Advice for run structure please!

Liz57

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Hi

Change of plan - will put in a double door for us humans and a pop hole door for the girls to access the fenced off area of the garden.

Liz
 

Marigold

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Hi Liz.
That all sounds brilliant. It’s plenty big enough for the number of hens you intend keeping, in fact with larger spaces each bird can manage with less than the 2+ sq.metres, because in small runs the feeders, dustbath etc take up a much bigger proportion of the floor space, and don’t allow for space to escape if a hen is being bullied. Also, with the long periods every winter when we have to keep our flocks under cover because of bird flu, a run the size where they’ll be happy and safe is a big advantage, with or without an outside foraging area. With 25sq. metres you might want to divide the run with an internal mesh screen, part of which can be removed for full access, but replaced when you want to isolate new or poorly birds for any reason.
Excellent to add perches as well, - they actually gain an extra ‘floor’ and will enjoy the view and feeling of safety from having high perches, 4-5ft off the ground is ideal, as well as a long perch about 18” above the ground so they can watch out for goings-on in the garden outside.
Apex roof is fine, but you might consider a roof which is a simple slope to a single gutter. Only one gutter to keep cleaning out, and the rain will all drain to one side of the run walls, instead of both. Also easier to instal, with no ridge to fit.
Clear Monotex Tarps to shelter the more exposed sides are a good idea, and I can recommend Tarpaulins Direct see https://tarpaulinsdirect.co.uk/farming/tarps/monotex-tarpaulin-250gsm/
These are easy to cut to size and can be fastened to the mesh using cable ties spaced about 18” apart. Not expensive in view of their long life and usefulness - probably they will be OK for several years. I nail mine to the top beam of the wooden frame, and in summer I cut them free of the cable clips, roll up the tarp, and tie it at the top with nylon cords stapled on the wooden frame, one cord at the front and the other at the back of the tarp.
As you say, yes it’s a big investment, but it sounds as if you’re going to get it all right. What are your birds living in at the moment?
 

Liz57

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Thanks Marigold for the information, i didnt know about ideal heights for perches and for the link for tarpaulins. Good idea about being able to separate any poorly chucks or any newbies.
At the moment the girls have their coop in a large fenced of area of the garden, prior to that they had the run of the place but my flower beds have taken a hammering. A proper enclosed run has been on the wish list for a while - getting there.
 

Marigold

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Here are my girls, up on the perch where they always roost at night in preference to their coop. There’s enough headroom for them to stand comfortably on it, and flying up and down is good exercise for them. In the morning all the overnight poo is in a tidy row on the Aubiose underneath, and as they only go in the coop to lay their eggs, the coop normally stays clean all the time, which is a bonus. This end of the run is sheltered by tarps on the outside walls and on the dividing screen, with an open side on the inside of the run - dry and wind proof, but fully ventilated.

B9559042-8516-4A92-9B9D-C613EC8FC365.jpeg
 

Liz57

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Thanks for the photo and the advice Marigold, I can't wait for my work to begin - the girls will love it.
 

Liz57

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When I attach the floor mesh to the sides - could I use something like paracord or would it need to be wire? Just thinking of the practicalities of threading it. Thanks Liz
 

Marigold

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Hi Liz,
I used garden wire, this sort of thing, https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Toolzone-Green-Garden-Twist-Support/dp/B00658UB4G/ref=sr_1_6?crid=3HW7VX0RFXQP&keywords=Garden+wire&qid=1648146912&sprefix=garden+wire%2Caps%2C74&sr=8-6
I cut lengths of about a couple of metres, and with my husband one side of the mesh and me on the other, we passed it back and forth between us, making ‘stitches’ about 8- 10 cms long, just to hold the two pieces of mesh flat against each other. When you’ve used up the length of wire, it’s easy to twist in another bit. Has lasted 10 years so far as there’s no tension on it. However, it would also work if you used 10cm. cable ties, spaced 8-10 cms apart, again with two people to pass the ties through the wire mesh and back.
Staple it to any wooden posts you pass on the way!
Is paracord a kind of nylon cord? I think you could get the two surfaces closer together and more secure with either garden wire or cable ties than cord, and it would be no more difficult either way.
 

Liz57

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12
Thanks once again for the information and link, much appreciated when I'm trying to get my head round how it will all work. L
 

Liz57

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Can't believe my last post was almost 2 years ago! Where does the time go?
So best laid plans and all that - the guy that was to come to build my run let me down big style :( so we carried on until last year and I decided to go with an Omlet walk in run with covered roof. It did the job was pleasing to the eye and the girls appreciated this nice safe space. I was pleased with our investment. Storm Isha however put paid to all that and in Wizard of Oz fashion I woke up to find the run in a mangled mess at the top of our field. Perhaps in hind site we should have pegged it down but I don't think that would have made a difference given the strength of the storm. I was gutted. The girls however were safe in their little coop so in that respect all was good. I was also most annoyed as I had just laid a new layer of aubiose a few days earlier which they were enjoying fluffing up and enjoying the little sun traps, when the sun did decide to appear.

