This post will give you an idea of how to build a large chicken run in less than a day for around $150. One thing I really like is all the pieces can be taken apart and put up again in less than an hour and stored flat.
The run was designed to be a temporary* arrangement for when we go on vacations so the chickens can come and go from their coop as they please and still be protected from predators at night. Because it is temporary, we used zip-ties to attach the sections together. We wanted to ensure our chickens safety and used wire on the bottom as well to keep animals from digging under.
*we actually realized how nice it is for the chickens to come out in the morning by themselves and not have to rush out so early to let them out so we’ve kept the run up! If you want yours more permanent you may choose to screw your framing together rather than zip-tie.
I built this frantically the day before we were to leave on a 2-week vacation and was rushing and didn’t take pictures of the building process. Lucky for you it’s pretty easy! You’re basically framing a box out of individual sides and stapling on wire cloth.
I was using 8′-long lumber and 3′-wide hardware cloth and I wanted to maximize the use of each and built my run 8′-long x 6′-wide (2 rows of hardware clothe) and 3′-tall (the height of my hardware clothe). When planing measurements, the most important thing to make sure is you factor in that you’ll need at least an inch of hardware cloth over each board for stapling.
Supplies I used:
-2×6″ treated lumber (cut into 2×2 strips)
–3’x50′ roll of hardware cloth (for top/sides)
–3’x50′ welded wire (for bottom – we doubled it up)*
–galvanized staples (staple gun staples pull out easy)
-Scrap metal roofing for the top
-3″ screws for framing
-Hinges + door lock
Tools I used:
-Drill + bits
*you may opt out of making a bottom if you have a foundation that animals can’t dig under or you might have enough hardware cloth from the top/sides to use.
I cut lumber into strips for framing (cheaper than buying a bunch of 2×2’s). I probably used 5 or 6 2×6’s to get enough strips I needed. I also had a 2×4 I used for where the run would hug the sides of my chicken coop and I could screw the run to the coop.
Screw your bottom and side framework together and roll hardware cloth over and staple down. This is where a metal grinder comes in handy to trim the cloth from the roll.
The bottom and sides complete and tied together. Our yard is on a slope so the whole run is on a slope too.
You can see the black welded wire we doubled up to ensure no little creatures would squeeze through.
We left the welded wire on the bottom extend past the run to really deter predators from digging. We have too much invested in these birds – can you tell!?
The only point the run attaches to the coop is from 2 screws on each side that are going through 2×4’s I added into the framing of the run.
My son helped me put down a layer of pine straw and leaves from the forest.
Here the top is complete. My son stayed inside the run while we attached the top so he could help push the zip-ties back through to me.
I was sneaky and got a picture of him crawling through the chicken coop to get out – hehe!
Realizing we might need to get inside the run to gather mis-layed (I made up that word) eggs or unclog the chicken watering cups I decided to take an extra hour and make a hatch door on the top. I wasn’t thinking very well in my mad rush to get it done and should have put it on one of the side so it was easier to get into – oh well.
Here’s our little hatch door complete.
Yay for safe chickens!
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