Last year I shared with you how we built our chicken coop. We couldn’t find anything affordable enough to purchase that would house our chickens. We currently have 7 chickens, but our coop easily accommodated the extra 6 we had last year that we raised for meat.
In the previous post, I talked about how we built the coop itself. Today, I am going to share how to build the run that is attached to the front. We needed a chicken run attached to the coop so that if we can fully contain our chickens without them running freely through our yard.
We almost never lock them up – they are usually running freely around the back yard – but there have been times we have needed to have them contained. We also needed a way to separate their food and water in a way that was not accessible to our dog that roams around the back yard with them. She in a Lab and will literally eat all the chickens food every day if we don’t keep her out!
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- Lumber: (18) 8-foot 2 x 4s
- Ryobi Drill and wood screws
- Kreg Jig® K4 and Kreg Jig® screws
- Chicken wire
- Air compressor and staple gun
- Hardware for door – hinges, handle, and lock
To get started we came up with a rough sketch of what we were envisioning. We wanted it to be approximately 8 feet long, 85″ tall and 48″ across. We wanted a free standing structure that would be attached to the front of the coop. This way if our needs change or if we move we can use the run and the coop independently.
We started by framing out the two longer walls. We cut two long pieces of 2 x 4 lumber to 95″ and three pieces of 2 x 4 to 78″. We then simply screwed the shorter boards into the longer boards on each end. We measured and found the center and attached the third board there. We repeated this process to create a second long wall.
Next, we used the Kreg Jig® to drill holes into our horizontal pieces that would attach the two longer walls together at the top and the bottom. (Basically, we were building the ceiling and the floor, so to speak.)
We cut 6 boards 3 feet 5 inches long. Using the Kreg Jig®, we drilled two holes in the end of each board.
Using the special Kreg screws we attached the horizontal boards at the top and bottom of the two walls to connect them together.
Note: The Kreg Jig® comes with a special bit you use on your drill to be able to use these special screws.
Here you can see what the frame looks like completed.
We used square outdoor paver blocks underneath the frame at each corner and in the middle to level the chicken run and keep the wood off the ground a bit. We attached the entire structure to the front of the chicken coop using screws.
Once the entire frame was assembled, we attached chicken wire to the top and two long sides of the chicken run using our air compressor and the staple gun.
We overlapped the chicken wire on the middle board of each longer side.
We drilled holes in the top and bottom of a 78″ 2 x 4 using the Kreg Jig®. Then we screwed the board into the front part of the chicken run to create a brace for the door.
Next, we created a door frame using more 2 x 4s. Cut two boards 21.5″ and two boards 75″ We screwed the two shorter pieces onto the two longer pieces to create a door frame.
We cut triangular shaped braces for each corner of the door frame to make it more secure and square. Each one is 13″ long. We made 45-degree cuts up from the corner of each end. The braces were then screwed in place.
We also added a horizontal brace along the middle of the door. It is 18.5″ long. We then covered the entire front of the door with chicken wire. We also added chicken wire to the right side of the door to completely secure the front of the run.
We attached the door to the frame on the left side using hinges. We added an inexpensive drawer pull as a handle and an eye hook latch to keep the door shut.
We used leftover lumber to create a little ramp for the chickens to get up into the coop. We trimmed small scraps to the width of the board to give them some traction to be able to climb up.
In the next post, I will share with you the details of how we stained the entire chicken coop and how we set up our food and watering system.
Purchase Chickens Online: Tractor Supply
We love our Kreg Jig® (we have both the R3 and K4), and I received an extra one at Snap last year. I thought it would be fun to pay it forward to one of my readers.
One lucky reader will win a Kreg Jig® R3 (retail value $44.99). Open to U.S. residents 18 years or older. This giveaway begins April 29, 2016, and ends May 6, 2016, at 8:00 MST. Please see giveaway widget for official rules
Enter using the giveaway widget below.