So back to square one - I decided to contact Jim Vyse and see how much he would charge to deliver to NI. Their runs were what I had in mind but hoped someone would be able to build a similar one in situ. Soooo I have a 9ft x 18ft ordered and waiting delivery :)

Question - Should I put the wooden frame on a membrane to protect the wood. I think it would be a good idea to protect it but what membrane would be best?

Many thanks - I hope everyone is keeping well? What about you Bozza, if you are still around?
 

Icemaiden

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Kent
Can't believe my last post was almost 2 years ago! Where does the time go?
So best laid plans and all that - the guy that was to come to build my run let me down big style :( so we carried on until last year and I decided to go with an Omlet walk in run with covered roof. It did the job was pleasing to the eye and the girls appreciated this nice safe space. I was pleased with our investment. Storm Isha however put paid to all that and in Wizard of Oz fashion I woke up to find the run in a mangled mess at the top of our field. Perhaps in hind site we should have pegged it down but I don't think that would have made a difference given the strength of the storm. I was gutted. The girls however were safe in their little coop so in that respect all was good. I was also most annoyed as I had just laid a new layer of aubiose a few days earlier which they were enjoying fluffing up and enjoying the little sun traps, when the sun did decide to appear.

So back to square one - I decided to contact Jim Vyse and see how much he would charge to deliver to NI. Their runs were what I had in mind but hoped someone would be able to build a similar one in situ. Soooo I have a 9ft x 18ft ordered and waiting delivery :)

Question - Should I put the wooden frame on a membrane to protect the wood. I think it would be a good idea to protect it but what membrane would be best?

Many thanks - I hope everyone is keeping well? What about you Bozza, if you are still around?
Hi Liz57.
Welcome back. It's great to hear from you again.

I hope you're managing to keep your girls safe since the storm demolished your run. Will the Jim Vyse replacement be bigger, or have you managed to resist Morehens disease? ?
 

bigyetiman

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Hope your girls are ok also.

Storm Isha certainly packed a punch, it didn't hit us until the evening, and I wondered what we would find in the morning. Luckily our run and coop are in quite a sheltered position, protected by a building and hedges.

Weather is such a worry for us chicken owners.

Good to hear from you again
 

Liz57

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12
Hi Liz57.
Welcome back. It's great to hear from you again.

I hope you're managing to keep your girls safe since the storm demolished your run. Will the Jim Vyse replacement be bigger, or have you managed to resist Morehens disease? ?
Hi Icemaiden

Thank you - yes the girls are safe albeit perhaps wondering what on earth happened to their run and their fluffy bedding. The new run will be slightly bigger so maybe, just maybe......... lol
 

Liz57

New member
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12
Hope your girls are ok also.

Storm Isha certainly packed a punch, it didn't hit us until the evening, and I wondered what we would find in the morning. Luckily our run and coop are in quite a sheltered position, protected by a building and hedges.

Weather is such a worry for us chicken owners.

Good to hear from you again

Hi

Thank you - yes the girls are safe. I have just received word the run has arrived which is a surprise as the carrier was supposed to contact us to arrange a suitable day for delivery. Luckily hubby was around and the run has been safely unloaded.

Any suggestions for a suitable membrane to put under the frame? Would an ordinary weed supressing email work or would it need something better?
 

Liz57

New member
Messages
12
Hi

Thank you - yes the girls are safe. I have just received word the run has arrived which is a surprise as the carrier was supposed to contact us to arrange a suitable day for delivery. Luckily hubby was around and the run has been safely unloaded.

Any suggestions for a suitable membrane to put under the frame? Would an ordinary weed supressing email work or would it need something better?
Sorry meant membrane* not email - rolling eyes
 

bigyetiman

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2,403
Not got any advice re a suitable membrane, I am afraid, I will ask around my friends. but I love the email idea, I can just see your hens busy e mailing, or joining social media
 

Icemaiden

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1,320
Location
Kent
Hi

Thank you - yes the girls are safe. I have just received word the run has arrived which is a surprise as the carrier was supposed to contact us to arrange a suitable day for delivery. Luckily hubby was around and the run has been safely unloaded.

Any suggestions for a suitable membrane to put under the frame? Would an ordinary weed supressing email work or would it need something better?
Hi Liz.
I hope your run's gone up successfully. How are you getting on?

I didn't reply about membranes, as we haven't used one, but you won't need to worry about weeds except possibly stinging nettles. The hens will eat or scratch up anything else in no time! Fine mesh galvanised chicken wire could be buried under a layer of soil to keep rats out, I'd have thought?

Keep us posted; Margaid needs cheering up!
 

Icemaiden

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Messages
1,320
Location
Kent
A neighbour's Bengal Tabby got a bit too curious of our first flock of ex-batts. It learned very quickly that chickens have sharp beaks & claws and kept a safe distance after that...
 
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