Transitioning from roofed to roofless run

teresaweeks

In the Brooder
Feb 7, 2017
4
7
34
In an unfortunate turn of events, I'll have to take the roof off of my run, because the town is counting the roofed run as a "building" and applying the building zoning code to it, and, as a building, it's too close to the property line :( (nevermind that I asked permission to build it as such in that location and got the okay from the two town officials in charge of this... :rant). So, we are where we are, and I need to take the roof off. I have two questions.

First - can I replace the roof with this welded wire mesh:

View attachment 2380000

It's 2x3 inches and 16 ga. I know the spacing is too wide to stop everything, but this will only be over the top in place of a roof, and the chickens will be locked in the coop at night... I'm doing this balancing act between the town saying it can't be "covered" on top (definition of "covered" being stretchy and up to interpretation here), and my chickens being safe. Wider mesh makes it look less "covered". I know there are no clear answers, and dense HC is the best, but still... Given my situation, what do you think the risk is? I live in the suburbs and while we do have some animals, it's not teeming with wildlife.

And my second question. I'm sad to see the roof go because it kept the run dry. My chickens have never known precipitation, and probably won't be happy with the roof gone :lol: I still want to give them something overhead so they can use the yard in rainy/snowy weather, but I can't put anything on the roof. So I had this idea and bought two large patio umbrellas :lol: Nobody regulates those, so I can just put them in the run under the overhead mesh. They are square shape, so I can put one against the side of the coop flush with the wall, and give them a dry area to walk out onto when exiting the coop. And I'll put the other one in the opposite corner over their run perches, so they can have another dry area to hang out in. Patio umbrellas are meant for the outdoors so I'm hoping they'll do the job and be okay outside, though I've never had one myself and don't know how well they do in wind/rain/snow. That's where I'll appreciate your input. The run is pretty sheltered in a corner of the yard, with a 5' tall retaining wall 8 feet away on one side, and a 6' tall privacy fence on the other side of that corner (west and north respectively). For the winter, I'll put plastic (shower curtains) along the sides of the run on the south and east as well. So it will be pretty sheltered on all sides, with not a lot of wind blowing through. I'll anchor the umbrellas as well (one against the coop wall, and the other against the run wall). And I'll tilt them so they shed rain/snow better. Would that be enough? We don't get a lot of snow anymore. Every few years I'll have to take the snow blower out, the rest of the years there isn't enough to justify it.

What do you think? Again, I know there are no clear answers and part of this is accepting some risk. I just want to see what people with more experience think about this setup.
In an unfortunate turn of events, I'll have to take the roof off of my run, because the town is counting the roofed run as a "building" and applying the building zoning code to it, and, as a building, it's too close to the property line :( (nevermind that I asked permission to build it as such in that location and got the okay from the two town officials in charge of this... :rant). So, we are where we are, and I need to take the roof off. I have two questions.

First - can I replace the roof with this welded wire mesh:

View attachment 2380000

It's 2x3 inches and 16 ga. I know the spacing is too wide to stop everything, but this will only be over the top in place of a roof, and the chickens will be locked in the coop at night... I'm doing this balancing act between the town saying it can't be "covered" on top (definition of "covered" being stretchy and up to interpretation here), and my chickens being safe. Wider mesh makes it look less "covered". I know there are no clear answers, and dense HC is the best, but still... Given my situation, what do you think the risk is? I live in the suburbs and while we do have some animals, it's not teeming with wildlife.

And my second question. I'm sad to see the roof go because it kept the run dry. My chickens have never known precipitation, and probably won't be happy with the roof gone :lol: I still want to give them something overhead so they can use the yard in rainy/snowy weather, but I can't put anything on the roof. So I had this idea and bought two large patio umbrellas :lol: Nobody regulates those, so I can just put them in the run under the overhead mesh. They are square shape, so I can put one against the side of the coop flush with the wall, and give them a dry area to walk out onto when exiting the coop. And I'll put the other one in the opposite corner over their run perches, so they can have another dry area to hang out in. Patio umbrellas are meant for the outdoors so I'm hoping they'll do the job and be okay outside, though I've never had one myself and don't know how well they do in wind/rain/snow. That's where I'll appreciate your input. The run is pretty sheltered in a corner of the yard, with a 5' tall retaining wall 8 feet away on one side, and a 6' tall privacy fence on the other side of that corner (west and north respectively). For the winter, I'll put plastic (shower curtains) along the sides of the run on the south and east as well. So it will be pretty sheltered on all sides, with not a lot of wind blowing through. I'll anchor the umbrellas as well (one against the coop wall, and the other against the run wall). And I'll tilt them so they shed rain/snow better. Would that be enough? We don't get a lot of snow anymore. Every few years I'll have to take the snow blower out, the rest of the years there isn't enough to justify it.

