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Ideas needed for building chicken run please.

(11 Posts)
littlebrownmouse Sat 30-Aug-08 20:20:43

We have three chickens who currently live in a bit of a make shift temporary run in the corner of our garden. We now need to make something more permanent and I'd like some ideas/ advice rfom you experts.
We have an area aprox 3 x 4 metres which the Eglu coop will go into. One side of the run is already there as its the six foot fence between us and our neighbours, at right angles to this is a six foot trellis with ivy growing up it and lots of wire netting stuff at theback to prevent escape.
we need to build the other two sides and add a gate. we thought we'd use trellis with a built up bottom and put wood chippings on the base (wretched chooks have scoffed all the grass in that corner and most of the flower and shrub bed that is there!). we also need to be able to get in it and have some kind of fox proof top on it. Do any of you have this kind of arrangement? Does it sound OK? Do we need the wood chip or will they be happy scratting around in the mud? Does anyone have any photos of thier home made runs that they could post so that we can see them. Ta lots!

CSLG Sun 31-Aug-08 07:03:03

when we build our permanent run we put slabs down on the ground - this made it impossible for foxes to dig under and also easier for us to clean. we put a scratching box in which we kept topping up with dirt, wood chip etc. when we were there we let the run around the garden but as we had lots of foxes we needed something really secure. we also made sure the wire was over the top of the whole thing. The benefit of the premanent run was if we had to go away for a night we could leave the little chook door open (I had strips of denim inside so they could get in and out but not have drafts) and they would put themselves to sleep.

thesockmonsterofdoom Sun 31-Aug-08 07:25:12

you need tortoishell, she ha the best home made runs.
I am useless when it come to these things and I have the cube with attached run.

gatleygirl Sun 31-Aug-08 21:40:50

we've just ordered a "lucky chicken" run from ideas4pets which sounds very similar to what you want ( we are not good enought diy-ers to build one ourselves. Have a look on their website - sorry not techy enough to be able to do a link for you. We are planning to put a house in the run rather than buying a house with a small run attached which we might grow out of. I'll post an update here when it arrives!

BloodySmartarse Mon 01-Sep-08 12:10:37

you can get ready made panels to put together from a couple of different places.
littleacre make some and are stocked by kintaline and ascotts as well as selling directly. also wells poultry housing sell run panels. theyre all about 3' x 5' and framed and wired properly...opening door panels too.
id think about putting a corrugated pvc roof or similar from diy place (wickes do them fairly cheaply) to give shelter from rain.
soulns like a really nice little spot youre putting them in, nice and sheltered.
id say bark or sim might be a good idea as easier to scrape out and replace as ground does get 'fowl sick' after a while. best option is actually paving and then aubiose or similar, from security pov as well as hygiene.

can you tell ive thought about chicken houseing/runs quite extensively?? grin

littlebrownmouse Mon 01-Sep-08 19:53:32

Thanks everyone, lots to think about. Its our next project after we finish decorating our wretched bathroom (actually, the chicken run will be bigger than our bathroom, I jest not!), humans were in greater need than the chickens!
Keep the thoughts and ideas coming, I'll definitley look up those websites.

CSLG Tue 02-Sep-08 13:07:02

If you are building a big run like this you might be better getting a shed from any of the DIY stores and using that as a chicken house - its easy to convert to a chicken house and way easier to clean (standing up with a brush rather than on your knees..) You could then grow plants over the shed if you wanted it to look better

We ended up doing this and selling our old coop.

gatleygirl Tue 02-Sep-08 20:53:11

this is what we have
chicken run

hope the link works!

we might need to add smaller gauge chicken wire at the bottom - what size chicken wire odes everyone else use ?

BloodySmartarse Tue 02-Sep-08 21:16:56

foxes chew through chicken wire apparently (according to my chook books) but then, a fox couldnt get through that chain link, could it? if you had small/young birds in the lucky run, youd need a much smaller guage for sure...

clsg - is the run shes talking about not walk-in size then? ive been thinking about a big shed converted, but im worried about rat infestations and i have room to move about so i reckon a smaller house on wheels, and a walk in moveable run is the answer for me... possibly

CSLG Wed 03-Sep-08 18:24:13

We had a run that was about 4 feet high to start with - we put that on wheels but it was very heavy and difficult to move - you really need a tractor or 4x4 to move it around. We had a couple of acres so decided to build a permanent chicken coop.

We got a basic shed and then converted it (small door for the chickens, perches, nesting boxes etc) - as you could walk in it was very easy to clean. We put down slabs and then build the run over this - it would be better if you could get the shed elevated so that you can clean under it and the chickens can use it for shelter.

The benefit of this is we could leave the chooks in there if we were out (we have foxes come twice - I hate foxes now - they killed my favorite bird -she was so tame she used to come and sit on your knee to be petted). Denim strips over the door meant they could put them selves to bed and not get drafts.

If you do want something temporary to move around then you can make one of the triangular ones - they seem to be the easiest

I just always wanted mine out as I loved them wandering around, coming in to the kitchen, visiting the neighbours for food etc

tortoiseshell Tue 09-Sep-08 17:41:47

Hi, just seen this, if you want to look at our runs, have a look at my blog here - if you have a browse through you should find pics of mark 1 and mark 2!

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