Transitioning from roofed to roofless run

buttertart

Songster
Mar 23, 2017
52
106
101
Callander, ON, Canada
We are just getting into winter months here, so i put up an entire portable garage over one small coop. So they are totally enclosed for this season. Maybe you could put up something like that over the run area. They are not considered buildings, maybe your neighbour would like the roof better if your yard started looking like tent city with portable garages everywhere lol. but seriously you can buy them in white.
 

randy68

Chirping
Mar 19, 2013
3
2
61
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.
Yes a tarp for cover that is what I use.
 

Charlenesmom

Chirping
Dec 26, 2018
75
133
97
Western MA
Your coop and run are beautiful. I didn’t realize that your roof was clear roof panels. What could your neighbor possible object to with transparent roofing🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️You mentioned that your neighbor had a “lawyer”, probable a friend or family member who is working to intimidate you. Do you anyone who could also help you? In towns there are usually a cluster of different regulations that conflict with each other, perhaps there is something that you haven’t discovered yet! I would be so mad, and driven...
There is nothing objectionable about those clear roof panels.
Do you have anything in writing from when you were given permission to build. What about the grandfather clause? You, your chickens, and the coop/run were there before the new neighbor moved in.
 

The Gardening Chick

In the Brooder
Apr 29, 2020
7
20
18
Southern New England
I'm so sorry that your neighbor is doing this! I didn't have time to read all of the responses this morning, so I apologize if this is a repeat or if this does not work in your situation.

Do you have in writing - either an email or formal letter from the officials that you spoke with - something explicitly allowing you to place your run with roof in this location? If so, you are fine and the building/ zoning official cannot (in most cases) go back on his word. If it was verbal, than you are likely out of luck.

Also, as your neighbor just to the south (hi from Rhode Island!) two out of three of my patio umbrellas, shading my girls, did not survive even one month this summer. I removed them in severe storms, but pop up storms and even breezy days destroyed the umbrellas pretty quickly. I echo everyone that says your wire top should be safe during the day. My Speckled Sussex especially loves the rain and your chickens should be just fine as long as they have access to their coop during the day.

For next year, are you allowed to build raised garden beds on legs, without restriction? I prefer my plants in the ground, but this has been suggested to me as a weather resistant roof/ run in shelter that the girls can walk under. Maybe even plant with herbs/ flowers for your chickens!

To get you through the winter... I assume that your town has no restrictions on hay or straw bales outside. I know hay and straw tends to be expensive in our area, so if cost is an issue, your local grain store likely sells "construction bales" of hay or straw that are old, falling apart or may have become wet at some point for about $5-7 each. You could stack two bales, then another two a few feet from the first stack, cover with a pallet and more bales or a tarp directly on top of the pallet and down two of the sides if you would prefer to buy less hay or straw.

Good luck and hang in there! :hugs
 

DuckyDonna

Crossing the Road
Aug 26, 2018
5,222
16,682
806
Dallas, Georgia
I thought I read through this whole thread but I might have missed something. Did you post a picture of your run? I just saw a post indicating that your run was beautiful but I don't remember seeing a picture and don't want to go back through 21 pages to hunt it up.

A picture of your situation would be the best thing for everyone to try to help you. I know lots of people are like me and a visual really helps. Show the "bad" neighbors house too or at least what he can see from his side. If you already did post this what # post was it?
 

Isleschicks

Chirping
Feb 2, 2013
5
8
67
1603544816525.png

This is what I have covering my chicken run (10' x 20'). It is light weight plastic and comes in dark green or black. It's held on by wire ties. As I sit here looking out the window at the run, I can hardly tell that anything is covering it. The only problem I have ever had with it is that is sags under a heavy load of snow and catches leaves. But you really have to be looking for it to see it. Comes in rolls and is very easy to work with. That's my suggestion if you want to be nice. I would be tempted to put up a very colorful flowered beach umbrella if my neighbor's complained. But I may have a bad attitude.
 

writerskramp

Chirping
Oct 20, 2020
45
146
53
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.
Know news is old news... Cover my run with an old pond cover net once used to keep out geese.. It's a plastic net.. Supported with cheap cargo straps so you can snug them beneath, arranged like a maypole from a center post.. Think circus tent... or rope which you will need to snug occasionaly. You can buy better netting inexpensively on the Internet.. You could just use light cheap bird netting for fruit trees or deer fence.. Just look for a size to do the job in one large piece.. Like a giant tarp.. Chickens get to bathe in the sun and or rain if they so choose.. It is excellent! Kept out the eagle perched on top the coop too circling hawks and racoon.. Squirrels will chew a hole occasional to get to sunflower seed.. Patch with small piece of chicken wire, just bend the wire ends into the mesh. Chipmunks just go through your fence or dig tunnels to raid for eggs anyway.. no stoppin' em'.. Winter can collect on the net if wet and sticky.. and 4 - 6 inches HEAVY SNOW will bust your fence posts, but if you use a little larger pattern net.. it should fall through. If not, knock it off with a push broom from beneath.. don't forget! Snapping fence posts sounds like the End of the World.. as a tree falling on your house. Adding more work to the homesteader..

As a Post Script: Deal with government types with attitude and a little chutzpah.. Know your Rights and realize most of what they tell you, can not be enforced.. One interaction should suffice.. put on crazy. They will never talk to you again! They hassle all my neighbors but, I am that guy you don't want to talk too.. They won't even look at me.. Reputation. Get one. Be the Banty Rooster... little you know what's.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom