Transitioning from roofed to roofless run

RoseHawke

Crowing
Dec 26, 2008
145
515
261
Central Alabama
I added clarifications to the original post so that new people wouldn’t have to read through everything. I can’t have anything at all attached to the frame above except wire. So no awnings. I was thinking patio umbrellas because they are free-standing separate entities, and not regulated.
That's just it, these types of awnings aren't actually attached. "Awning" isn't really a proper term for them. More like a tarp with rings that slides back on a couple wires in small folds horizontally like a Roman shade. I'm not describing it very well, I'm afraid.

ETA: Pergola Canopy.
 

K0k0shka

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 24, 2019
1,945
4,757
317
Boston Area, MA
My Coop
We have 1/2 inch hardware cloth on the run, so it's easy to attach the tops. We use them year after year. For the bottom, we fold the shower curtain out (laying on the ground, as our run below the roof is not as tall as the curtain. In just a few places we place rocks on top of it. (Predator deterrent as well! If your run is taller than your curtain I would run a piece of duct tape (or other heavy well-sticking all weather tape) all along the bottom on both sides and then cut holes at intervals for the bungees. With the tape on there the holes won't rip out.
Duct tape, of course! Genius. I will do that - thanks for the tip!
 

K0k0shka

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 24, 2019
1,945
4,757
317
Boston Area, MA
My Coop
That's just it, these types of awnings aren't actually attached. "Awning" isn't really a proper term for them. More like a tarp with rings that slides back on a couple wires in small folds horizontally like a Roman shade. I'm not describing it very well, I'm afraid.

ETA: Pergola Canopy.
I see what you’re saying, but it’s still attached. As in, the awning is not a free-standing structure on its own. I can’t have anything attached and covering the top in any way - not under, not over, not anywhere attached to the mesh or frame ☹
 

countryladyNH

Songster
Feb 22, 2016
375
747
177
New Hampshire USA
My Coop
Duct tape, of course! Genius. I will do that - thanks for the tip!
Yes, you can make holes in the bottom through the duct tape and use the bungees to attach it, as at the top!
I know you said your hens are not laying eggs. They seem the right age to be laying. Are they molting? Our hens are in hard molt right now and none are laying. Egg laying slows down drastically in the fall/winter, but you should still get some. If they are NOT molting, we have a couple ideas you could try.
We put this chicken vitamin powder in their waterer. It is called Layer Boost. Here is a link for it:
https://www.chewy.com/durvet-layer-...I0r74ZeFpQQ1oWviiiShev3YCIBRkAFYaAmu8EALw_wcB

Our hens hated straw in the nest boxes and would push it all out for some reason. We ended up buying these fantastic fake turf (WASHABLE!) nest box pads. (We did NOT like the disposable excelsior ones.) We never have a broken eggs, and the hens all love them. They must be warm/comfy, etc.

We got these:
https://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Nesting-Boxes/USA-Made-Turf-Nest-Box-Liner-p1578.aspx

For treats for them in winter instead of scratch grains (which are "junk food" for chickens), We make a bowl of hot oatmeal on cold days in the late afternoon, put a few dried cranberries in it and a tiny bit of honey. They all eat it and clean the bowl! It helps them keep warm at night, since they are digesting if you give it to them in late afternoon.
Hopefully you will soon get a few eggs!
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
Mar 15, 2010
15,036
29,551
1,002
On the MN prairie.
Update: I didn’t hear back about that extension and couldn’t get a hold of anybody to ask, so the chickens are going into the basement this weekend 😫 At least they’ll be out of the snow.
I’ve been following this thread since the beginning, but I missed why the chickens can’t stay in the coop because it’s snowing. I have no roof on my run, either, pop door is open, chickens come and go as they please. If they have been outside all this time (as in, not in the house), they are acclimated to the weather, or are in the process of doing so. I’d worry about them being uncomfortably warm, and not ready to go back out in the coop once this ordeal is over.

I am also wondering (and I may have missed this, too), if there is a way to build a pergola type structure above and around the sides of - not attached to - at least part of your run?
 

NatJ

Crowing
Mar 20, 2017
4,067
6,819
406
USA
I’ve been following this thread since the beginning, but I missed why the chickens can’t stay in the coop because it’s snowing.
It's hiding out, about 4 pages back:
I'm fighting this on multiple fronts, the roof is just the building department side of it. There's a whole other fight with the health department and a very old and ambiguous law that requires 150-foot setbacks for animals housed outside. It was meant for large barn animals like cows and horses, and the town added an exception for chickens a few years ago. However, the exception was very poorly worded and doesn't hold up in court. My neighbor knows this, hired a lawyer and has been pushing hard for the town to enforce the rule and take my chickens away. To please both sides, the town issued me a corrections order for the violation of the 150-foot rule, with the understanding that they will revise the rules to make it explicitly clear that chickens are not to be regulated, and will pass the revisions before the order's deadline, thus making the order null. Several departments have been working together all summer to craft a new version of the rules and rewrite everything regarding animals in the town, to avoid this from happening to other people. I'm actually very grateful that they are taking the time and resources to do this (all spurred by my case), in a year when they also have COVID to deal with. The only problem is that my deadline is November 3rd (as if that day wasn't ominous enough already), and they haven't voted yet because the lawyer on the case is taking too long crafting the language. He wants to avoid any potential loopholes, like the one that spurred the case. Which is great, but I'm running out of time. So now I have 3 options: 1) hope they can give me an extension, which they're looking into doing, 2) give my chickens to somebody else to house temporarily, or 3) bring the chickens into my basement while I wait for the vote. I don't have 150 feet to spare, so there's nowhere else on my property they can go but inside the house, where the setback rule can't reach them. All of this is ridiculous given that the town's intent is to pass the revisions and make all this unnecessary.
The problem isn't the snow, it's that the chickens are "in violation" of another rule, which is in the process of getting changed.
 

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