Small Privacy Fenced Yard = Huge Chicken Run? :)


In the Brooder
12 Years
Dec 29, 2007
Colbert, GA
Ok, so the house I'm moving into has a teensy little backyard with a privacy fence. I estimate the measurements as about 25' x 8'.

There's a huge side yard and a big front yard, so gardening and etc will happen there,and there's nothing else I need this space for, so...

Is there any reason I shouldn't just put poultry netting over the top of this whole area, maybe tacking it down to the fence on the fenced sides and the siding or a frame on the house side, thus turning the ENTIRE backyard into a chicken run?

I'm only going to keep five of my chickens, two BO's, two EE's, and one this would be a downright palatial run for them. I could build them a small coop in a corner of the yard, and they could have the rest of the space as a sort-of-free range space.

What do you guys think? Does this sound secure enough, against hawks, etc?
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My Grandparents have a run that is probably 8x15 and they covered it with bird netting and it works great. I think a hawk could peck through it and tear open a hole.

But, I'm mostly afraid of the sneak attack and they can't dive through the net.
I'm sure the hens would love that large a space.... but remember that soon the entire yard may resemble a desert.

Depending on predators in your area, I would think twice about the poultry netting atop the run. While redtailed hawks may be in for a surprise during their nosedive, raccons and possums can easily tear into the run.

If it were me
I would make the run small enough to be able to cover the top more securely. I'd also plant bushes, etc around the run for esthetics and shade during the hot summer Georgia days.

I'm not sure about the predators in the area...we'll be in town, but it's a small rural town, so just a mile or so away it's forests and farmland. And I assume EVERYWHERE has raccoons?

I am building a coop for them, and they'll probably be locked in at night, at least until I can suss out the predator situation, so the poultry netting is really only to protect against daytime predators (the coop will be small but as bombproof as I can make it for the nighttime oogie boogies)...will this be enough? Or should I consider burying barbed wire around the perimeter? The privacy fence is about 7', so I'm not too worried about dogs jumping it...can raccoons climb that high up a sheer wooden fence? I'd believe they can if they want to badly enough...

The other option is to build a small hoop house or PVC frame run, and trench hardware cloth for the bottom portions, but then they won't have nearly as much space...hmmmmmmmmmm.....
I would just go with good hen house with netting over the top. Not so much for hawks but to keep the chickens in. Most raptors do not like landing anywhere near a house.
Our backyard right now is just privacy fenced and I clip their wing to keep them in but it works great! We have been with our chickens for about a year. No problems...

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