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I had read that chickens need a lot of space to range and that either one or several runs are required to meet their needs. I didn’t realise, however, that they would almost completely scratch up the original run in just two weeks! You can see from the pictures how they turned a nice green pasture into a bare muddy patch of ground.
I had to build a further run without delay and
Scratched Up Chicken Run

Scratched Up Chicken Run

I had read that chickens need a lot of space to range and that either one or several runs are required to meet their needs. I didn’t realise, however, that they would almost completely scratch up the original run in just two weeks! You can see from the pictures how they turned a nice green pasture into a bare muddy patch of ground.

I had to build a further run without delay and built a second one, measuring 16ft x 8ft alongside the existing one. I opened up a pop hole from the side adjacent to the first pop hole and released the birds into this run to give the original one time to recover. However, in just about two weeks, the chickens pretty much have this run totally scratched up as well. The original run has recovered a bit, so I will let them back into that soon. In the end, I think I will just let them use both runs simultaneously as it might be better and keep them a little more occupied.

Additional Chicken Run

Additional Chicken Run

Ultimately, I think I will have to let them free in the garden as they clearly need more room than the runs can provide.  To do this, I will construct a wire fence from the left over chicken wire and cover it over with garden mesh that I have. Then I can let the birds remain in the enclosed runs when I am at work and let them into the larger area when there is someone around the house.

I used the side of the original run as one of the sides for the new run, as you can see in the picture, to save on effort, materials and cost. For the second run, I used 6″ x 2″ timber for the base boards, 2″ x 2″ for the top boards and 2 1/2″ x 2″ for the uprights. I treated all timbers with water-based waterproof paint.

At the eastern end of the run (on the far right in the picture above) I fixed a 2′ high x 8′ long x 3/4″ marine ply panel and a 8′ x 6′ x 3/4″ marine ply roof. I covered the roof with green mineral felt.

Chickens in the new run

Chickens in the new run

This area, which backs on to the coop itself provides shelter from the rain and from the north and east winds and is where the birds like to bask in the sun and dust bathe (having turned my lovely green sward to dust!).

I am afraid that I have not changed yet from imperial to metric measurements, so when I mention feet and inches above, I actually buy the nearest equivalent metric materials,  as building material is now measured in metric units. So if you are using my information as a guide, please convert to metric or ask your supplier to do it for you.

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