Saturday, September 29, 2012

Chicken Run Awesomeness

We built it.  (A few months ago, but I've been busy.)  It's amazing.  I'm so proud.

We started with MY OWN DESIGN.  (I say as I puff my chest.)  There were few designs of runs that I found that I liked so I tried my hand at designing.

There were a few parameters that I knew I was going to work with:
* It had to be tall enough for us to somewhat stand up in.
* It would be made out of 2x2's.
* It would be light.
* Predator proof.
* Bigger than the old run.
* The doors had to be easy to open and close.

So I got to drawing.  I drew out several rough draft plans.  Some changes and redrafts had to be made based on how long the treated 2x2's were that were sold at Lowes (not sold at Home Depot), how tall it needed to be for us to kind of stand in it, blah blah blah, including some of my own brain farts that I discovered along the way.

After several weeks of drawing and thinking and examining the blueprints in my brain, we decided to go shopping for supplies.  Here is what we bought on the first run:

*12 8ft treated 2x2's
*A box of galvanized 2.5 in nails.
*3 8ft x 26in corrugated pvc panels.

This totaled about a hundred bucks.

The building process went as follows:

Build the frame for the floor.  Line with poultry netting to predator-proof.

Then make the walls, keeping in mind how wide the poultry netting is, and how it will be tacked in, as well as where doors are going to go.  We were lucky to only have to make three walls instead of four because the coop would act as the fourth.

Short wall.
Tall wall.  The small area underneath the netting is for the chicken-access door.
Attach the walls to the floor.

This is upside down.
Put on the roof.  We had to cut the three pieces of PVC a little shorter, but as far as the width goes, the three pieces fit perfectly, including some overlap to make sure it wasn't leaky.  Poor Shawn gave himself some bloody knuckles screwing in all the screws, but we made sure it was on nice and tight to keep the ladies dry once the rains start.  Then we attached the doors, for both humans and chickens.  We got a really cool latch from the ReStore that I'm really excited about.  (That might be my favorite part of the run :))

The human door in the middle and the chickie access door to the bottom left.
Then all we had to do was attach it to the coop and ta-da!!!

They look so good in there, huh?
In the middle of construction we had to go buy 4 more 2x2's due to my lack of planning but that was it.  Most of the hardware was stuff we had leftover from coop construction.  So the whole run cost us just about $120. 

So in conclusion, on the whole, our chicken housing cost us $400, plus some labor.  We got exactly what we wanted in a chicken house and provided ample space for the ladies to hang out.  I just hope that it does well in the winter... though I already know that we won't have nearly the same flooding problems we had with the last place. 

Finally, to prove how awesome we are, please refer to exhibit A and B.

That is all.  We rock.

P.S.  I know that this post is not complete enough for someone to come along and build what we did based on what I have written.  Please let me know if you'd like more info and I would be happy to share more details with you.  Just leave a comment below with your email and we can totally chat!

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