Advice for run structure please!

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bozza
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Advice for run structure please!

Post by bozza » Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:50 pm

Hi, I’m a very excited Chicken newbie and need some advice from experienced chicken owners please. I’m planning on having my hens in a large run in my garden next spring. I have seen runs that have metal poles as the supporting structure and also runs that have wooden supports. I plan on having an apex roof which will be covered too. There are so many decisions to make and although I have done loads of reading on here and other sites I’m still quite unsure as to whether to go for wooden supports or metal? Has anyone had experience of both and favours one over the other? I have looked at a couple of websites supplying both kinds and the costs certainly add up in both cases so I really want to get my decision right at the planning stage!! Any advice gratefully received, lovely chicken folk!! Thanks!
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Marigold
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Re: Advice for run structure please!

Post by Marigold » Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:45 am

Hi Bozza and welcome to the forum.
One advantage of using a home-made wooden structure is that you can make it to the exact dimensions to fit your maximum space. Also, with wood you can easily attach extras such as clear plastic tarps to keep out the worst of the winter wind and snow, or long high perches under the roof, which the hens will probably choose to roost on, ignoring your coop, especially in hot weather! Furthermore, you can make it truly fox proof and vermin- proof if you line the floor with 1/2" galvanised mesh and join this to the mesh on the sides. Fixing roof panels is also easy on a wooden framework. We used 3"X3" supports for the main uprights, tanalised timber with the ends pre-soaked in preservative before concreting in to holes 15" deep. If you are able to supply the skills and the labour, you'll finish up with a much better run for the price of a pre-made metal one. Ours is still as good as when we made it ten years ago, and if I give up keeping chickens it could be used as a fruit cage, or we could fill in the sides and make a large shed. Of course if the choice is between ready-made wood or metal, then wood will probably be more expensive if of good quality, and might need more work to erect. It really depends on how much you can do for yourself.

Good idea to have a roof, but with an apex design you'll need two gutters, whereas with a simple slope you can get away with one. The gutter is needed to prevent rain blowing in under the edge of the roof in wet windy conditions and making the inside of the run wet and unprotected, so just one gutter, on the most accessible side, is best so you can easily clear out leaves etc.
bigyetiman
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Re: Advice for run structure please!

Post by bigyetiman » Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:06 pm

Hi Bozza and welcome.
We inherited a home made wooden structure when we moved here 12 years ago which has stood the test of time. It did need re roofing in places so we replaced that with a sloping roof. We added an extension at one end when we got "morehens disease" and just made a door through which was a simple case of just cutting the mesh. Ideal when we have newbies to gradually introduce to older hens. As marigold says the mesh is ideal fox/rodent proofing and it is easy to attach a wind proof tarpaulin to the wood in the winter.
Do let us know what you decide and let us know about the hens you get.
Not to mention when "morehens disease" strikes it happens to an awful lot of us :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Marigold
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Re: Advice for run structure please!

Post by Marigold » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:04 pm

Bozza is wanting to reply but has messaged me to say he's unable to do so because his account has been blocked. I've asked Tim if he can sort it out. Some kind of mistaken failure to recognise his details, I expect the software thinks he's a spammer, which is obviously not the case. Hang on in there, Bozza, we hope you're back online with us soon!
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