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How to Make a Chicken Run

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Chalk or garden stakes

  • 9 planks 4-by-4 lumber, 10 feet

  • Posthole digger

  • Crowbar

  • 2 planks 2-by-4 lumber, 7 1/2 feet

  • 2 planks 2-by-4 lumber, 3 feet

  • Drill

  • 3-inch wood screws

  • Hinges

  • 1-inch wood screws

  • Door clasp

  • Hardware mesh roles

  • Staple gun

  • Wire cutters

  • Wire garden twists

A chicken run is necessary to keep chickens safe and secure while roaming out of the chicken coop. Essentially a chicken run is a cage, and can be made stationary for larger cages, or as smaller mobile cages to move around the yard. A large run is best situated against the chicken coop, so the chickens can go from one area to the other freely. The run should have adequate space to allow around 10 square feet of room per chicken.

Mark out the position of the chicken run posts using chalk or garden stakes. The post positions should be in four pairs 10 feet apart, with each pair of posts 10 feet from the previous pair, making a long rectangle. The first pair should enclose the chicken coop door, so that the chickens can go freely from the coop to the run. There should be eight post marks.

Make a marking for a ninth post 3 1/4 feet away from any one of the other posts but in the same line as all the post markings, which will be the frame for the entry and exit door of the run.

Dig a hole 2 feet deep at each marked position using a posthole digger and reserve the soil. Place a 10-foot post of 4-by-4 lumber into each hole and backfill with the soil, packing it in with the crowbar until they are well lodged upright in the holes.

Make a frame from two planks of 7 1/2 feet 2-by-4 lumber and two of 3 feet 2-by-4 lumber, with the ends of the longer planks abutting the inside edge of the smaller planks. Secure the frame with two 3-inch wood screws driven through each corner joint. This is the door frame.

Place the door frame inside the door post section created by the ninth post; it should be a snug fit, but move freely within the posts. Attach the door frame to one of the posts with hinges positioned around 5 inches from the top and bottom of the door frame using 1 inch wood screws. Attach a door clasp to the side of the door and post opposite the hinges.

Cover the door frame with hardware wire mesh, securing the mesh to the frame with staples and trimming the wire with wire cutters.

Attach the end of a roll of hardware wire mesh with staples to the side of the chicken coop in line with the first post. Unravel the mesh roll and stretch it to meet the first post, then staple it in position on the first post.

Unroll the wire mesh and stretch it taught between the first and second post, securing to the second post with staples. Repeat until all the posts have wire stretched between them. Stretch wire mesh over the top of the run between the posts, securing to the posts with staples, and joining the roof mesh with the wall mesh using wire garden twists every 10 inches.


  • Depending on the width of your wire mesh roles, you may need to stretch two rolls between each post to cover the walls of the run.