Searching for Detailed Chicken Run Plans

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Finnie, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. Finnie

    Finnie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have searched and searched, and I cannot seem to find any plans for sale that would tell me how exactly to build a walk-in chicken run. There are tons and TONS of photos and threads of other folks' great ideas and awesome set ups, but nowhere do I find plans, lists of materials and detailed instructions on how to make my own.

    It's quite frustrating. There are a few detailed plans here and there for coop/run combos, but my coop is already built, and I need to make a run that I can attach to it. Or I can find plans for a knee-high size run, but I don't know how to convert that to a 7 or 8 foot high run.

    My question to all you who have built your own run is: Where did you find plans?

    Or did you just "know" what to do and winged it as you went along? (I really don't think I could just wing it!)

    I have even searched for bird aviary plans. It's the same thing. Everyone just says things like "We framed the walls, and then attached the wire." Attaching wire doesn't seem like a problem, but I have no idea how to frame walls. If I just start nailing boards together, I'm afraid it will collapse.

    I'm positive that this is something I could be capable of building, but I need to learn, and I keep going around and around, and not finding the right information. Can anyone direct me where to look?

    I would be eternally grateful!
     
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think most of us just wing it. We mostly use free materials we have around the property or can find on CL or buy cheap at someplace like a REstore. I used the frame work of a 10x20 tent (like a carport) for my run. I spent less than $5 on it.

    Give us your wish list and a picture of your existing set up. Make a list of stuff you have to work with (fencing material, posts, gates...) along with dimensions. We'll design one for you.
     
  3. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    You could just put t posts into the ground or wooden posts and attach wire. It would not be covered, though, easily.
     
  4. Finnie

    Finnie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much for your help, and encouragement! My wish list may be a little elaborate, lol. I've done so much reading since I got chickens, and there are so many beautiful designs out there, that I've been really building this up in my head. I've even joined Pinterest, because it seems like so many of the images that come up in my searches are from there.

    I don't have any materials on hand to use- I'll be buying everything I need. I'm kind of hoping to keep it in the $400-500 range, but I haven't started pricing things yet, so I don't really know how far that will get me. It's not like I need to throw something together as fast and as cheaply as possible. The chickens are doing fine roaming the whole back yard. I would just like to build something attractive that can blend in with my landscaping plans, and that can keep them out of my flower beds when spring comes and things start growing again.

    I really like the looks of the Wichita Cabin coop, the Garden Coop, and this one that I found on Omelet:


    [​IMG]

    But that one appears to have been a kit from a company in the UK, so of course, no plans on how to DIY.

    I can order plans from The Garden Coop, but I'm not sure I would be able to reconfigure the plans to make the size I'm hoping for. Ideally, I want it to be 14' x 14', but with my four foot square coop in one corner, which would mean the run would extend 10 feet off to one side and 10 feet to the rear. Kind of like this:

    (Please excuse my terrible drawing skills with Paint.)
    [​IMG]

    And also, that white line is not nearly to scale! Oops, I also forgot to draw it taller than the coop, but that would be the general layout.

    Now, I do know that for it to be that large, it needs support in the middle. But I've gotten an idea from some of the reading I've been doing. I'd like to actually divide it in half so it is two separate runs, and then rotate the chickens between the two so that grass can re-grow in one half while they are scratching up the other half. I can put a pop door on the left side of the coop, which is the east, and another pop door on the south.

    Coming up with ideas isn't so hard, it's just finding a way to translate the idea into actual wood pieces that I'm worried about. And also, not knowing just exactly how to make it stand up and be secure.

    I didn't do so bad on the coop part. I started with a cockamamie free plan I found on line, changed a million things about it, and learned a ton of things about building along the way. But I'm afraid to go through that whole process again for the run when I have no starting point to jump off from. Plus I ran into several problems that had to be sorted out due to my initial ignorance.

