Building a Chicken Coop: Part 3

**This is part 3 of a 4 part series.  Click here to read part 1 and here for part 2**

Chicken Coop Started

 

The chicken coop was missing one major element after we completed part 2: a chicken run!  Our girls (and boy) need a place to run around.  Coop without Run

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.

Chicken Run 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 first installed a 6 foot  2″x4″ welded wire fence.  We attached it using fencing staples.Chicken Run Fence

 

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.

Chicken Run Hardware Cloth

 

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.

 

Chicken Run in Progress

 

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.

Chicken Run Support

 

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.

Chicken Run Wire Roof

 

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.

Chicken Run Corner

 

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.

Chicken Run

 

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!

One Response so far.

  1. Gary Kerr says:

    Thank you for the providing the detailed post on building a chicken coop. The pictures here are very much meaningful and are adding the charm to the post. A really great experience reading it. Thanks for sharing it here.

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