Creating a chicken run is a fantastic way to give your backyard chickens the home that they need. Chickens are sociable birds and will happily live together in one area if it is well designed. In fact, chickens prefer to live as a flock. Keeping them contained in one space will also keep their excrement contained! Fortunately, creating a chicken run is not as difficult as you might think. A chicken run can be easily constructed from materials such as timber, mesh, and wire panels. Even better? You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on pre-made chicken coop kits; you can build your own at an affordable cost and in just a few hours! A chicken run offers your hens plenty of advantages over keeping them in an unfenced yard. Firstly, you won’t have messy feathers everywhere when they roam free in the open air. They also won’t be able to make their way into your neighbor’s garden or squawk so late that it keeps you awake at night. When building a chicken run, there are some important factors to consider if you want theirs to be safe and secure for longer than one season.
The Material of Your Chicken Run
The type of material that you use to construct your run will have a huge impact on its overall lifespan. For example, a wooden run will need to be treated with preservative and will last for around five years before needing to be replaced. A plastic run lasts for around seven years, but you will need to purchase a UV light to protect it from the sun. A metal run, on the other hand, is the most durable material but will cost significantly more to purchase initially. You should also remember that your run will need to be sturdy enough to support the weight of the chickens if you have a large flock! If you are considering a wooden or metal run, you should decide whether you want it to be rot-proof or rot-resistant. Rot-resistant materials are more affordable but will need to be replaced more regularly. If you choose a rot-proof material, you will need to maintain it every few years with a sealant. chicken run
The Size and Location of Your Run
To keep your chickens safe, you should build a run that is at least two feet high. This height will allow your hens enough room to stand upright, but will also prevent predators such as raccoons, snakes, or foxes from entering. When it comes to the length and width of your run, you should decide on the number of chickens you have and their size. If you have larger breeds such as Plymouth Barred Rocks or Australorps, you will need to purchase a larger run to accommodate their size. You should also consider the amount of space that your hens need to scratch, forage, and relax. If you have a large backyard, you can build two separate runs where your hens can have more space to roam. You can also create a smaller run for your chickens to use when it is raining. This will help to keep the hens dry and clean. chicken run
Ventilation and Light for Your Run
Chickens will be healthier and happier when they have access to fresh air and sunlight, but you must ensure that the run is adequately ventilated to avoid heat exhaustion. You can create ventilation by leaving gaps between the walls and floor of your run. You can also use mesh to create windows. If your run faces south, you can also install a light to give your hens a source of vitamin D. You should also consider the position of your run in relation to prevailing winds. If your run is located on the leeward side of your house or other structure, it will offer better protection against dirt and dust.
Protection from Predators
If your run is not predator proof, your chickens will not be safe. You should purchase wire that is 1” wide and 16 gauge thick to protect your chickens from predators. Ideally, your run will have a roof that extends 6” above the wire. This will prevent predators from jumping into your run. You can also add spikes to your roof to deter animals such as raccoons. Remember that you will need to clean your run regularly to keep it free from debris that could act as a foothold for predators. You should also check your run daily to ensure that no creatures have gained entry.
When you build a chicken run, you are inviting chickens into your backyard. While their feathers may be messy, they are extremely sociable creatures that will happily interact with you and your family. A chicken run will also benefit you by keeping the area clean and allowing you to enjoy the sound of chirping birds in your garden. Before you begin construction, you must first decide on the type of run that you want to create. You can choose between a wooden, metal, or plastic run, and each material will last for a different amount of time. You should also decide on the size and location of your run, as well as how you will protect it from predators. When you have these factors in mind, you can begin constructing your run.
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