Ever wondered how to give your flock more space to roam while keeping them safe from predators? If so, you’re in the right place. Today, we’re guiding you through the process of building your own chicken run – a must-have for any chicken owner who values the happiness and health of their feathered friends.
Why a Chicken Run?
Before we dive into the ‘how’, let’s talk about the ‘why’. A chicken run is a secure outdoor space where your chickens can scratch, peck, and enjoy some fresh air. This extra space keeps them happy, reduces stress, and even enhances egg production. More than that, a well-built run can keep out common predators, like foxes and raccoons.
Materials You’ll Need
The first step is gathering your materials. For a basic chicken run, you’ll need:
- Wooden posts (2x4s work great)
- Chicken wire or hardware cloth
- A door or gate
- Staples or nails to attach the wire to the posts
- Hammer or staple gun
Don’t worry about the size too much – a good rule of thumb is about 10 square feet per chicken.
Step 1: Sketch Your Plan
Before you start digging or hammering, sketch out your chicken run on paper. This will give you a clear vision and help you spot any potential issues. Remember to plan where the entrance will be, and consider adding a roof or netting to keep out airborne predators.
Step 2: Set the Posts
Now, it’s time to set the posts. Measure and mark where each post will go, then dig holes about two feet deep. Place your posts in the holes, then backfill with soil, making sure each one is sturdy.
Step 3: Install the Wire
Next, attach your chicken wire or hardware cloth to the posts using a staple gun or hammer and nails. Make sure to pull it tight so there are no gaps or loose sections where a curious chicken could escape or a predator could sneak in.
Step 4: Build the Gate
Every run needs a gate. You can build one using more of your 2x4s and chicken wire. Make sure it’s secure and swings open and closed easily. This will allow you to enter the run without any sneaky chickens making a break for it!
Step 5: Finishing Touches
Lastly, consider adding a roof or netting over your run to protect from aerial predators. If you’re in an area with diggers like foxes, consider burying your chicken wire about a foot underground around the perimeter to deter them.
Now, once you’ve got your chicken run set up, you’ll need some chickens to enjoy it! Chickens for Backyards is here to help with a variety of backyard-friendly breeds perfect for your new run. Check out our selection and start your backyard chicken adventure today!