Should run be complete shade or provide for some sunbathing?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HagenHens, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. HagenHens

    HagenHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello fellow BYCers,

    Newb here. We have our chickies and are getting ready to start building our coop. The hubs and I have figured out how we want to build our coop, but can't decide whether or not to completely cover our run with roofing material (vs hardware cloth). We will be covering it with something because we have LOTS of predators to worry about. The question is completely shaded or not. We have 6 chickies right now and we are planning to build a run that is 12x6 ft. I was thinking of extending the roof from the coop an additional 4 ft and leaving the rest open for sunshine. Is this a good idea or bad? Our property is mostly shaded. The only direct sunlight would be through the top of the run. I know there is concern for the run to become sloppy, but we are also building on a slope. We live in Missouri so temps here can range from just below zero to just over 100 degrees F.

    Any and all input is welcome and appreciated!!

    Thank you!!!
    Stacey
     
  2. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, while sun-bathing would be nice in the colder months, a creature wearing the equivalent of a down jacket is going to appreciate the shade in the summer even more. If you do end up using mostly hardware cloth, you might want to get a shade cloth to throw over top in the summer.
     
  3. crazyfeathers

    crazyfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I provide sun and shade for my flock. I use bird netting on top of part of the run and a large tin roof covers 30% of the run. I also have a large calf hutch in the run where the flock can get out of the sun and they use it for dust bathing. Im in Wisconsin so my sun concerns are not like someone in Arizona or Australia. After our bitter winters my girls bask in the warm sunshine. Our run is also sloped for drainage.
     
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    My Coop
    If you aren't too far along in your run build, have you ever considered cattle panel hoops? That's what we did, and it has exceeded our expectations! It was inexpensive, easy for us two old, (and me partially disabled) geezers to do by ourselves, was easily expandable, and has room so we can stand and work in it instead of being all hunched over trying to herd chickens!

    We pounded 8 steel fenceposts into the ground (4 per side), then arched 3 cattle panels between them, secured to the fenceposts with wire we twisted. We draped and anchored chicken wire to the panels to prevent overhead predators and exclude small birds, then we ran hardware cloth up about 2 feet, literally sewing it into the frame of the cattle panel and chicken wire with a roll of wire intended for electric fences. At the bottom we folded the hardware cloth outward another 2 feet or so and used landscape fabric staples to anchor the apron to the ground.

    It's all worked beautifully. It withstands our 60+ mph Wyoming winds, snow load, and looks just as good today as the day we finished it. It's so sturdy we can even hang the 5 gallon water bucket and feeders from the top. We put white vinyl lattice up in front of it because we live on a corner lot in town and the setup is visible from two sides of the street. For shading, we just tossed a roll of landscape fabric over it. The landscape fabric is "sewn" to pre-drilled metal lath strips we bought at Lowes and we can roll them up or down like window shades to control how much sunlight goes in. It's breathable, so stagnant, warm air doesn't collect at the top like it would with a tarp. When it rains, the rain runs down it instead of soaking in. (Have you ever put that stuff down then watered? The water stands on top and then runs to the nearest opening, not soaking in right away)

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    Notice how the center panel of landscape fabric is rolled up in the center the day this was taken.


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    Snow load? No problem!

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    We cover most of the run with clear plastic in winter, allowing for ventilation of course. Warm enough in there, even here in Wyoming, to have a brooder set up with chicks being raised with just a heating pad.

    Edited to add: On nice days the shades are rolled up to the top for lots of sunshine. And because they don't go all the way to the ground on the east and west sides, sun comes in in the morning and the evening. They do love to bask in the patches of sunshine!
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Last summer we finally roofed the run, and it's wonderful! Dry, no snow, and shaded. If you can, roof it. Mary[​IMG]

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  6. BertandMary

    BertandMary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Like that run idea. About to build a new one here
     
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    For winter, we enclosed the lower six feet in plastic, to block the wind and snow. I can keep the actual coop doors opened, and the whole thing stays nice, ventilated, and comfortable. Mary
     
  8. HagenHens

    HagenHens Out Of The Brooder

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    So many great ideas!! Thanks for the input!! And thanks for including those pics!! Very nice set ups, Blooie and Mary!
     
  9. Butterfly65

    Butterfly65 Out Of The Brooder

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    All I can say is WOW, from North Florida! Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
     
  10. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our run is completely covered, stays dry & shaded. There's enough sun that comes in the sides for sunbathing .
     

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