Transitioning from roofed to roofless run

CackleBabies

Chirping
Mar 26, 2015
20
5
74
Ask your town about building a pergola over all or part of the run. It’s not a solid roof but you could attach the hardware cloth For safety and plant vines that would create a natural “roof” protection for your chickens, and it’ll be attractive so perhaps your neighbor will be happier. Get some perennial and annual plants so there are immediate, fast growers and slower long term coverage. Good luck.
 

Karin Moses

Hatching
Oct 16, 2020
2
4
8
How about planting climbing vines like jasmine or clematis or another sort on either side of the run. It would take awhile but they definitely would shade your run and keep a lot of the rain off the chickens.
 

Judy Todd

Chirping
Dec 27, 2017
148
215
98
Yacolt Wa.
Another crafty idea I had is that I can get a bunch of camouflage netting and stretch it vertically above the 6-foot privacy fence, to make a taller privacy wall and further block his view of the chickens (and, most importantly, block my view of HIM to stop my adrenaline level from spiking whenever I hang out with my chickens in that area).
That idea, the camo netting is a winner, but put it on top of your run also.
 

Judy Todd

Chirping
Dec 27, 2017
148
215
98
Yacolt Wa.
I think these might be poisonous to chickens...? I surely don't want your cure to cause another problem! Although chickens have a pretty good innate knowledge of what they should/shouldn't eat.

My chicks moved outside at 6 weeks. There was an iris leaf near enough to peck. One bird pecked it one time. Somehow, they usually know.

I am so sorry this is happening to begin with. This neighbor has such a tiny heart, I'm surprised he's even alive.
And his tiny heart is shrinking each day!!!!
 

Spudlo

Chirping
Dec 11, 2019
36
122
62
Port Orchard, WA
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.

_______________________

Clarifications
(since I can't reply to every comment after this thread ballooned, I'm condensing the clarifications and answers to questions here so they don't get asked over and over).

- To see pictures of my setup, go to my coop page, linked under my profile picture

- I am only talking about the run, the coop is fine (fully roofed and moved farther out so it complies with zoning)

- I was here first; coop had been built when neighbor moved in but no run or chickens yet. I talked to him and he was fine with it, watched me build the run, accepted offer of eggs and small talk, never said a thing against it until after it was built. Started complaining before there were chickens there yet. Suddenly he was against the idea of chickens, not anything in particular that they did, looked, or smelled like, because they weren't there yet.

- There is no problem with the chickens themselves, as verified by multiple inspections from the town's Health Department. No smells, noise, roosters or anything else from his complaints that can be justified.

- I tried being nice first, offered eggs once they start laying, offered compromises, problem solving, modified the run over and over to address specific complaints, but nothing was ever enough because he just didn't want them there. Being nice accomplished nothing - he perceives kindness as weakness and gets even bolder, so it backfired.

- The town's building commissioner said I can't cover the run with anything other than wire. So no tarps, plexiglass, canvas, shade cloth etc. He said that the run is too close to the property line for a roofed structure, but if it has an open top, then it's in a different category (pen) and would be okay where it is.

- The "letter of the law" isn't specific enough to cover this kind of structure. The run is in a gray area, and it's up to the commissioner's interpretation to decide how to apply the law. He's trying to work with me and suggest how to modify it so I can keep it where it is (no roof). Which is still better than telling me to get rid of it, which he could've done but didn't. I'm still pissed that he okayed it before it was built, but oh well... I'm trying to look on the bright side here.

- I tried applying for a variance. It was denied (because there are objecting neighbors - a variance requires consent from abutting neighbors). It did buy me 4 months of time though - 4 months of having that nice roof 😁

- I can't just move everything. My yard is not that big, and there are things in the way - large raised garden, fences, garage, and part of the property is on a steep slope. I would need to rebuild it anew very far out, in the middle of the only open part of the yard where my kids play... So I need to find a way to keep it where it is.
We made a wood frame used the same wire fencing you showed then covered it with a greenhouse tarp from Amazon. I get the whole “ugly tarp” thing but this is clear. It has thread inside it, and the structure stands up to wind/rain well.
 

