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run design question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by monkeyjason, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. monkeyjason

    monkeyjason In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2011
    MK, England.

    I have a coop with an attached 8x3ft run.

    but i would like to build a 15x15 ft run around this that is fox proof, will i need a roof on this?

    Can foxes climb over a 6ft chicken wire pannel?

    also putting paving slabs around the outside edge to stop them digging, any tips with this? i.e how far out ect

  2. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Songster

    Jan 10, 2011
    Durant, Oklahoma
    I wasn't sure but now I know, Yes they can.

  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    If you want to assure that it is fox proof, you will need a top on it. This can be solid or made out of wire. I suggest something stronger than normal chicken wire, since a fox, raccoon, or whatever can tear it or untwist the twisted connections. 2" x 4" welded wire is probably your most economical option, but many other things can work.

    If you do put a top on it, you will be a lot happier if it is high enough that you can walk under it without hitting your head. Don't ask how I know that so well.

    One problem with a 15' x 15' covered run is that you need some pretty good bracing to span that distance. Most of us need to consider snow and ice loads as well as wind, so the top bracing needs to be fairly substantial. One way to help yourself with this problem is to set a post higher than 6 feet right in the middle and run your bracing to that. That way you can put a peak on your top to make it easier to work under it and cut the span length. If you do go with a solid roof, it needs to be sloped so water runs off, otherwise it is almost guaranteed to leak.

    Instead of using paving stones, I suggest you use a wire apron. Place an 18" to 24" section wide wire fencing all around the bottom of you run and coop. Lay it horizontal and connect it to the bottom of your fence or coop. You don't really have to bury it, but a lot of people remove a couple of inches of sod, lay the wire, and put the sod back. The idea is that the predator goes up to the barrier fence, starts to dig, hits the wire, and does not know to back up. With paving slabs you give them a physical barrier they can see, so you might be telling them where to start digging. Again, the 2' x 4" welded wire works real well for the apron.

    Good luck!
  4. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Songster

    This is a link: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=457100
    topic has come up a lot- go to this link and scroll down to post #7. I'd post the picture myself, but it's not my coop... But there is a GREAT picture there of someone that put in an apron around their run. It shows exactly how they did it and how far to go out. Also- if you go to their BYC Page (Gallo del Cielo) they explain their coop in detail. You really do need a top on your run, too. If you space your posts out in 12X12 square configuration, you can screw in the 12 foot boards top and bottom to attach your welded wire to. (most common length of boards comes in 8foot and 12 foot length. ) Stay within that configuration and you won't have any headaches. You probably already know, but use the welded wire instead of chicken wire.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  5. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Songster

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    I built my 12x20 welded wire run in a hoop design with PVC pipe. Tall enough to walk under, it has a landscape timber as a brace in the middle and a 1x4 ridge pole at the top for more stability. You can hang feeders/waterers from the ridge pole. I extended the wire out on the ground about 2 feet and staked it down with metal tent pole stakes. You can add more braces down the middle and use a 2x4 for a ridge pole if you have heavy snow. I covered it with a tarp for rain and sun protection. I will put more tarps around the sides when winter comes. Love it!
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    For the money a simple net cover to stop hawks would suffice. The chain fence will stop dogs and those two critters from land and air are your major daylight concern. After all, they have a coop for a reason, lock them up at night. Fox hunt most at dawn and dusk, racoons, coyote and what have you are majorally night hunters. Hence the coop.
  7. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Songster

    Quote:We must have hungrier wild life than you have. [​IMG] I see our local band of coyotes out as late as 10:30am! That's getting pretty late. Our fox are still out that late too. Our coyotes are pretty bold- they come up and drink out of our stock tank in the pasture. If the fox and coyote the OP has are anything like mine- I wouldn't chance bird netting on my top to keep them out.

  8. When we built our last coop and 10 foot wide run, we also added a ridge board (a 2 by 6 board) for stability for the electrical pipe that made up the hoop roof. You might need to experiment to see if 2 ridge boards would be needed for a 15 foot wide span.

    Electrical PVC pipe was added at 3' intervals and 36" wide hardware cloth was attached to this with zip ties to make a fully enclosed roof.

    I don't have a picture of the finished product but I do have a picture of our first coop (it was only 7 feet wide so a ridge board was not needed). We used white PVC pipe for the first one.

    All our runs (3 now) have enclosed roofs using this method; although we live in the city we have owls, hawks, possums, raccoons, cats, even a fox in the neighborhood.

    We do live in Georgia so concerns about snow are not an issue for us.

    Starting the roof...


    Finished product...


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