To run or not to run


Jessamine Cottage
8 Years
Aug 27, 2011
So, I have yet to get my chicks, or even have a coop built, but in all of my thinking I'd always planned to NOT have a run. My entire yard is less than 1/4 acre, and I'm only using the backyard, which is fully fenced in, as my chicken area. Is this safe, or should I consider a run? I want to be able to hang out with my girls as I'm working around the yard, and offer them as much space as possible. I do have the space for a run near where I plan to build the coop, so it can be done if I need to. I'm just not sure if I should build one. Are they always covered in some manner or another?
A friend of mine has a nice fenced in yard in the city- the fence isn't even very tall. She only has a coop and she put wire up under her deck so her birds can be safely under the deck if need be. Otherwise, they are out in her fenced in yard. She has no run- unless you want to call under her deck the 'run'. I think it works pretty well for her. She said that one of her birds does tend to fly over the back fence and get into the alley on occassion, but it is very infrequent. You could always build a run later if you need one, but it sounds like you may not need one. If your chickens were to fly over- do you have neighbors with dogs on the other side of the fence? If you have a tall wooden privacy fence, they may never fly over at all.

ETA- just wanted to add, that I will be building a run when my coop is finished. The problem with my area is that I am very rural and have problems with hawks, coyote and raccoons. My 'yard' is not fenced in- we're on several acres of land. So my chickens will not be safe in my yard- especially since we have a neighbor who refuses to keep his dog on his property and the dog likes to come over here and stir up trouble. So - your situation is nothing like mine, which is why I think you'd be fine.
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A lot depends on what you plan to do if you are away from home for even a few hours. Would they end up loose in the yard or locked in a potentially HOT coop?
Loose in the yard means things that fly and things that climb or jump well can get them, or they can get out of the yard. Yes most chickens can fly fairly well.
I myself feel more secure having a run. You could always let them out when you want them out just safer with a run IMO.

I looked it up and got this

chicken run

An enclosed area in which chickens are allowed to walk and run about.

I guess a fenced yard counts as a run. So does a fenced area under a deck.

I like mine nice and secure so mine have this....


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Thank you. Still working on it of course.
Painting on the small one and moving the nest box down a bit.
The big one needs trim and some more paint.
Too hot for me this weekend though.
oh, I hear you!! It's too hot to do much here, either. Been so frustrated with that. I'm slowly working on my coop and can only work a few hours in the morning and just a couple in the evening. Bleah. Building my run seems far, far off in the future.... heh.
You are not too far from us over in KS.

I can't take the heat. Terrible to get heat sick. I have to stay inside if it gets much above 85. Don't need the kid taking me to the hospital. He gets real worried when I am out in the heat now. Place I worked was 110 with 98 humidity MAN did I get sick.

Sending some clouds your way. Might make it today yet.
I'm not much good in the heat either. Holy heck, that was some awful working conditions in that heat.
NO fun. I did hear on the radio we are *maybe* expecting a storm/rain tonight. I sure hope so!! Although, I can do without the high winds this time.
So, if I do decide to make a small run, how easy is it to gather up the girls if I need to place them in the run if I'm leaving the house? Is this where treats come in?

The fence I'm installing is a 6' privacy fence. The only way to get out would be to fly over. I'll be getting Orpington's, which from my reading about them do not fly much or very high. My neighbours do not have dogs.

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