Run gate help requested please? Picture heavy!


6 Years
Feb 16, 2013
Columbia, Virginia
Ok, this is my first chicken coop/run, and I have my first chickens...6 barred rocks that are 7 weeks old and 6 barred rocks that are 3 weeks old.
We bought our first home and moved in on January 19th of this year. One of the outbuildings is a chicken coop (8 ft x 4 ft) attached to what we believe is a "slaughter house" due to the aluminum splash guards on the walls above a makeshift table. Here's the coop as it was when we bought the house:

Here's the "slaughter house":

The coop itself wasn't in the best shape, but it could have been worse. I ended up shoveling all the old pine bedding out, replaced boards that were rotten, and replaced the two doors to the two nesting box sets. I also added locks to each door (the two horizontal nesting box doors, the vertical nesting box door, and the door to enter the coop).

A friend of ours (and our old neighbor) gave us a dog kennel that has four 10 foot long sides, one with a gate, and no top. I figured this would make a great run. I set up the walls around the coop and connected them. I dug a trench around three of the four sides and buried 6 inches of hardware cloth. I also buried the hardware cloth around where the coop is raised off the ground, then connected chicken wire to it and stapled it to the base of the coop.

I cut down some bamboo that's on my property and weaved a checkerboard over the top and secured each end with polywire. I figured this would help support the chicken wire I strung over the top to protect from hawks and owls. I haven't finished securing the top yet, but plan on finishing by the end of the weekend (my 10 year old son has to have a colonoscopy and endoscopy done tomorrow so I'll be focusing on him for the next two days). I also plan on placing chicken wire over each side (over the chain links) so nothing can get through.

I have a few odds and ends to finish up with it, but my biggest hurdle is the door. I do not know how to predator proof the gate and still be able to open it. This is why I haven't dug a trench and buried hardware cloth on this side yet. I can't until I figure out what to do about the gate.

The areas in the red circles are what I need to put chicken wire over. But if I just attach chicken wire to the gate to over lap the walls of the run, something can bend the chicken wire back to gain access. And if I secure the chicken wire over the gate and to the sides, I can't open it.

I don't know what to do!!! Can anyone give me some suggestions? I'd greatly appreciate it!


11 Years
Jun 7, 2011
Taylors, SC
Set the gate to open out and attach the wire from the outside, so that it overlaps the opening, bending the raw edges over so that they don't catch on your clothing or skin. If the gate opens in, the chickens will be in the way hampering your opening the gate, and the smaller mesh wire will be more difficult to install..

On the ground, lay the wire through the walkway and work it into the soil or simply bury it an inch deep to keep it in place.

You lucked out with the coop already being there.


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