Time to get serious and add a covered run to the coop - a few questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NHchicks, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. NHchicks

    NHchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
    My chickens have slept in a 4x8 coop and then free ranged all day for 3 yrs. now. But now I want to add a covered run to the coop so they don't become predator food so often, and so they can stretch when there's rain/snow out.

    I was thinking of a large run, maybe 12x16. Right now I have 9 chickens, but the # always changes.

    Thinking: frame the coop out and enclose it with hardware cloth. Not sure whether to run the hardware cloth along the bottom too, for predator control, as the run will be accessible from the coop at all times. I can dig the hardware cloth into the ground for several inches, but the ground is rocky, and I might hit a snag. Any ideas for protective ground methods?

    Then comes the roofing. I looked at the corrugated clear plastic roofing at Lowes, but it seems too flimsy to hold snow, and there could be a foot of snow on there in the winter. (not this winter tho) I'd like a cheapish way to roof it, but maybe shingling is going to be the only practical approach? Or metal panels? Metal might be better.

    Does this sound like a doable plan? Framing a 12x16 run, hardware clothing the entire thing, hopefully not the bottom tho, hopefully rigging up a predator proof bottom where they can still scratch. Roofing the run with something that won't cost a small fortune.

    I would still let the chickens out to free range, but maybe let them out around noon, and on rainy/snowy days they may not want to come out at all.

    And like I said, I want them to be able to move from the coop to the run anytime they want, so it will all be one unit, predator-proof.

    Thoughts? Pictures of your similar runs?

    Something like this run: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/angiebs-fowl-play-chicken-coop
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  2. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just posted this to another thread about roofing but I thought this may help you as well. I like to use 4x4's for a solid timberframe construction. Lowe's has the pre-painted exterior wood panels in which I LOVE to use for roofing and housing. Your link has a very nice looking run! Mine is within a fenced in goat pen so it is pretty secure from predators. I used heavy duty no-climb fence for the sides to keep the goats from pulling anything down and then chicken wire up above that. Hope this helps!

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  3. mtnhens4

    mtnhens4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]Our run is 6x15 and is all hardwear cloth on the sides, buried 12 in. deep and flared out at the bottom, the "floor" of our run is dirt which the chickens scratch and dig in. The roof is Suntuf from Lowes that lets some light in but keeps the rain and snow and hawks out. We like this set-up a lot and it has kept all of our chickens safe and is easy for us to access.
     
  4. Jaxon4141

    Jaxon4141 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you build a portable run instead of putting the wire protection under the chickens, Think about putting the predator guards out from the run. Let the chicken have unhamper scratching area and let the predators be the ones that have to dig through the wire. I have moble runs for a year now and we have more raccons than dogs in this area. My guards are only 14" wide, but have worked well.
    Pics here https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/633164/long-portable-chicken-run-help
     

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