What is a 'Run' vs 'Fenced Area'?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hen-O-Pause, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. Hen-O-Pause

    Hen-O-Pause New Egg

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    Jul 8, 2010
    Stanwood, WA
    pardon the newbie(ness) of this question, but the more I read (pictures I see), I thought a run referred to a fenced off uncovered area. Which is what we have been planning. Now I'm wondering whether it really needs to be a roofed area?

    We live in Washington State (so I don't think I need to tell you about the scads of rain we get). Would the chickens do fine if the run area was not roofed over? The underside of the coop is accessible to them which is approximately 8' x 4'.
     
  2. HudsonValleyGirl

    HudsonValleyGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2010
    Your run does not need a roof, but you should put something on top of it (Hard Wire cloth, bird netting). I have two areas for my girls. I have an attached run that has a shingled roof, and a chicken yard, no roof, but it does have bird netting on top of it. Here take a look.


    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=358727&p=1
     
  3. Hen-O-Pause

    Hen-O-Pause New Egg

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    Jul 8, 2010
    Stanwood, WA
    thanks HudsonValleyGirl.

    We will most definitely have netting up, just didn't plan on a roof system, so its nice to know (at least short term) that we can get away with it. Not to mention dh is starting to get cranky with all my ideas I'm throwing at him. LOL [​IMG] (do this, don't do that, we need this, done this way.....etc.....etc......etc)

    He has the coop almost finished today. The day is getting closer and I'm excited to finally bring home some chickens. [​IMG]

    Your setup looks really nice! Here's a shot of mine that my dh has been working on this week.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. HudsonValleyGirl

    HudsonValleyGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Try not to use chicken wire. Most animals can rip it to shreds. Hard wire cloth (AKA rabbit wire) is much better for the sides of your run.
     
  5. Hen-O-Pause

    Hen-O-Pause New Egg

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    Jul 8, 2010
    Stanwood, WA
    oh? Well, we must change that then.

    Many thanks!
     
  6. Andi

    Andi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Depending on the breed, some chickens are good fliers. I learned that the hard way. Wing clipping wasn't successful on some of them either.

    Here's a pic of one of my girls after she flew straight up 8' to see what my son was doing up on the new hen house roof.
    [​IMG]

    We ended up covering our run. It has cut down on the mud, but mud is inevitable in a dirt run, which I prefer so I can turn the soil and give the girls worms and bugs to hunt for. Using DE helps dry the mud, to an extent, also.
     
  7. Hen-O-Pause

    Hen-O-Pause New Egg

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    Jul 8, 2010
    Stanwood, WA
    thanks for your advice Andi. So, other than turning the soil, is there any other 'cleaning' of the run that should be done?
     
  8. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Our first run is roofed, but I built a second, unroofed one. It didn't take long for me to decide to add a roof to the second run. It's so nice not to have to worry about rainy days turning the run into muck and soaking the chickens. And shade in the summer helps, too.
     
  9. Andi

    Andi Chillin' With My Peeps

    There's probably as many different ways of cleaning a run as there are chickens. Some people put sand in their runs to eliminate the mud issue all together. My understanding is that they more or less sift out the poo. I'm sure there's other materials also. The density of chickens in a run area would also make a difference.

    When I started out I still had grass in the run. It looked nice, but didn't last long. I started out with 20 some chicks at the end of May. Some were for meat and I got extras of each breed so I'd be able to end up with a girl of each variety of egg layer. By late August I was down to just the 4 girls, which is what I have now. I'm trying to remember the run dimensions. I think it must be about 8' X 20' or bigger. The poo smothered what the chickens didn't eat. That was before I figured out how to clean the run. It was gross. (It was at about that time I got myself some chicken dedicated rubber foot ware.) Eventually I discovered I could use a metal garden rake and that would loosen up the poo so I could rake it up a little easier. Of course, its not possible to get it all,and it was a lot of work. That's when I tried going in with a shovel and discovered the girls REALLY thought that was an awesome idea. I only turn smaller areas of the run at a time, but eventually make my way around. I go out there with the shovel probably once a week. The areas that I don't turn I use a leaf rake on and that goes into the compost pile. I find myself not raking as often as time goes by. I guess the thrill wore off. I probably rake once a week or every other week. 4 chickens don't put out all that much. The hen house gets daily clean-ups still though, and will continue to.

    Seeing you're still in the creating stages and live in a rainy region it wouldn't hurt to bring up drainage, in case that hadn't factored in yet. I think a fair amount of people end up building their coops/runs in an area of the yard that hasn't been used yet. Sometimes that spot in the yard is a less desirable area, and sometimes its a less desirable area because its a low spot in the yard. I've heard it time and time again. Ours ended up setting right along the natural drainage route, which we knew, but it didn't quite click until Spring and there was standing water in the run. Anyway, something for you to think about so it doesn't become an issue later on.

    Oh, I gotta tell you, your coop is adorable! Tell your hubby we are impressed with his work!
     
  10. Rozzie

    Rozzie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
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    Last edited: Sep 3, 2010

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