Should I keep a run when the flock ranges freely?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gryeyes, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I think I just answered my own question in the time it took to start writing this. But there may be differing viewpoints I could consider.

    I have a large back yard, enclosed, but not all that secure. I built a run when I first got the chickens, but now everybody ranges freely. I lock up each of several coops every night and open them every morning. Due to the Chicken Math Syndrome, I keep adding coops of various types. I have more room in the yard, but will have to expand the run itself to enclose the new ones I add.

    The chickens do not stay in the back yard, but range freely over a full acre, which is fenced.

    In considering pulling up posts to expand the run perimeter, I started wondering why I even have fencing around a "run," any more. It would make chores much easier if I didn't have that run fencing ..... And placement of my Chicken Coop Compound Facilities.

    There would be fewer places for chased chickens to be cornered (by a rooster or two, for example) if that run fence wasn't there.

    What do y'all think? My flock ranges without supervision, by the way. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
  2. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    If they are not going to use the run, then save the money and don't bother with building another run.
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Mine freerange too, but I still like having a run. It's usefull when it's time to integrate the replacement hens--my grow out coop/run is close to the house and the main coop is by the barn. If I don't lock the "brats" in with the big girls for a couple of weeks they just keep coming back to their old coop, I wouldn't be able to do that if I didn't have a run since the coop is too small for a 24/7 lockdown. I also use it on the rare occasions that I'm gone for the weekend. It gives the crew a bit of space if the neighbor kid lets them out late since the coop is permently opened to the run.
  4. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    I like having a run(even though I free range) for days when the weather is bad and I don't want to have to try to get everyone in in the rain.
    Also comes in handy when we are having lots of hawks around.
    Times like that, I like to keep them in the run for their safety and my sanity.
  5. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    A covered run is a life saver in hawk migration. Make a bigger door?
  6. MamaChic21

    MamaChic21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2010
    Jackson, NJ
    it also might be handy too when you're not going to be home for hours or something. Don't you have predators ? When I first got my chickens and ducks 4 years ago, the flock free ranged and after a month or so, one by one were missing. Then I discovered we have A LOT of predators even foxes ! I say, have a run that they can be safe when you're not around and when you are home, free range them, your choice. Just out of curiosity, how many chickens do you have [​IMG] ?
  7. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    My chickens free range 99% of the time, but i'm still thankful i have my run. It comes in handy if someone is injured or for isolating a new mother with her baby chicks, or if i just need to keep the flock in one place for whatever reason.
  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well, my birds have a run that is not used 90% of the time, but I sure do appreciate it for that 10% that it IS used (if I'm gone overnight, or if we're treating the yard, etc.). But it sounds as if you don't really use your run fence at all. And if it's set up somewhat as temporary (metal posts/fencing), then you could always redo it down the road if you changed your take it down until then.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010

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