Attachments

Chickdeb7

In the Brooder
May 2, 2020
39
54
43
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.

_______________________

Clarifications
(since I can't reply to every comment after this thread ballooned, I'm condensing the clarifications and answers to questions here so they don't get asked over and over).

- To see pictures of my setup, go to my coop page, linked under my profile picture

- I am only talking about the run, the coop is fine (fully roofed and moved farther out so it complies with zoning)

- I was here first; coop had been built when neighbor moved in but no run or chickens yet. I talked to him and he was fine with it, watched me build the run, accepted offer of eggs and small talk, never said a thing against it until after it was built. Started complaining before there were chickens there yet. Suddenly he was against the idea of chickens, not anything in particular that they did, looked, or smelled like, because they weren't there yet.

- There is no problem with the chickens themselves, as verified by multiple inspections from the town's Health Department. No smells, noise, roosters or anything else from his complaints that can be justified.

- I tried being nice first, offered eggs once they start laying, offered compromises, problem solving, modified the run over and over to address specific complaints, but nothing was ever enough because he just didn't want them there. Being nice accomplished nothing - he perceives kindness as weakness and gets even bolder, so it backfired.

- The town's building commissioner said I can't cover the run with anything other than wire. So no tarps, plexiglass, canvas, shade cloth etc. He said that the run is too close to the property line for a roofed structure, but if it has an open top, then it's in a different category (pen) and would be okay where it is.

- The "letter of the law" isn't specific enough to cover this kind of structure. The run is in a gray area, and it's up to the commissioner's interpretation to decide how to apply the law. He's trying to work with me and suggest how to modify it so I can keep it where it is (no roof). Which is still better than telling me to get rid of it, which he could've done but didn't. I'm still pissed that he okayed it before it was built, but oh well... I'm trying to look on the bright side here.

- I tried applying for a variance. It was denied (because there are objecting neighbors - a variance requires consent from abutting neighbors). It did buy me 4 months of time though - 4 months of having that nice roof 😁

- I can't just move everything. My yard is not that big, and there are things in the way - large raised garden, fences, garage, and part of the property is on a steep slope. I would need to rebuild it anew very far out, in the middle of the only open part of the yard where my kids play... So I need to find a way to keep it where it is.
Are you allowed to have a shed? Maybe you can disguise it as a shed. If you use wire to cover the top in order to keep all the predators out you should use the 1/4 inch hardware cloth or the 1/2 inch hardware cloth. Anything bigger than that will let predators in.
 

David of Hawaii

In the Brooder
Oct 21, 2020
3
12
15
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.

_______________________

Clarifications
(since I can't reply to every comment after this thread ballooned, I'm condensing the clarifications and answers to questions here so they don't get asked over and over).

- To see pictures of my setup, go to my coop page, linked under my profile picture

- I am only talking about the run, the coop is fine (fully roofed and moved farther out so it complies with zoning)

- I was here first; coop had been built when neighbor moved in but no run or chickens yet. I talked to him and he was fine with it, watched me build the run, accepted offer of eggs and small talk, never said a thing against it until after it was built. Started complaining before there were chickens there yet. Suddenly he was against the idea of chickens, not anything in particular that they did, looked, or smelled like, because they weren't there yet.

- There is no problem with the chickens themselves, as verified by multiple inspections from the town's Health Department. No smells, noise, roosters or anything else from his complaints that can be justified.

- I tried being nice first, offered eggs once they start laying, offered compromises, problem solving, modified the run over and over to address specific complaints, but nothing was ever enough because he just didn't want them there. Being nice accomplished nothing - he perceives kindness as weakness and gets even bolder, so it backfired.

- The town's building commissioner said I can't cover the run with anything other than wire. So no tarps, plexiglass, canvas, shade cloth etc. He said that the run is too close to the property line for a roofed structure, but if it has an open top, then it's in a different category (pen) and would be okay where it is.

