Learn how to make a small chicken run using the lightweight and easy to install multi-purpose fence and give your chickens some extra space!
A few weeks ago, we finally made the leap and got some chickens of our own! We found a small chicken coop on sale and adopted three chickens from a local chicken farm (fully free range--all that good stuff) and voila--now we are living off the land--ha! Not really of course, but I have been enjoying free eggs daily for breakfast thanks to these lovely ladies! The whole thing started when we wanted to start a compost bin for our spring garden and then the idea of having fresh eggs sounded nice too. Then, the thought of our 4 year old daughter getting to experience the responsibility of caring for an outdoor farm animal (that is still low maintenance)--all sounded like a fun project!
And it really has been a great experience so far. Their names are Ariel, Jasmine and Heihei--two disney princesses and the chicken from Moana-ha! On their second day they laid 3 eggs total and we were so surprised they laid eggs so quickly. Apparently the happier chickens are, the more they lay eggs so you want to keep them happy. You can find an infinite number of DIY plans online to build your own coop using hardware cloth but we wanted to start with something small at first so we bought one that was partially pre-assembled.
But of course, after a couple of days we realized that we needed to create some sort of little run for them to hang out in when they're not totally free ranging the backyard. We have a big backyard but it's also pretty open with few trees so the chickens are vulnerable to hawks and other large birds of prey. We looked up some plans to build a small run but all seemed a little too labor intensive.
That's when we learned that if the enclosed area is small--hawks are less likely to dive in and get them because they don't have enough clearance to fly out. So the multi-purpose fence panels were perfect for adding on a little extra area on to the chicken coop. The multi-purpose fence is very easy to install with no digging required--just hammer the spiked posts through the connecting panels and leave an opening for you to get in and out and secure with the gate latch.
We wrote a full tutorial on how to install the multi-purpose fence here. And there is a great video on YouTube of the full installation. We currently have the fence placed up against next to the coop since we close them into the coop at night--there's not a big concern having to fully connect the two spaced but you could use zip ties if you wanted to. (See middle photo below).
The girls have been very happy ever since we added their private en-suite addition and as you can see--have already pecked all the grass clean! :) We will probably eventually build a longer run using hardware cloth and of course a roof--but for now this works great and only took minutes to install.
Happy Tuesday, friends!