What do you think? Again, I know there are no clear answers and part of this is accepting some risk. I just want to see what people with more experience think about this setup.
We use hardwire mesh 1/4 inch. You can put clear plastic like what painters use on the underside..
 

Rosebud25

Chirping
Aug 23, 2015
18
54
97
There is no specific problem with the chickens. The neighbor has been harassing the Health Department all summer and I've been inspected at least a dozen times. They've never found any smells, noise problems, filth or anything else. In fact, they've complimented me on how well taken care of the chickens are and how well I've addressed potential issues (cleanliness, pests, etc.) So the chickens are fine. He just doesn't want them there because he doesn't want them there.
You are in a WAR and keep in mind you have to think War mode. Whatever you do he is going to complain about. I would take some time and go read your town ordinances and copy them. Not just animal ordinances. Anything that covers what your trying to do. Are popup trailers allowed in your area? How about tents? What does the neighbor have or shouldn't have or is doing? THINK! Then go home and think some more. How about noise ordinances. Do you have bear, coyote, or fox in the area? Time for the air horn at 2 am, 4 am, and 6 am. Oh and call the Animal Control and tell them you had to scare the ____ away with your air horn. Don't tell them they were after your chickens. They were at your bird feeder, on your deck, in your garbage ect. Got the idea? I've had 3 different neighbors in 3 different places I've lived start trouble. They moved long before I did. The last was a couple of retired school teachers that actually called me to to tell me I won and they were moving. LOL As I said good neighbors are great but bad neighbors are fun and make you think. Good LUCK!
 
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sailrnest

Chirping
Mar 21, 2013
6
6
61
We have umbrellas in our yard around our pool and speaking from that experience they would need to be brought down/collapsed during wind and snow. Rain is not a problems as long as there is no wind. We have our set into a concrete base and wind has torn the umbrella inside out ripping it to pieces. Also the weight of snow would be to much for most umbrellas. We have used a 10x10 pop up lowered to the lowest level (about 4 ft) and anchored it with 5 gallon buckets loaded with rocks over our dogs houses so they have a dry area around their houses. (They don't like to sleep inside, they cry at the door to be outside.) We have not had problems with the wind like the umbrellas, maybe because they are so low to the ground. That might work especially so low the neighbor would have to look over your fence to see it and it is not permeant so should not be a code issue.
 

ryder lake

In the Brooder
Jun 28, 2020
28
24
23
In an unfortunate turn of events, I'll have to take the roof off of my run, because the town is counting the roofed run as a "building" and applying the building zoning code to it, and, as a building, it's too close to the property line :( (nevermind that I asked permission to build it as such in that location and got the okay from the two town officials in charge of this... :rant). So, we are where we are, and I need to take the roof off. I have two questions.

First - can I replace the roof with this welded wire mesh:

View attachment 2380000

It's 2x3 inches and 16 ga. I know the spacing is too wide to stop everything, but this will only be over the top in place of a roof, and the chickens will be locked in the coop at night... I'm doing this balancing act between the town saying it can't be "covered" on top (definition of "covered" being stretchy and up to interpretation here), and my chickens being safe. Wider mesh makes it look less "covered". I know there are no clear answers, and dense HC is the best, but still... Given my situation, what do you think the risk is? I live in the suburbs and while we do have some animals, it's not teeming with wildlife.

