had anything make it under the 2ft apron. I've had things go over the fence but never under it.

    I also suggest you don't use chicken/poultry wire at all. Keeps chickens in but doesn't keep predators out. Hardware cloth or 2x4 welded wire. with the lower 2 feet lined with hardware cloth
     

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