How to choose a chicken run?

Congratulations on your upcoming happy life with your chicken. To better welcome these girls, it is important to provide them with a chicken run that can balance both the safety and joyful outdoor activities of your feathered friends.

In this article, we will explore what a chicken run is, why it’s necessary, what is the ideal size for a chicken run, and how to ensure security. For chicken well-being, it’s crucial to provide a safe and stimulating outdoor space. Let’s dive in!

Section 1: Differences between Chicken Run and Chicken Coop

The chicken coop stands as a chicken’s cozy home, carefully designed to provide hens with a sheltered space to roost, nest, and lay their eggs.

The chicken run is enclosed in dedicated fencing and topped with a cover, acting like a garden for a chicken home. The chicken coop can either be placed inside the chicken run or be placed outside but connected to the chicken run. A Chicken run enables chicken to explore nature and enjoy outdoor activities. You can also go into the chicken run to feed them or play with them.

Section 2: Chicken Run vs Free Range

While chicken owners prefer to let their flock roam freely, it’s not always feasible due to various constraints. Factors such as concerns about predators or the possibility of destroying neighbors’ gardens, may require chickens to be enclosed in a designated area.

However, chickens thrive when they can hang around outdoors, foraging and dust bathing. Therefore, a chicken run plays a vital role in providing a secure space for your flock to roam and ensuring their overall happiness at the same time.

Section 3: How big of a chicken run do I need?

It is essential to determine the appropriate size for your chicken run. Per chick needs at least 1 square meter (around 11 square feet) as their living space in a chicken run. For smaller breeds such as Silkie, the minimum space can be less, but for larger ones you will need more space.

However, these figures represent the bare minimum. Providing ample space for your chicken is highly recommended, especially when you have a small chicken coop. Insufficient space can lead to boredom, aggression, bullying, feather-pecking, and egg-eating.

To prevent these issues, you need to provide your chickens with enough space to engage in their instinctive behaviors and minimize the risk of disease.

Section 4: Chicken Runs for Backyard

Even if you have a small backyard, it is still possible to enjoy life with cute chickens. You just need to make sure the chicken size is appropriate for your available space. Also, chickens are social animals and prefer companionship. That’s why many American families tend to have three to six chickens based on the size of the garden. when you only have two chickens, if one passes away, the other one will feel lonely and upset. So it is important to balance enough space for chicken outdoor activities and happy companionship among your flock.

Using a chicken coop with a large chicken run can solve this problem. You can buy chicken run and chicken coop separately from different sellers and put your coop into the run. Or you can buy a set including a chicken run and a chicken coop, which means the chicken coop is connected with the chicken run, making the run an additional area. But in this case, you will need more backyard space.

Section 5: How to Make Sure the Security of My Chicken

Chicken predators include possums, coyotes, raccoons, foxes, hawks, dogs, wild cats, and rats pose threats to your chicken and can easily get into the chicken run and chicken coop. To create a secure environment for your chickens, please consider following suggestions:

  • chicken run roof with a cover: Some predators like rats, foxes, and coyotes can climb over the fencing of your chicken run, so it is better to buy a chicken run with a roof. The ideal roof is a wire top with a removable waterproof cover. This cover not only stops the rain from literally flooding your chicken out, but it can also prevent birds from contacting chickens directly or bird droppings from falling into the run. This is important, especially during the peak season of the Avian Flu.
  • Add a skirt to chicken run: Run skirt can help protect chickens from predators that may dig in and access from the bottom. The run skirt should be L-shaped and placed along the ground around the whole chicken run.
  • Add wire with a smaller mesh size: Normal chicken runs can protect your folks from many predators, but for small rats, you may need an additional wire with a smaller mesh size. To prevent rats, your mesh size should not be bigger than 19 mm x 19 mm.

Now, you have noticed what key factors you need to pay attention to when choosing your chicken run and how to DIY some parts to strengthen the security of your chicken run. Let’s start your journey with our chicken run and be prepared to enjoy life with your lovely girls.
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