And my second question. I'm sad to see the roof go because it kept the run dry. My chickens have never known precipitation, and probably won't be happy with the roof gone :lol: I still want to give them something overhead so they can use the yard in rainy/snowy weather, but I can't put anything on the roof. So I had this idea and bought two large patio umbrellas :lol: Nobody regulates those, so I can just put them in the run under the overhead mesh. They are square shape, so I can put one against the side of the coop flush with the wall, and give them a dry area to walk out onto when exiting the coop. And I'll put the other one in the opposite corner over their run perches, so they can have another dry area to hang out in. Patio umbrellas are meant for the outdoors so I'm hoping they'll do the job and be okay outside, though I've never had one myself and don't know how well they do in wind/rain/snow. That's where I'll appreciate your input. The run is pretty sheltered in a corner of the yard, with a 5' tall retaining wall 8 feet away on one side, and a 6' tall privacy fence on the other side of that corner (west and north respectively). For the winter, I'll put plastic (shower curtains) along the sides of the run on the south and east as well. So it will be pretty sheltered on all sides, with not a lot of wind blowing through. I'll anchor the umbrellas as well (one against the coop wall, and the other against the run wall). And I'll tilt them so they shed rain/snow better. Would that be enough? We don't get a lot of snow anymore. Every few years I'll have to take the snow blower out, the rest of the years there isn't enough to justify it.

What do you think? Again, I know there are no clear answers and part of this is accepting some risk. I just want to see what people with more experience think about this setup.
in some citys (municipalities) you can apply for a (VARIANCE) this is a relaxation of zoning bylaws or building codes there is a fee normally for this you may want to look into this.
 

Chickens 4 Acres

In the Brooder
Oct 3, 2020
11
44
41
In an unfortunate turn of events, I'll have to take the roof off of my run, because the town is counting the roofed run as a "building" and applying the building zoning code to it, and, as a building, it's too close to the property line :( (nevermind that I asked permission to build it as such in that location and got the okay from the two town officials in charge of this... :rant). So, we are where we are, and I need to take the roof off. I have two questions.

First - can I replace the roof with this welded wire mesh:

View attachment 2380000

It's 2x3 inches and 16 ga. I know the spacing is too wide to stop everything, but this will only be over the top in place of a roof, and the chickens will be locked in the coop at night... I'm doing this balancing act between the town saying it can't be "covered" on top (definition of "covered" being stretchy and up to interpretation here), and my chickens being safe. Wider mesh makes it look less "covered". I know there are no clear answers, and dense HC is the best, but still... Given my situation, what do you think the risk is? I live in the suburbs and while we do have some animals, it's not teeming with wildlife.

And my second question. I'm sad to see the roof go because it kept the run dry. My chickens have never known precipitation, and probably won't be happy with the roof gone :lol: I still want to give them something overhead so they can use the yard in rainy/snowy weather, but I can't put anything on the roof. So I had this idea and bought two large patio umbrellas :lol: Nobody regulates those, so I can just put them in the run under the overhead mesh. They are square shape, so I can put one against the side of the coop flush with the wall, and give them a dry area to walk out onto when exiting the coop. And I'll put the other one in the opposite corner over their run perches, so they can have another dry area to hang out in. Patio umbrellas are meant for the outdoors so I'm hoping they'll do the job and be okay outside, though I've never had one myself and don't know how well they do in wind/rain/snow. That's where I'll appreciate your input. The run is pretty sheltered in a corner of the yard, with a 5' tall retaining wall 8 feet away on one side, and a 6' tall privacy fence on the other side of that corner (west and north respectively). For the winter, I'll put plastic (shower curtains) along the sides of the run on the south and east as well. So it will be pretty sheltered on all sides, with not a lot of wind blowing through. I'll anchor the umbrellas as well (one against the coop wall, and the other against the run wall). And I'll tilt them so they shed rain/snow better. Would that be enough? We don't get a lot of snow anymore. Every few years I'll have to take the snow blower out, the rest of the years there isn't enough to justify it.

What do you think? Again, I know there are no clear answers and part of this is accepting some risk. I just want to see what people with more experience think about this setup.
We secured a large heavy-duty tarp on top of our coop to get around the building code of permanent structure status. I imagine that if you have enough framing underneath the tarp it would withstand snow.
 

AprilH

Chirping
Jan 25, 2015
12
10
69
Tampa Bay FL
In an unfortunate turn of events, I'll have to take the roof off of my run, because the town is counting the roofed run as a "building" and applying the building zoning code to it, and, as a building, it's too close to the property line :( (nevermind that I asked permission to build it as such in that location and got the okay from the two town officials in charge of this... :rant). So, we are where we are, and I need to take the roof off. I have two questions.

