Would a run be a better option?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by TwistedSerpent, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. TwistedSerpent

    TwistedSerpent Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2010
    I've been free ranging for about a year now, and the only issues I've had are from neighbor's dogs. I love free ranging my birds, but I'm done having these dogs come out and go on killy sprees in my yard. My BF suggests that if we wait until later morning to let them out we would solve most of our issues as all of these attacks have happened early. My problem with that is that obviously I can't trust that nothing else is going to happen the rest of the day. My dilemma is that the area I would fence off as a run is filled with trees so I can't do anything covered. I have guineas and plan on turkeys, so keeping them in will be impossible without. My plan so far is get 50ft of 5' high hardware cloth, which will be enough to fence off a large corner of yard, but I worry that it wont be enough to keep any dogs out and therefore be a waste of time and money. My other option would be 6' chain link, but I doubt I'll be able to afford that any time soon.

    On the other hand, the 5' hardware cloth will be at least some protection that I can afford to put in, it will keep the birds from hanging out and pooping on the porch and I can then let my dogs roam the yard without giving them the chance to chase the chickens, and even get the rabbits out there to enjoy being on dirt and grass. Also would 200sq feet or so of run give 5-10 chickens space enough to keep them from flying over the fence?

    Is there anything else I'm missing that might help? I'm tempted to bring my dogs closer and leave them out, but these dogs got in the pen with ours and just tore them up. The sherriff has been contacted and has had multiple reports against these dogs, and I'm sure have done all they can legally at this point at least until more happens. Luckly it's very sporadic, and these people know we will shoot any dog of theirs on our property (we shot 2 already as they were trying to tear into the rabbit hutch, the one we didn't get is the one that continues to come back). I'm kind of stuck on what I want to do.
  2. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    I don't know what your budget is but I purchased a 10'X10' by 6' tall dog run on Craigs list for $150. By using the fencing alongside my vegetable garden as one wall, I've actually made a nice 10'X20' extended run. There is no top on it, but so far, I haven't had any escapees. Given enough time, a dog could dig under this run, but it would offer your birds more protection than simply free ranging them.

    I live in an area with a lot of predators, so the chickens are in a covered hardware cloth run while I'm not around. I let them out into the dog-run when I'm home but not outside and then allow them some free-range time when I'm outside doing yard or garden work (or simply hanging out with the chickens)

    Sorry about the neighbor dogs. You are within your rights to shoot them or to haul them off to the pound if they come back.
  3. TwistedSerpent

    TwistedSerpent Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2010
    I've been watching craigslist, so far nothing of use. Trust me we know full well the legalities of shooting dogs on our properties, even told be the cop (and everyone else) that next time we see any of their dogs on our land to shot them. The owners are not right in the head and have about 25 of them, these dogs are not properly socialized and are of 100% pack mentality when with each other, so very dangerous. As far as budget goes I'd like to keep it under $200, anything more then that is going to take a good chunk of time before I can afford it and I dont want to keep the birds locked in the coop during that time. A part of me is tempted to spend the money on a small carry pistol rather then fencing, since what I can afford may not be effective, but the gun will be.
  4. Mommy 2 Wee Ones

    Mommy 2 Wee Ones Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2011
    North Texas
    I have 14 hens & 1 roo in a 20 x 20 run, their coop is 6 x 6. I got the heavy duty plastic netting & stitched it to the top of the fencing with twine. Where it dips in the center, I got 3 8 ft 2 x 2, buried 1 ft in the ground & it is now high enough for my 5' 2' self to walk through. It took me most of the afternoon to do it, but there is no chance of a hawk snatching up any of my chickens while they are in the run.

    The only time my girls & guy are allowed to free range, is in the afternoon when I am home. We are on 1 acre, and the back yard is fenced, I have two little yippy dogs, but only one is allowed out with the chickens unsupervised. But then, she thinks she is a chicken, and our roo treats her like one. If she gets out of line, he lets her know it & will stay out of his way.


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