Creating A Chicken Run Outside Of Your Flock's Coop

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With more people taking interest in living a self-sustainable lifestyle, there are many more people who are interested in bringing home their own small flock of chickens. When properly cared for, at the very least chickens can provide you with fresh eggs every day, which is really valuable. However, keeping chickens can be a little harder than some people expect. 

These birds don't necessarily fly very high, and they can be pretty low-maintenance, but there are specific property changes you'll have to make. One of those things is a run around the coop. Take a look at a few things you need to know when building a chicken run on your property. 

A run area is vital to the health of your chickens. 

You can't just keep your chickens locked up in a coop where they will get no exercise, no sunlight, and no access to fresh air. Having a run around your coop where your chickens can safely get outside of their housing and get exercise is vital to the health of your new feathered friends. A chicken run does not have to be a large enclosure; it can be fairly small if you don't have a lot of chickens. 

A run area should be quite tall. 

You cannot erect a regular-stature fence, call it a run, and expect your chickens to be okay. It is a common misconception that chickens can't leave the ground in flight at all, but they actually can fly a little, especially certain breeds. Lighter chicken breeds like bantams that are much smaller can get pretty high off the ground when they want to. Therefore, the fencing you have installed around your coop to create the run should be pretty high. Plus, it is best if you cover the top of the area with some form of chicken wire or aviary netting. 

A run area should be created out of the proper fencing materials. 

There are certain types of fencing materials that work out best for chickens. Chain-link fencing is not so great because some smaller breeds may be able to slip through the open links. If your chickens hatch chicks, they can slip through the tiniest holes as well. Many chicken owners go with a basic wood fencing style with the exception that it is built to a much higher stature. With a wooden fence, the perimeter will have to be protected with chicken wire or aviary netting as well if the slats of the fence are not close enough together to keep the chickens in and predators out.  

For more information on choosing materials for your chicken coop fence, contact your local fencing company.