First - can I replace the roof with this welded wire mesh:

View attachment 2380000

It's 2x3 inches and 16 ga. I know the spacing is too wide to stop everything, but this will only be over the top in place of a roof, and the chickens will be locked in the coop at night... I'm doing this balancing act between the town saying it can't be "covered" on top (definition of "covered" being stretchy and up to interpretation here), and my chickens being safe. Wider mesh makes it look less "covered". I know there are no clear answers, and dense HC is the best, but still... Given my situation, what do you think the risk is? I live in the suburbs and while we do have some animals, it's not teeming with wildlife.

And my second question. I'm sad to see the roof go because it kept the run dry. My chickens have never known precipitation, and probably won't be happy with the roof gone :lol: I still want to give them something overhead so they can use the yard in rainy/snowy weather, but I can't put anything on the roof. So I had this idea and bought two large patio umbrellas :lol: Nobody regulates those, so I can just put them in the run under the overhead mesh. They are square shape, so I can put one against the side of the coop flush with the wall, and give them a dry area to walk out onto when exiting the coop. And I'll put the other one in the opposite corner over their run perches, so they can have another dry area to hang out in. Patio umbrellas are meant for the outdoors so I'm hoping they'll do the job and be okay outside, though I've never had one myself and don't know how well they do in wind/rain/snow. That's where I'll appreciate your input. The run is pretty sheltered in a corner of the yard, with a 5' tall retaining wall 8 feet away on one side, and a 6' tall privacy fence on the other side of that corner (west and north respectively). For the winter, I'll put plastic (shower curtains) along the sides of the run on the south and east as well. So it will be pretty sheltered on all sides, with not a lot of wind blowing through. I'll anchor the umbrellas as well (one against the coop wall, and the other against the run wall). And I'll tilt them so they shed rain/snow better. Would that be enough? We don't get a lot of snow anymore. Every few years I'll have to take the snow blower out, the rest of the years there isn't enough to justify it.

What do you think? Again, I know there are no clear answers and part of this is accepting some risk. I just want to see what people with more experience think about this setup.

HI, I dealt with a neighbor issue not unlike yours. Township, HOA, city ordinances...and court. If you'd like some advice from someone who won and actually got paid out after for all the hassle, here you go:
1. know your laws. All of them. Even the tiny ones. There's always a loophole for you. If it's not on the books, it cannot be enforced.
2. (And for some people, this is fighting dirty, but do what you must) Get your birds certified as ESA's...Emotional Support Animals. Look here: http://www.servicedogtags.com/
3. Have your doctor confirm that you or someone in your home needs them for peace of mind and well-being of mental health. (Not a lie.)
But that way if it goes sour fast, the city cannot touch them...no one can. Legally you and they are protected.

Because what happened after the neighbor realized we'd complied with everything and our out-buildings were within code is that he then attempted to have the chickens taken from the property under the nuisance ordinance.
With them protected, HUD advocated for us and we won...and they're never allowed to bother us about our hens ever again.

Regarding the structure: Your neighbor should know that if you take the roof off and cover it with wire, it'll allow rodents in and around the property. (Truth. Sadly.)
Having a roof on there is MUCH preferable to having rats pass in and out all night long...and go over to his house as well, but hey. People as asshats, so if you have to remove the roof:

Lay down the wire and make it SMALL. I'm telling ya...stuff gets in. Norwegian rats can compact themselves very tight and they have a litter every 10-16 days.
Put clear plastic roofing material UNDER that to keep the coop dry. No dry coop and you risk disease and all kind of issues.
Over all of THAT, put a heavy duty tarp to block the sun and snow. If they hated the roof, they're gonna crap over a tarp, but this is their call.

Then if you have to get creative with something that isn't reliable in wind or snow, sure. Do the umbrella thing. But I'd layer up the wire and clear plastic roofing, personally. Keeping them safe and dry is the most important thing.

Always be very, very nice and professional to everyone you're dealing with. You know who told me OUR loophole? The city code enforcer.
Make sure you keep your coop super clean and smelling good, too. Don't give anyone any reason to complain.

And lastly, hope your neighbor moves or dies.
People who take out their own problems, hurts, and anger on others and innocent animals need to be removed from this world to make it a happier place. Ideally. Won't happen, but hey.

Don't forget to breathe. "This, too, will pass." Eventually, it'll end. I promise. Just know that you're in a bit of a hot war right now and you'll have to fight it.
At some point, the city is going to get very tired of this and stop entertaining the complaints, as it's a waste of their time and resources. Make sure they're on your side.
 
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