Building a safe run for the winter.

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Beano

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Building a safe run for the winter.
« on: August 27, 2009, 09:13 »
Our 3 chickens have had the run of a large fenced off area of our garden all Summer. This area has a very large crab apple tree which they spend a lot of time under and lots of bushes. We are out at work all day 7.30am till 6pm and this has been fine while it has been light. They have a small safer run attached to their coop which is approx 7' by 5' but we feel it would not be fair to leave them in this run all day without a run out in the evening.

Two very large unleashed dogs came haring into our garden last evening. Fortunately the girls had gone to bed and fortunately our cat is a fast climber. But what if the girls had been out? I dread to think. This incident has proven to us that our chickens have not been totally safe all Summer and that we need to build something safer soon!!
We would like to build a safe large run with a roof and some bushes inside for them for the Winter. Any advice on how to go about this?

El.

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death of rats

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Re: Building a safe run for the winter.
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2009, 09:19 »
Reinforce your boundary fencing so that dogs cannot get in.
Report the ownder to the local dog warden.
If large dogs are charging around the area not under control they are a hazard to other small animals and children.
It needs stopping.

Farmers round here with sheep would have the shotguns out if that happened.
The owner is responsible.
Now retired from the day job and working hard on my smallholding.

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tode

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Re: Building a safe run for the winter.
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2009, 09:36 »
We made a large run using steel tubing, chicken wire round the sides, and nylon netting over the top (although it could be partly covered with sheeting).
Easy to make, not expensive, and lasts a long time (30 years now).
Also means that the structure isn't thick and obtrusive.
We can go away for a week and know that the birds will be OK.
If you're interested, I could post some pics.

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Beano

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Re: Building a safe run for the winter.
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2009, 09:57 »
Thanks for the responses tode and death of rats (good name by the way).

I do not know who the dogs belong to. I accused a startled passer by of being the owner in my temper and panic but he denied it. I will report the incident to the local dog warden though.
Yes please, I would like to see pictures of your run death of rats. It sounds like the sort of thing that we would like to build. It needs to be high enough for us to walk into and have some shrubs for the girls to play/bath under.
Thanks again,

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death of rats

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Re: Building a safe run for the winter.
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2009, 11:56 »
That would be tode's run.
I am the one with the shotgun solution 8).
NAme is from Terry Pratchet's discworld and the fact when we moved here we were overrun with rats and I will not use poison because of the other wildlik=fe and my carnivorous animals. Had to be done with a  silenced rifle.

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Beano

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Re: Building a safe run for the winter.
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2009, 12:09 »
Sorry for the mix up, I get confused very easily, it's my age and years of drinking too much wine. Killed off many of my memory brain cells.
We had problems with rats in the beginning, caught three in a rat trap and nothing since fortunately. My husband has an air gun but I dont think his aim is that good, due to the wine I suppose.
 :tongue2:

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tode

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Re: Building a safe run for the winter.
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2009, 12:32 »
Hi Beano, no problem, I know how it is ......
Hope this will give you some ideas:
Started out digging small holes for the uprights (12 inches deep)
Cut  1 1/4 inch tube to length, then painted with antirust except ends to be  welded.
Set it all up, then welded corners (you only need a small machine, 'cos its tube)
Put concrete in holes round uprights, and painted welds.
Made a little footing in concrete to keep out rats and foxes (hooks set in concrete before dry to attach netting).
Chicken netting round sides, and nylon netting on top ("stiched" on with black nylon string).
Dims:  6 m  x  13 m  x  3.00 m high.
I left stubs so I could enlarge later, but never have.
I made two netting doors using inch tube  (2nd pic):
     1 for everyday use:  1.05 m  x  2.00 m
     1 for cleaning out and transporting earth, sand etc:  1.80 m  x  2.00 m. Usually locked.

The site was on a slope, so made the footing stepped. Its handy to have a slope, as the water drains out faster when it rains.
Have never covered it, cos they've got quite big sleeping quarters (about 3 m  x  3 m:  you can see it on the left.). If you want to cover, take the slope into account with height of posts.

The welding isn't that difficult, but if you don't know how then a mechanic can do it in a couple of hours.

The whole thing took about 4 days for the two of us (with coffee breaks).
Planted elderberry, rhodos and holly which all resist their pecking. Holly wasn't a good idea as the old leaves that fall are very prickly. Going to replace with something else, but don't know what.  Got any ideas ???
Good luck with project.
run 1 small.jpg

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tode

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Re: Building a safe run for the winter.
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2009, 12:32 »
2 nd pic
run 2 small.jpg

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tode

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Re: Building a safe run for the winter.
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2009, 12:34 »
3rd pic
Couldn't get the post to take all three   >:(
Best wishes

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tode

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Re: Building a safe run for the winter.
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2009, 13:23 »
Try again,  3 rd  pic    ::)
run 3 small.jpg

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Beano

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Re: Building a safe run for the winter.
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2009, 13:42 »
Thanks for the pictures tode. The run looks great. We have plenty of room to put something similar to that up. Hope I can persuade OH to build it in a couple of weeks time when we will be on holiday.
We were thinking of planting willow and shaping them into a willow arch for them to have shelter. Or have I been watching too much of "grand designs" on the telly? It is a good fast growing plant that does not complain when you chop it down. It just grows again. Some nice low rhodedendrons sound good. Laurel is good. I also fancy putting in a black currant bush. That will be a good hight and they can eat the currants.
Thanks again, :)

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tode

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Re: Building a safe run for the winter.
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2009, 14:27 »
You're welcome. If you need any help, just post.
When taking photos I noticed that the tubes could with a lick of paint. Since we put it up about 20 years ago, I suppose that's not too bad.
I'd be cautios about willow. We planted some in garden, and didn't keep on top of them, now they're 80 - 90 feet high and starting to a problem. If you let anything grow up into the top netting, its a real pain untangling it all.
Aren't laurel berries poisonous? Not sure.
Rhodos haven't suffered, and give a bit of colour.

From time to time I fork over the earth and sow corn, which they promptly eat and scratch up, but it keeps em busy  :)

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karlooben

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Re: Building a safe run for the winter.
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2009, 20:05 »
isnt laurel bad for them ??
"Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened."

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tode

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Re: Building a safe run for the winter.
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2009, 20:23 »
After googling, the RHS says laurel is poisonous  >:(
I think that birds wouldn't touch it in the garden, where there's plenty to choose from, but in a run, they may have a go out of "desperation". So best to avoid.

RHS:  http://www.rhs.org.uk/learning/research/Horticultural_themes/hazardous_list.asp
« Last Edit: August 27, 2009, 20:27 by tode »

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karlooben

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Re: Building a safe run for the winter.
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2009, 20:39 »
i thought i had read that on here before about the laurel , also beano i would be carefull about planting a black currant bush for them to much fruit will give them upset tummies .




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