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We need advice on our Run...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JeninMN, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. JeninMN

    JeninMN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are new to this and our chicks are now almost 2 months old....they have been out in the coop for 3 weeks now and are doing just awesome!! However we think it is time for them to have their run done so they can get outside!

    We had plans to use corrugated sheet metal for the base of our Run and then have chicken wire attached to that for the upper part...however we have not been able to find enough sheet metal like we originally thought.

    We live in MN, almost to ND...if we use Chicken wire alone is this really going to cause problems for us?? We have a ton of the 1 inch wire...

    Also, we need this to be extremely sturdy...it is going to be on the south side of our bldg..I would have preferred the North but has to be the south...the wind out in our area can be really horrible so we need to do all we can to make sure the run stays put...suggestions?!?

    Help!

    Thanks all!!

    Jen
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  2. Ms. Kitty

    Ms. Kitty Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi Jen. This is working out real well for me, 16x20 feet. Very sturdy.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:I am not sure why you were wanting to use corrugated sheet metal for the lower walls but that is probably not a great idea, especially if you want your run not to blow down [​IMG]

    I would suggest using either 1" welded wire mesh for the run, or a larger mesh (like 2x4") with your chickenwire over it. (That is, not 'above', but 'as a second, double layer').

    Set your posts for the run at least 3' deep (like an actual 3' deep, not 'oh man I'm tired of digging let's call it 3' ok?' deep). This will discourage frost-heave and, more importantly, give good wind resistance. Use pressure-treated 4x4s for the corners at least, ideally for all the posts. Cross-brace it so that the wind cannot fold it into a parallelogram in any direction (tho if you use 1" welded wire mesh, you can probably get away without crossbracing).

    For predator resistance, either bury the wire mesh a foot and a half or more into the ground around the run edges, or bend it out at right angles so it is lying horizontally on the ground, out 2' or so from the fence, and stake down WELL or cover with sizeable rocks or concrete rubble.

    Good luck,

    Pat, in a very flat field with LOTSA wind [​IMG]
     
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    And consider making the run from span arch construcion, and not square framed.
    It is a bit more aerodynamic than straight walls and sheds the wind better.
    Think commercial greenhouse contruction and youll get the idea.
    Oh and make it bigger - larger than you think you need. Few people give enough room in confinement.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2008
  5. CharlieM

    CharlieM New Egg

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    Ms. Kitty :

    Hi Jen. This is working out real well for me, 16x20 feet. Very sturdy.

    [​IMG]

    Are your perimeter fence posts in the ground, or is the fence just sitting on the ground with the squareness and corner bracing supporting it?

    I ask because I have to build a run under a lot of trees (that's where the shed / coop has been built) and there will be numerous tree roots to deal with if I dig for tree posts. We are envisioning a run approximately 8 feet across by 20 feet long, thus this "sit on the ground fence will have cross supports also to help with it's rigidity. In a sense it will be a big tractor that is just not moved (it will likely be attached at one end to the coop).

    Will this work?​
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2008
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Well, it's not the strongest (stable-est) way of doing it, but if you can't dig you can't dig.

    The thing is that your run will be rather long tall and narrow and thus not as resistant to blowing over as the one pictured above. If it were me, I'd dig posts (deeply) in wherever I could, and where I couldn't, I would anchor the run framing down REALLY REALLY WELL. Like with a number of the spiral anchor stakes (the good ones, not the cheesy small ones), put in so that the bottom of the stake angles slightly inwards towards the center of the run. And I would not build the run any taller than absolutely necessary.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  7. Ms. Kitty

    Ms. Kitty Out Of The Brooder

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    Are your perimeter fence posts in the ground, or is the fence just sitting on the ground with the squareness and corner bracing supporting it?

    No, the posts are not in the ground. They are nailed to the 2x6 runner at the bottom. The whole perimeter is anchored in the ground in places with anchors made by my husband. After living in hurricane country all of our lives(less than 90 minutes to the Gulf coast), we feel pretty confident about its construction.​
     
  8. Ms. Kitty

    Ms. Kitty Out Of The Brooder

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    Yesterday my DH put together this half way house from scraps for the new chicks. They spent thier first night outside in it last night. All is well this morning. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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