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Chicken Run Building for Idiots

Updated: Jan 16

You can do this! If I can do this, you can do this. We needed to build a chicken run to connect the old coop with the new coop, and had run out of favors and money. So I thought, let's do it ourselves. There were lots of mistakes along the way, so I'll skip to the important parts. Here's what we did for our chicken run.

I got the lumber pre-cut at DIY, so make sure you do the math twice to fit your space. The cut list for my 10' x 40" x 5.5'h chicken run:

(2) 10'2" - 2x4s (treated)

(2) 37"- 2x4s (treated)

(2) 10'2" - 2x4s

(2) 37" - 2x4s

(8) 60" 2x2s

(4) 40" 2x2s

(6) 37" 2x2s


(24) Corner Brackets

(16) L Brackets

The door was a special kind of challenge. Hanging a door is not easy. I was most pleased with this part of the chicken run. Here is my door:


(2) 59.5" 1x4s

(3) 30" 1x4s


(4) L Brackets

(2) Seam Brackets

(2) Henges

(2) Bolts

(1) Handle

(1) Spring

(1) Eye Bolt


Screw Gun

Staple Gun

After I got all the pieces home, I laid it all out before assembling, just to make sure what I had planned made sense in reality. Looked okay on the grass. Scully agreed, so we got to painting.

The paint not only makes it adorable, but also helps preserve the wood for longer. I used a roller on all the white uprights and roof cross beams. It was way faster than hand painting. The door I did paint by hand since it had more flat surface area and I just find it therapeutic. But I could have also rolled that and made it easier and faster.

I used hardware cloth to enclose the sides of the chicken run. I already had the coops to the left and right so I only needed to cover the front and back. I bought hardcore scissors to cut it because the stuff is really annoying to work with. (Pro-tip: the scraps can be used to bury along the perimeter to prevent predators from digging in.) I used large flathead screws to secure the cloth every few feet, and a staple gun with staples every couple of inches. Push the cloth aggressively to test the attachment and add more staples and screws where necessary. If a staple or screw is what keeps that predator out, don't skimp on the staples!

For the roof of the chicken run, I got (3) 2.2' x 8' plastic panels and cut them in half to make 48" pieces. It gives a little overhang that I find charming. You could also use hardware cloth if you don't need the shade. I made sure to overlap the pieces to keep it from leaking. I used a screw on each edge and middle of the panel, and staples on each crease in between screws.

Get your Dewalt screw gun out and go to town. It helps having a second hand to steady things, but not necessary. Also, having chickens and dogs running around is not essential, but is way more enjoyable. Start with the the bottom frame, then the uprights, cross beams, top frame, and then door. Add your roof last -- and you have an enclosed chicken run!

Watch this video of the assembly not to learn anything but just for a moment of zen.

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