The ever lasting chicken run

Why our chicken runs should last “forever”

Yes, it’s a big claim but when we originally designed our large house and run, and the large chicken run it was always our intention that they would have a long life.

How is this possible?

Our chicken runs are a bit like Trigger’s broom, when parts need replacing you can pick up spare bits from your local DIY store.  The original design, some 12 years ago, was constructed entirely from materials bought off the shelve from the local store.  Since then the only real change is that we now buy materials in bulk and everything is pressure treated with a preservative.

By care selection and design our chicken runs should last almost forever

One of the fundamental differences between our runs and almost ever other run we’ve seen is that  the main structure of our chicken runs sits on a sacrificial timber that can be replaced if it starts to show signs of rot.  Almost all others attach the mesh directly to the timber that rest on the floor.  As soon as the bottom 2″ of timber starts to rot the mesh becomes detached and the run is no longer usable.  With our run all you need to do is remove a few bolts and slide in a replacement timber. (we’ve been back to move chicken runs to new locations and even after 8 years the sacrificial timber is still good and doesn’t need replacing.)

The next thing that makes our chicken runs different is we use big timbers. The bulk of our runs is constructed with a 2×3″ nominal timber that’s graded as C16 (this is the standard of timber you’ll find used to build timber frame house) which is 2 to 3 times the size of most other chicken runs.

If you’ve chosen a run with the 6″ or 12″ base plinth this is another part that extends the life of you chicken run as it’s another part that can easily be repaired or replaced before the mesh becomes detached.

When we specify the mesh we could use an inexpensive, Chinese mesh but instead we prefer a quality mesh sourced from Italy.  Unfortunately, when comparing mesh from different suppliers it’s difficult to tell how strong it is as the strength relates to the quality of the steel and not the size.  This isn’t something that is apparent until you try to cut it.  It takes much more effort to cut our mesh compared to a cheaper alternative.  Our mesh is also double galvanised, firstly the individual wires are galvanised before they are made into the mesh, then the completed mesh is galvanised again.  Cheaper meshes are only galvanised once.  You can see the difference if you look at the joint where the wires cross, our’s has a more substantial globule of plating at the joint compared to cheaper wire.

When we attach the wire mesh to the timber frame we use a 35mm staple spaced at around 10-12cm.  The length of these staples means the mesh is unlikely to ever be pushed off the frame.  If we used thinner timber we simply couldn’t use this length of staple.

Custom built run for Omlet Cube

A modified 3 sided run for use with an omlet cube.

 

customised walk in run for use with an omlet cube chicken

This run was based on our 3-sided chicken run that is designed to attach to an existing wall or fence.

The customer required the height to be reduced to fit within the limits of the existing wall so the panels were all made shorter.  It means you can’t stand up as you can in the full size version but still perfectly usable as the basic size.

The panels all feature the 6″ base plinth to allow a good layer of litter to be used in the bottom of the run.  There is a pophole to allow the hens out, into the garden and a separate port to attach the omlet cube to.  The roof is our normal, green coroline bitumen sheeting  which offers a long life and no where for red mites to hide.

The full height version would like like the one shown below.

Full height, 6×12′, 3 sided chicken run with 6″ base plinth

 

 

 

 

Walk in chicken coop and run FAQ

Where do you delivery to?

Almost anywhere. For England and Wales delivery can be ordered online. For Scotland and NI the costs vary so we need to check the carriage costs. For offshore islands and the rest of Europe we suggest you find a freight forwarder that serves your area. We then deliver to their UK depot and they take care of the onward journey.

How is the chicken coop packed for delivery?

The main part of the chicken coop will be delivered on a pallet. This is normally on a base approx 1x2m and , depending on the size of the house, up to 2m high. The pallet will be delivered to the roadside which in practise means anywhere that has Tarmac or concrete that is suitable for moving a pallet truck over. The delivery driver won’t be able to move it up hill or across gravel.

There will also be a separate delivery of long timbers. These will arrive with a separate carrier. We try to have both deliveries arrive on the same day but they may be spread over a couple of days.

Can we put the coop or run up for you?

Yes. We can travel almost anywhere. The on site assembly cost has 2 parts. We charge 95p/mile from out base in wales(np23 7tb) to the delivery postcode calculated according to google maps. We then charge 10% of the house price to allow for assembly.

As an example, a £1500 chicken coop assembled 200 miles from our base would cost £150+£190.

Can we put it up ourselves?

Yes you can. The house is supplied as a set of 3′ wide panels. All screws and nails are supplied. You’ll need basic tools; hammer, screwdriver, saw, 8mm and 10mm spanner. We suggest you should allow a weekend to put up most sizes. It’s quite easy for 1 person to assembly our runs but you may find an extra pair of hands useful. We assembly our biggest coop and run (9×33′) in around 8 hours with one person.

How long will the coop last?

That’s a difficult question to answer as we’ve only been building them for 12 years. We’ve been back to move runs that are 6 years old and there is no visible sign of rot. The way we designed these is that the first part that might deteriorate is the base timber. These can be easily replaced with fresh timber from your local DIY store without affecting the main structure. The roofing sheets should last around 10 years. Again, these can be sourced from your local DIY store.

Why do we use 19 gauge mesh when some people recommend 16g?

The wire gauge is only a measure of the diameter of the wire and not its strength. It’s a bit like comparing a broom handle and a carrot of equivalent sizes. Our mesh is a top quality, European manufacture mesh, double galvanised to give it a long life. We’ve never know any predator get through it.

12 x 27′ chicken run

12×27′ chicken run.

What a wet day this was!

This run was to house the 3 existing coops that the chickens lived in,  A Flytesofancy Haven hen house .  We removed the run from this for the customer as it wasn’t needed and would make it easier to move around inside the run. There was also an eggshell coop.  Again, we took the run of for the same reason and another small coop that is possible from Oakdene.

Here is a short video of it going together:

The first 12′ of the chicken run has a mesh roof to ensure it was predator proof but still open to the air – I’m sure there was signs of something fox sized regularly visiting the corner of the garden. The remaining 15′  of the chicken run had a corrugated roof fitted.

Internally, the is a vertical support every 6′ and these are linked to the sides and cross braced where needed to ensure the run keeps it shape.  If you were wondering, yes it is built on a slope.  This is no problem for the structure even it it looks a little odd to the eye from some angles.

There is a 12″ solid base plinth.  This makes it practical to use a layer of litter in the base without it spreading across the garden and provides some wind protection for the hens.

The whole lot sits on top of an 12″ wide anti-dig mesh which deters predators from digging next to the run walls.