Extra long chicken run

The primary ingredients for this setup are:

  - deer netting

  - light plastic bird netting

  - plain wire

  - sheet metal

The Black lines in this photo were added to help illustrate the shape. The green pipe is for watering to make the soil more scratchable...

Putting it together

By bending the deer netting over and attaching a straight length of wire from one side to the other the desired width of the run (1.4 meters in this case) I was able to retain a free standing tunnel shape. I put my cross wires about every 85 centimetres (4 squares of deer netting) to ensure a reasonably rigid shape.

Over the wire netting is draped a long length of plastic bird netting. This is very light but quite durable. The holes are small enough to stop baby chickens escaping. The plastic netting is lashed along the edges to the wire below.

I fixed a length of wood along the end opposite the 'house' as a sturdy thing to grab when dragging and repositioning the run.

The house is sheet metal curved over with the cut ends of the deer netting passed through holes and twisted up to secure the run to the roof. The height of the house and run is quite low, about 40cm. Two perches made of stout branches run across the house also acting to brace and hold the shape.

 

What next

The intention is to move this sideways across the paddock, providing fresh ground and enriching the soil. Some kind of seeds will be scattered on the previously occupied area. Hopefully this configuration will be easy enough to move by hand, will keep the grass down, improve soil and protect the chicks from predators.