- The "letter of the law" isn't specific enough to cover this kind of structure. The run is in a gray area, and it's up to the commissioner's interpretation to decide how to apply the law. He's trying to work with me and suggest how to modify it so I can keep it where it is (no roof). Which is still better than telling me to get rid of it, which he could've done but didn't. I'm still pissed that he okayed it before it was built, but oh well... I'm trying to look on the bright side here.

- I tried applying for a variance. It was denied (because there are objecting neighbors - a variance requires consent from abutting neighbors). It did buy me 4 months of time though - 4 months of having that nice roof 😁

- I can't just move everything. My yard is not that big, and there are things in the way - large raised garden, fences, garage, and part of the property is on a steep slope. I would need to rebuild it anew very far out, in the middle of the only open part of the yard where my kids play... So I need to find a way to keep it where it is.
 

ASCooperband

In the Brooder
May 20, 2020
1
1
11
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.

_______________________

Clarifications
(since I can't reply to every comment after this thread ballooned, I'm condensing the clarifications and answers to questions here so they don't get asked over and over).

- To see pictures of my setup, go to my coop page, linked under my profile picture

- I am only talking about the run, the coop is fine (fully roofed and moved farther out so it complies with zoning)

- I was here first; coop had been built when neighbor moved in but no run or chickens yet. I talked to him and he was fine with it, watched me build the run, accepted offer of eggs and small talk, never said a thing against it until after it was built. Started complaining before there were chickens there yet. Suddenly he was against the idea of chickens, not anything in particular that they did, looked, or smelled like, because they weren't there yet.

- There is no problem with the chickens themselves, as verified by multiple inspections from the town's Health Department. No smells, noise, roosters or anything else from his complaints that can be justified.

- I tried being nice first, offered eggs once they start laying, offered compromises, problem solving, modified the run over and over to address specific complaints, but nothing was ever enough because he just didn't want them there. Being nice accomplished nothing - he perceives kindness as weakness and gets even bolder, so it backfired.

- The town's building commissioner said I can't cover the run with anything other than wire. So no tarps, plexiglass, canvas, shade cloth etc. He said that the run is too close to the property line for a roofed structure, but if it has an open top, then it's in a different category (pen) and would be okay where it is.

- The "letter of the law" isn't specific enough to cover this kind of structure. The run is in a gray area, and it's up to the commissioner's interpretation to decide how to apply the law. He's trying to work with me and suggest how to modify it so I can keep it where it is (no roof). Which is still better than telling me to get rid of it, which he could've done but didn't. I'm still pissed that he okayed it before it was built, but oh well... I'm trying to look on the bright side here.

- I tried applying for a variance. It was denied (because there are objecting neighbors - a variance requires consent from abutting neighbors). It did buy me 4 months of time though - 4 months of having that nice roof 😁

- I can't just move everything. My yard is not that big, and there are things in the way - large raised garden, fences, garage, and part of the property is on a steep slope. I would need to rebuild it anew very far out, in the middle of the only open part of the yard where my kids play... So I need to find a way to keep it where it is.
The fabric top of a 4-legged umbrella set up on my patio all summer a few years ago got completely shredded in a wind storm. Be prepared to replace the top periodically. A cheaper solution might be to string up a tarp.
 

MsSueT

Chirping
Oct 20, 2015
8
7
52
Perhaps your best bet is to go with the approved mesh over the top and then set up a couple of large tall tables, with perches underneath for the hens to gather on. You can even enclose them on two or three sides with clear plastic. This has worked well for me. I also have two large brown tarps strung up on the underside of my mesh cover, hung between the coop and the run fence; they sag just enough to not really look like a roof, but are great for shade and rain protection. You could use really sturdy clear shower curtains instead of tarps, so they wouldn't be as obvious (see Spudlo's post above.) Hang them at a slight slant, and you can just bump the snow off if it accumulates. In my opinion, neither of these options are really a "roof" or cover per se, as they are below the top of the run.
Good luck.
 

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