What do you use to enclose your run?

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jul 26, 2008
34,398
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Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
My Coop
My Coop
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I don't put up anything on the wire fence.
 
May 8, 2020
238
519
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KY
Last winter we tried clear shower curtains here in east central KY. It was our first winter with our 13 chickens, all hens, and first year in the coop/run. We get some snow, but not usually storms, and generally less than 4" which often melts within days. Except last Feb. when we had a "major" (for KY) 6" snow storm and seriously major ice storm. So it's more of a cold, slushy, muddy mess than snow accumulation. We anchored the shower curtains at the top and bottom with 1 x 2's. Snow isn't as much a problem as is wind.

Our run is 20' x 8' (covered with corrugated plastic roof panels) so we used about 4 sets of shower curtains, which came in sets of 2. We overlapped the curtains a bit on each end so there were no gaps, except for the side where the chunnel is attached so they can run over to the "west wing."

The west wing is a pole based "chicken run" structure with a tarp roof. Just extra play and dirt bathing space - they hang out there a lot. All 4 sides are just chicken wire, not secure, so we don't' attempt to protect the west wing from the weather, we just let it flow through. If they don't like the weather they can (and do) run back to the secure, covered run anytime during the day. The silly girls actually hang out in the chunnel sometimes after a snowfall, especially if the snow sticks on top and they're in their own private chunnel space. Chunnel and west wing are closed off at dusk for security against predator intrusion.

The sides of the shower curtains on the run were stapled to one of the posts in the run, if it overlapped a post. Where it didn't, we tried to use a strong duct tape and zip ties through the 1/4 " hardware cloth walls of the run, to keep the curtains attached. Meh, not so great.

After our first winter season, we thought that the real downside of that shower curtain system was that our coop is on a hillside and is subject to wind - so the shower curtains were almost always being blown and flapping. Sometimes it got loud and drove US nuts, but our girls seemed to adjust to the noise, mostly. The more it flapped, the more that some areas came loose and tore away, especially where it was duct taped and zip tied.

So this year we're trying something similar, but a wider material than shower curtains. From FarmTek.com I got some "greenhouse film" mostly clear, that is 40' wide. I got it from their "sale bin" online and it turned out to be cheaper than the shower curtains we had bought. We haven't mounted it yet, but will be doing it in the next 4 weeks or so. Same basic system with 1 x 2's top and bottom, but hopefully the issue with the wind getting between the shower curtains and causing a big flap and annoying noise will be eliminated if not lessened. Also, we'll leave about a foot at the top open, above the film for ventilation. The wind will come in but the run is about 10 ft tall, so the girls won't get a draft. EDIT: correction 8 ft tall, not 10.

I wish I could post pics, that would help it all make sense, but I had to remove all my pics from my very stupid smartphone and put them on a file storage device, so I can't easily access them right now. The west wing is a pole based "chicken run" structure with a tarp roof. All 4 sides are just chicken wire, not secure, so we don't attempt to protect the west wing from the weather, we just let it flow through. If they don't like the weather they can (and do) run back to the secure, covered run anytime during the day. Chunnel and west wing are closed off at dusk for security against predator intrusion. If anyone really wanted to see, I can dig them up.
EDIT: I forgot that our run (summer) and coop are shown on my profile banner.

So that's our winter snow/wind protection plan for the run. Thanks for sharing yours!
 
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Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,272
15,954
832
Nevada County, CA
The shower curtains worked well on my old run. We didn't get snow where we lived at the time, but it rained often and we had "wind events."

There are "clear" tarps folks here use to enclose porches. They are pricier than shower curtains, naturally, but tougher by far. I liked the shower curtains because they were disposable.

If you're not 100% sure you want to enclose your run, you could maybe try the shower curtains for a few $ and see what you think. If you prefer it enclosed, then you can maybe look at something more durable, if desired.
 

Sbr73

Chirping
Feb 28, 2021
82
149
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New Jersey
Thank you all for responding! I was going to wrap 3 out 4 sides with greenhouse material from FarmTek too. I was also going to use polycarbonate panels on the windy side. Now I know I don’t need to wrap the entire run. Phew! The weather is up and down here 70-60ish so I will probably start my wintering over this weekend. Not sure if I should change out the hemp in the coop since it was put in there in late June.
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
6,272
15,954
832
Nevada County, CA
Thank you all for responding! I was going to wrap 3 out 4 sides with greenhouse material from FarmTek too. I was also going to use polycarbonate panels on the windy side. Now I know I don’t need to wrap the entire run. Phew! The weather is up and down here 70-60ish so I will probably start my wintering over this weekend. Not sure if I should change out the hemp in the coop since it was put in there in late June.
I do a complete deep clean 2-3 times a year, always right before winter (and usually right after, too, because it gets so mucky in the rain/snow). I figure the birds will be stuck inside a lot of the time making it dirtier and less sanitary, so if I clean it out really well before hand, it'll be less gross when I clean it out come spring.
 

Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
8,118
35,298
933
Belding, MI
I had about 1/3 of my run wrapped. The prevailing wind is from the west, north being the second most windy. So I blocked off the west side, and about 3' around the NW and SW corner. The gave the chicken a good, wind free space to hang out in. On calm days, they used the whole run. If it was really windy, they stayed mostly inside.
 

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