Transitioning from roofed to roofless run

PDXJULES

Songster
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.
Where I live Ivy is horribly invasive and can destroy trees and cause major damage to buildings. I'd recommend grapes, on a trellis which may block his view. Grape leaves are great nutrition for the Chickens as long as they are getting at least an hour of sunlight a day - and they go crazy for grapes and raisins. We have 2 kinds of seedless rapes shading porches. I assume seeded grapes would make your eggs high in Omega 3's. They can be grown from cuttings, and like to be curt back often, so they make great Chickie fodder.
 

JanKuziel

In the Brooder
Mar 31, 2020
25
36
36
East Tennessee
I asked about a partial roof, at least along the edges beyond the setback requirement for roofs, and he said that technically I could do it, but again, because the neighbor is complaining and raising such a stink, he has to say no. The situation got really ugly - the guy hired a lawyer and is looking for loopholes in town laws, trying to find a way to get rid of my chickens. It's pretty ridiculous. So the building commissioner is asking for no overhead coverings at all so that the neighbor has nothing to use against me. But I was thinking an umbrella or two underneath will be safe. Especially because said neighbor has a patio umbrella himself, closer to the property line than mine will be.
 

JanKuziel

In the Brooder
Mar 31, 2020
25
36
36
East Tennessee
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.
[/QUOTE
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.
Is there any way to plant some of the straight growing, tall cypress trees between you and your neighbor so he can’t see your yard? At least where the chickens are? Maybe a thick shield will help mollify him
 

SegiDream

Songster
Apr 23, 2020
197
598
146
Southeast TN
Here's a thought.

In the garden I have a cold frame made out of hay bales. I struggled to figure out what material to use for the "greenhouse cover" that wouldn't break the bank. I finally figured it out. Frost colored shower curtains.

I'm thinking about getting more of them to make pup style tents in the run for the chickens. All I need to do is string a clothes line between posts, add grommets at the bottom of the shower curtain, drape it over the line and stake it in place, maybe some clothes pins at the top so it doesn't slide.

I see a few positives:
1) protection from rain/snow
2) frosted white or clear allows light through so more warmth than a fully shaded area
3) it can easily be removed or switched out to a solid color for shade during the hot months
4) inexpensive. I paid $10 for a 2 pack of 8g thick shower curtains on amazon.

Cons:
1) Might not look very professional
2) Placement is probably key, like facing the sides towards East and West or vice versa
3) Not a permanent structure
 

Eternaljoy7

In the Brooder
Oct 13, 2020
16
97
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.
This might be odd... however.... plastic wrap under the wire mesh. 😂. It would work. Just an idea.
 

JanKuziel

In the Brooder
Mar 31, 2020
25
36
36
East Tennessee
Here's a thought.

In the garden I have a cold frame made out of hay bales. I struggled to figure out what material to use for the "greenhouse cover" that wouldn't break the bank. I finally figured it out. Frost colored shower curtains.

I'm thinking about getting more of them to make pup style tents in the run for the chickens. All I need to do is string a clothes line between posts, add grommets at the bottom of the shower curtain, drape it over the line and stake it in place, maybe some clothes pins at the top so it doesn't slide.

I see a few positives:
1) protection from rain/snow
2) frosted white or clear allows light through so more warmth than a fully shaded area
3) it can easily be removed or switched out to a solid color for shade during the hot months
4) inexpensive. I paid $10 for a 2 pack of 8g thick shower curtains on amazon.

Cons:
1) Might not look very professional
2) Placement is probably key, like facing the sides towards East and West or vice versa
3) Not a permanent structure
I had a shower curtain on top of my run for awhile til the roof was built. A couple of things to note about that. If your run top is flat it will hold water and it’s difficult (and a pain) to keep the water puddles off. And also it makes a lot of noise in the rain. My girls were on edge during hard rains as it was a thunderous noise. Not to mention I was out in hard rain trying to push the water off it so it wouldn’t collapse the hardware cloth. A slant top structure would be fine, just very noisy.
 

SegiDream

Songster
Apr 23, 2020
197
598
146
Southeast TN
I had a shower curtain on top of my run for awhile til the roof was built. A couple of things to note about that. If your run top is flat it will hold water and it’s difficult (and a pain) to keep the water puddles off. And also it makes a lot of noise in the rain. My girls were on edge during hard rains as it was a thunderous noise. Not to mention I was out in hard rain trying to push the water off it so it wouldn’t collapse the hardware cloth. A slant top structure would be fine, just very noisy.
Hmm I have a tarp lean to that I set up the other day for the rainy weather when it hit us. And the shower curtains are hanging flat over the garden. I placed a couple grommets in the middle for water drainage. We haven't noticed any extra noise but I imagine it must be noisier. Perhaps we are just too far away to notice - the coop and garden are 35-50ft from the house.

We also live on a busy road, the noise from the road is the most annoying thing we ever notice. Like loud motorcycles at 12am. It's a tiny little rural road, not a lot of houses down this way but people speed through doing 60 in a 30 and use it as a shortcut to the highway instead of staying on the main road... which leads to the highway and it literally doesn't save them any extra time or distance because they have to make two extra turns to take this "shortcut". 🙄 We're happy we don't have the house on the corner. I watched an 18 wheeler plow down this road the other day. I was in shock because it's impossible for one to complete the turn at the end and there's no way to turn around. Sure enough that truck took out the stop sign and drove across their yard to make the turn. SMH Sorry for the rabbit trail.
 

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