What to cover the run with?


8 Years
Mar 4, 2011
We will need to be buying something for over the top of our run, which will go over a wooden frame. What should we be looking at getting? Hardware cloth all the way across? It is mighty, mighty pricey. Is there something perhaps cheaper that would be sufficient?

Also, on the sides of the run, if we back all of the 2"x4" wire mesh fencing with chicken wire, will that keep the weasels and such out?
Depends on the predators in your area. Hardware cloth would be the way to go to keep all predators out. But like I said depends on what you need to keep out. And location of the coup ie is it under a tree where coons could get on top or not. You just need to think of all avenues.
I agree, it totally depends on where you are and what you need to keep out.

For my run I just covered it with heavy duty, made-to-fit shade cloth. Provides shade and keeps out the hawks. That's all I need to worry about in the daytime here and my hens are locked up in a secure coop at night. If you need to protect against anything else during daylight hours when your hens are out then you might go ahead and shell out the money for the hardware cloth. Or you could use the same 2x4 welded wire you have on the sides.

If you are in an area that gets lots of snow in winter then shade cloth will not be your friend! Wire or a roof in that case.
Yeah, we have a lot of uninterrupted woods around here, couple hundred acres of protected county land butt up against our property. So we're looking at coyotes, foxes, raccoons, occasional wandering dogs, opossums, and possibly (probably?) weasels, though I've never seen one. You think it would be best to go with hardware cloth all around, then? The run is 12' by 13' so that will be a pretty penny to cover entirely with hardware cloth, but if that is what we really ought to do we will.
Also there are trees around, and the run will be in partial shade, so drop-ins will certainly be a possibility.
Finally had a very hot, sunny day and got to get a good look at what it's going to be like in the run area. Turns out it is mostly light shade with some areas of nice, dappled sunlight. Lucky chickens! It felt better than most our yard

We decided to cover with 1/2 inch hardware cloth because of the amount of predators we have around here, and because we also get tons and tons of (lake effect) snow, being a little less than a mile or so from Lake Michigan, and some serious wind.

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