We were temporarily using the dog kennel as a run, but the chickens were getting much to big for that. We started by digging a trench for our fencing and post holes for the treated 4×4 posts.
We spaced the posts 6 feet apart and made a 12’x18′ run. That gives us about 220 sq.ft. which can house about 22 chickens (10 sq.ft. a piece). We wanted the fencing to be buried a bit so that critters couldn’t dig under and snatch our hens.
We still had concerns about critters getting in, so we also put in 3 foot hardware cloth, which was also buried about a foot under ground.
We left the run like this for a couple of days, but it didn’t take long for the hens to figure out they could fly out. OK, forget our roofing project! We have to build a roof for the chickens.
We laid 1x4s on top of the 4x4s horizontally. This gave us something to attach the wire to. We also put in support where we needed to so that the top would be level.
With all of the 1x4s in place (they run down the center of the coop as well) we were able to roll the wire on top.
The wire really had to be pulled tight, but we haven’t had any sagging issues yet. Eventually, we will add some sort of roof panels, but we needed a quick fix to keep the birds inside for now.
My dad had an old tonneau cover that he didn’t have a use for anymore, so we have set that on top near the door to help keep snow out. We will need to shovel the snow soon, but the chickens have actually been doing really well in it. They run all around the run and the snow doesn’t seem to bother them much. They dig up the dirt near the door and seem content.
We will be adding a door in the center of the run (between the smaller posts) but haven’t quite gotten that far. In part 4 we will address roofing and siding, but I don’t expect the siding to be done until sometime in the spring.
The hens are laying eggs, and we are getting about 6 eggs a day at this point. The fun continues! Thanks for reading!