Run height?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dobela, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. Dobela

    Dobela Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2011
    25 chicks coming in 2 weeks, Bovan Browns. We will have to have a covered run since we have hawks, raccoons, foxes, and other hungry beasts in our area.

    The cost of a covered run is about to choke us (well, dh that is). By the time we make it 200sqft, that's a lot of wire. If we buy 3ft tall hardware cloth, would 3 ft high be enough height? Or do we need it taller? We have considered using cattle panels covered in poultry fencing (like our next door neighbor, who has not had any predator problems BTW) and those are 50 inches tall. Either way we are estimating about $250 just for the run, if not actually closer or over $300 including wood supports.

    Any other ideas? Everyone has gone chicken crazy here and we can't seem to find any free, cheap, or used fencing supplies.

    We have been figuring this a hundred ways today and our brains hurt.[​IMG]
  2. nivtup

    nivtup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    My advise is to make it tall enough to stand up in without bonking your head.

    You will need to get in there to tidy things up, and let me tell you the ones I built that are 5 feet tall get me in the head on occasion.

    Good luck
  3. ralleia

    ralleia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    How about hardware cloth around the base of the pen, and something with larger spacing (less secure, but less expensive too) for the higher portions.

    Most things try to burrow under or pass through around ground level.

    Also, are you planning on burying that hardware cloth partially? Ours is buried to prevent animals from digging under the fence. For three foot wide hardware cloth I'd bury about a foot of it. Then I'd use some kind of galvanized wire fencing for the higher portion--either that rabbit-proof stuff (stronger) or galvanized chicken wire.

  4. Dingleberry

    Dingleberry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2010
    Do a dome shape with the middle being human height, half circle. um I don't know what shape is is really called but many people use that shape and there is one listed with steps to make it too.
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Some people make short runs (3 feet or so) but make the top hinged so when they have to go inside there, they just lift the top like a lid.

    By the way, it's much easier to use a welded wire apron around the run to deter digging predators, rather than burying the wire. Attach the apron to the baseboard of the run, lay it flat on the ground outward 2 or so feet, and stake it down with landscaping staples or something like that. It works just as well if not better..the better part being that many people don't bury the wire deeply enough to really stop a determined critter from digging under it. The way the apron works is that the predator starts to dig at the base of the run, hits the wire, and can't figure out that it needs to back up to beyond the edge of the apron and start digging there.
  6. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2011
    Elmo when you say a welded wire apron is that the hardware cloth that you are attaching to the baseboard of the run and then staking down? We are building ours soon and I was thinking instead of burying the hardware cloth straight down that I would lay it out and putting a few inches of dirt over it. Just wondering if this will work with the hardware cloth?
  7. bugsaroo

    bugsaroo Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 6, 2011
    Roseville, Illinois
    Cost was an extremely important factor for me. Check out my coop page, half monitor. The run is built with 1 x 2 wire, lined with chicken wire to keep chicks in. Wire is 5 ft height. Then we bent 1/2 inch electrical conduit into the arc that we wanted, husband welded up a couple of 1/2 t's and crosses to join the conduit. Then we used deer netting and wove it on square by square. Works well for us, I added an electric fencer later as we leave the chicken doors open on the coop 24/7 in warmer weather and I didn't want a coon to get thru the deer netting. You will want it high enough that you don't have to stoop over. To prevent varmits from digging under we buried concrete blocks, then used 2x6's around the bottom to fasten the wire to so that they couldn't push it up and gain entry. PM me if you would like more details.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  8. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Quote:Yes, that's what I mean. You don't even have to use the stuff with the very small openings, either. The 1" by 2" or even the 2" by 4" will work for an apron.

    If you do go to the work of burying wire, be sure you go down good and deep, at least a foot, probably more. When a digging critter hits wire under ground, they usually just try digging deeper. You have to bury your wire deep enough so that the critter will give up digging before it gets under your wire.

    See why I think an apron is a better idea?
  9. Dobela

    Dobela Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2011
    Thank you all for your input. We have about 25 chicks coming so I can't do a small run. Our thoughts were to make it 16x16 since cattle panels are that long and easy to make square. Easier than unrolling fencing.... The panels are 4ft high. If we buy fencing plus pole it is about the same price since we will have to wrap both with additional chicken wire or cloth. I like the idea of a dome but I am concerned about just using what bugsaroo is using - deer netting. We do have raccoons in this area and I don't want them to eat my chickens. Would the 'coons be likely to climb that 4ft to eat open the deer netting?
  10. jmjoffrion

    jmjoffrion Out Of The Brooder

    May 13, 2010
    Agua Dulce
    Our run is 12x24, pipe rail sides covered 5' up in chicken wire with PLASTIC mesh over the top to keep the hawks out. We lock them in the coop at night so we don't have a problem with other predators getting in through the plastic mesh. It was considerably less expensive than chicken wire or wire mesh and serves the purpose quite nicely...and cost effectively. I do have to stoop slightly to clean the run but with the plastic mesh, it offers flexibilty to stand if I have to.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by