A chicken-run is important when free ranging chickens.
Here at the homestead our chickens free range. That means they have freedom. At night they get cooped up to protect them from predators, but during the day they forage for greens, pebbles, bugs, etc. You name it, they eat it. That is what makes them lay healthy eggs!
But even during the day light hours predators are present. In our neck of the woods hawks fly overhead scouting for their next meal. Not to mention cats, dogs and even the occasional fox.
We used to let our girls free range without boundaries. They loved it. The fluffy butts visited our neighbors daily and the neighbors actually didn’t mind. We were even told our chickens were so friendly they want some of their own!
But it drove my husband crazy the birds always in the neighbors yard, so we built a fence.
There is a tree line that separates us from our neighbors property. And in the tree line we cleared a path. We spent an afternoon cutting down the small trees and vines that ran throughout. It is important to keep as many large trees as possible because they provide coverage from the hawks.
As we cut down brush, we took a rake and smoothed out a level spot. Wanting to give our girls plenty of space, we wrapped a path from one side of the coop grounds to the other.
We attached the welded wire to a large tree on the corner of the property. Then we ran posts every 10 ft. After stretching the welded wire to the posts we attached them with wire at the top, middle and bottom. We went back and added a smaller flagpole post in between the electric posts to give the fence extra support. These are not attached, just hammered into the ground.
Our chicken-run is pretty lengthy and as you can see this system works very well for us!
It gives our girls approximately 330 ft of free range space and keeps them safe. Once we get more permanent fencing placed along our property (against the highway and backyard areas) we will eliminate the fencing in the front of the coop and give them free range of our entire property.
But for now, this serves its purpose. Our girls free range safely and we just had our first tornado of the season, since it held up with no needed repairs, I’d say that’s a homesteading win!
What type of chicken-run do you have? How did you build it?