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Jenny's Hobby Farm

Jenny set up a hobby farm in the Canadian West Coast Rain Forest, clearing the land with pigs and raising ready-to-lay hens to sell. The books and articles on this web site represent knowledge which she has accumulated during this time.

How to build a chicken run for your
back yard chicken coop
by Jenny

Cover photo of book on raising chickens
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Once you have your chicken coop built, you will probably need a run to go round it to protect your chickens.

The run shown in this video has been built to try to keep the rats, raccoons and mink out of it, by running chicken wire in a ditch around the outside and filling it with gravel. Hopefully, this will make tunnneling under the sides of the run more difficult for predators.

This is my chicken coop which is a good size for those of you raising chickens in your back yard for eggs for the family.

The plans for this coop are for sale on this site

How to build a chicken run for your back yard chicken coop

Video Transcription - How to build a chicken run for your back yard chicken coop

Setting up the run for the chicken coop for 6 hens to try to keep the raccoons and rats out..

We started out by marking the area with string where we wanted the run to be built, and then we dug a ditch about a foot deep, all around the edge of the run and also round the back of the chicken house.

The ditch has to be reasonably smooth so we can line it with 1/2 inch chicken wire and then fill it up to ground level again with gravel.

James and Duncan have nearly got the bottom of this bit of the ditch flat.

We needed to partially set up the coop on its blocks at this point so we would know where to put the ditch around the back of it. We had already built the frames of the chicken house in the workshop, so we just set up enough of it to line up the blocks and put on enough siding to keep the house square.

You can see here where Duncan has now set up the framing for the run, and he and James have installed the chicken wire netting in the ditch.

Now we have started to fill the ditch with gravel. We have done this to give the predators a hard time if they want to dig under the sides of the run to get in. Hopefully, they never make it under the ditch.

This picture gives you a better view of the gravel in the ditch and you can see that Duncan and James have finished building the frame for the chicken run.

The next job was to put the roof on the chicken coop. Since the coop has its own flat roof with hardware cloth installed underneath it to keep out rats and raccoons, it only needs the second roof to keep out the rain. You can choose any design you like for the rain roof and just set it up on top of the coop.

Duncan choose to use 1/2 inch chicken wire for the run. This is quite a bit stronger than 1 inch chicken wire, but probably not as strong as 1/2 inch hardware cloth. However, hardware cloth would be quite a bit harder to work with in this situation, and a lot more expensive. Unfortunately, I have known people who have had raccoons literally rip holes in their 1 inch chicken wire, so I would not advise you to use it.

Duncan has now attached the wire all over the top of the run and he has also attached it to the underside of the roof because you can't have any gaps for the predators to get in anywhere.

Next you may need a ramp for the chickens to get into their chicken house.  Duncan just attached the little strips of wood to a 2" x 6" plank, although laying hens can manage with a 2" x 4" just as well.

Here is a closer view of it. You can see how the chicken is using the little strips of wood to get a grip on the ramp.

And here's the finished chicken house with fresh straw for the hens all strewn about for them. The chickens have their little door inside the run, but

You can still get to the double doors outside the run when you want to clean it out.

Jenny's plans for the coop in this video are available at




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