Putting up the run for the chickens has been on the “To Do” list for a while now. Luckily we really don’t need the fence until they are a bit older and that bought us some time to work out the details. There were many factors that we needed to consider to keep the run as safe as possible.
- Has to be tall enough that they won’t fly out
- A fence that they can’t run through
- Welded wire for strength
- Part of fence should be buried to keep animals from digging under
- Must have a gate for egg retrieval and clean up
- Must be as animal proof as possible because we have fox, raccoons, coyotes, etc. in our woods
We wanted to build our run with all of these features without incurring too much expense. In the end we used leftover 4 foot high welded wire from our garden. Attached to the top of that we ran 2 foot welded wire we discovered in our garage (we later ran out of that and found another roll in our woods). To the outside of the welded wire we attached a 5 foot tall chicken wire fence. Once everything was said and done we basically put up three fences!
The right half of the run (and me building the chicks a rock step to get out of their coop):
Here you can see how much taller the run is than the garden fence:
The gate was recycled from my parents house. It was originally used as a gate for our sheep when I was a kid, but is going to work perfectly for our purposes. The gate was COVERED in rust, but it was nothing a little spray paint couldn’t fix
The fence was quite a project, but the piece of mind is worth it. The goal is to allow them access to the run all day. When we are working in the yard, we hope to let them free range. We will have to determine if that will work by how well they stay out of the road. In the spring and fall we will put the chickens to work in the garden eating bugs (and as a result fertilizing the soil) and scratching up the plants. In return we hope they will provide us with many delicious and nutritious eggs!