    So I'm sure I can build a run. I just don't want to screw it up. And I want it to look nice in the end. [​IMG]
     
  5. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    I joined Pinterest, and this site just for the same reason. Before, it was a rare day you would find me on the computer...
    If you are trying to do wood with it all framed like that, you would do it like one would do stick framing. That is where my knowledge ends. My run is 60 by 35, and it just did not seem feasible to frame and design it like you want to. It is good that you are trying to look around first so you do not "screw it up". I did not think like that.
    What kind of fencing do you plan to use? That really decides how much you will spend.
     
  6. Nupe

    Nupe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    This is our run. It's only 12x12x6 right now. The frame is made from 2x2 strips cut from 2x6x12 pressure treated lumber. The door is super simple and was tossed together within the frame. Each wall was assembled separately. The walls are (2) 2x2x12 strips with (4) 2x2x6 strips to support it. The fencing is 4ft welded wire cut to fit each framed section and (here's the easy button) we stapled the fencing to each panel with a Rigid 18g narrow crown molding air stapler with galvanized staples. We laid out 12 ft sections of fencing on the ground were we put up the 4 walls and added 2x2 strips to staple the fencing to and tie it all together. Last, we topped it with a 12x12 fenced frame and added 2 support beams in the middle. The whole thing feels flimsy until you get the fencing stapled to it so staple generously.

    Our run has been up since July and I haven't lost a chicken to a predator or a neighborhood dog although the dogs are a frequent visitor. We're about to add another 12x12x6 box to expand their run. It will cost us about $120 in Home Depot lumber and TSC fence.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  7. Finnie

    Finnie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have read that you would build it the same way you would build a shed. Of course, that means I would have to know how to build a shed....

    Maybe I should look into buying a simple shed plan to follow.

    As far as fencing, I am getting the impression that I should use welded wire, but that I need to make sure the spacing is small enough to keep raccoon paws out. 1/2" hardware cloth seems good, but expensive. I guess I will have to go to TSC and take a look at what they have, and their prices.
     
  8. Finnie

    Finnie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, thanks! Your run does look similar to what I have in mind. How do you cut strips from a 2X6? Do you need a table saw to do that? The only power saws I have are a mitre saw and a circular saw.

    I'm pretty sure my husband has an air stapler. I know he has an air compressor, and I think the reason he got that is for his stapler. He also told me that I should lightly staple the wire on, and then secure it more strongly by covering it with a second piece of wood, so the wire is sandwiched in between. I have seen people use screws and washers to attach the wire. I guess one long strip of wood would take the place of a whole row of washers.

    What is the wire spacing you used? Do you have raccoons in your area?
     
  9. Finnie

    Finnie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is another issue I have to contend with. My ground slopes.

    I could either adjust the height of the posts, making the south ones taller than the north ones, or else I need to find some way to make a level base for the whole thing to sit on. If I ever want to move it someday, then I better go with the second option.

    I would like the roof of the run to slant too, but not nearly so much as the ground slants. I am thinking corrugated panels for part of the roof and open wire for part.

    But I guess that means I can't just make four rectangular walls and stand them up. I'm going to have to figure out how to make the roof slant. This is where I wish I had a manual that just tells me to cut X number of posts to this length and X number of posts to that length, and what angle to cut the tops of them. I feel like I am trying to reinvent the wheel, when I'm sure there must already be a known way of doing it.

    Professional builders probably know these tricks, but they're not telling. I wonder if a shed plan really would be my answer, if I can find one the right size and shape.
     
  10. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    If you are wanting to move it in the future than concrete and posts would be out. I found this run plan and it looks easy enough. Of course you would have to modify most plans due to the slope of your yard. One thing to remember is the taller the structure the more likely to be unstable it becomes. Mine is built with 4x4 posts and concrete with left over chain link fencing. Your DH is right that you would need to secure the wire with something more substantial than the staples.
    This plan is also rather short so you would have to adjust the lengths of the boards. It should help give you a visual of what you are looking to do.
    I tend to use graph paper so I can get my measurements and scale right. I use one square equaling 3 inches so 4 squares is a foot. You would need to make the "walls" taller on the down hill side if you want a flat top or the same for a slope.

    http://ana-white.com/2012/06/plans/chicken-coop-run-shed-coop

    I will look more to see what I can find that may help.
     

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