If you have chicken, you will need a chicken run. Sure, you can get away with your free-roaming chickens, but what will keep them safe from predators? Chicken runs keep your flock safe while they are exercising, and safe chicken runs are essential for every flock.
If you decide to hire a professional to plan and build your chicken farm, you may end up spending quite a bit of money on it. Building it yourself can save you a lot of money, making it much more accessible to the average family.
To help you create the perfect run for your chickens, we’ve rounded up 15 great DIY plans you can tackle today. Each set of plans will guide you through the process of building a safe and protective chicken coop for your flock.
15 DIY Chicken Run Plans
1. How to Make a Chicken Run
This chicken run follows a simple design that is easy to change to fit the size you need. It uses simple and inexpensive materials, such as 4×4 posts and 2x4s. You’ll also need a pile digger and some Quikrete, but installing the posts is definitely the hardest part of the project.
2. DIY Chicken Coop with Running
As mentioned, chicken runs are generally attached to the coop, as is the case with this plan. The plan will show you how to get the whole cage up and running, and it’s a really nice looking cage overall. It will cost a bit more for the materials, and you will also have to invest more time in building it. You may want to have some decent DIY skills under your belt if you decide to tackle this chicken-run project.
3. Dirty Cheap Anti Predator Chicken Run
As the name implies, you don’t have to spend a lot to build this chicken run. Despite the low cost, it is a very safe end product that will do a great job of deterring predators. It is a simple building and does not require any cement. Constructed of wood and wire, you only need the basic tools, skills and materials for this run.
4. Amazing DIY Chicken Run
Most of the chicken runs on this list are pretty simple and standard, but this amazing DIY chicken run is something quite unique. If your yard is already fenced, then you can use the existing fence as the main support for the entire run. In this case, all you need to complete this project is a little wire fencing, some zip ties to attach it, and some support posts, which could be PVC pipes, fence posts, signs, wooden sticks, or whatever. available to you.
5. Backyard Chicken Run
The fact is, you may not have much room to devote to a chicken run. If that’s your situation, then you need to get creative, as this backyard chicken maker did. It was long and narrow, stretching around the perimeter of the garden, taking up little space. You can use the same concept to line the outside of your yard with chicken runs, offering plenty of room for your chickens without sacrificing too much of your yard space.
6. Building a Chicken Run for Beginners
If you really want to make an impressive chicken run but you’re not very experienced with DIY projects of such a scale, then you might like this chicken run plan for beginners. The run you’re about to create is large and very functional, but building it isn’t as difficult as you might think based on how it looks.
7. How to Make a Chicken Run Easily
This is one of the more professional looking chickens on this list. It is well built and extremely secure, offering excellent protection against predators to keep your herd safe. Constructed of pressure treated wood with a metal roof, it will last for the long term, even in humid climates. Due to its size and build quality, it’s a bit tricky, but the final product is well worth the extra investment.
8. How to Make Cheap Chicken Run
Making a good looking running chicken doesn’t have to be expensive. This plan will show you how to build an affordable chicken coop that offers plenty of room for your birds and can even be built around their existing coop.
9. Chicken Coop and Run Built on the Hill
Unfortunately, conditions are not always perfect when we build. Ideally, you’ll have plenty of flat land to build the chicken coop and run. However, this is not always the case. If you have to build on a sloping surface, then you might look at these plans first, as they will guide you through the process of building a chicken coop and running up the hill.
10. Farm House Chicken Coop Plan
Want to make chicken coops and coops that don’t look DIY at all? This plan will help you build a cage and run that appears to have been built by the pros. Granted, you’ll have to dig a little deeper and you’ll need a fair amount of DIY skills to get it done. Even plans cost money, but you will get a very thorough plan that details the entire process so that no step is missed.
11. Unique DIY Chicken Cage and Run
If your flock is not large, then you don’t need a very large coop or chicken coop. That doesn’t mean you don’t want to look good! These plans will help you build very unique chicken coops and coops that are very unique and perfect for small flocks. It almost looks like a children’s playhouse, not a chicken coop!
12. DIY Run Predator Proof Chicken
Keeping your herd safe from predators is of utmost importance. This chicken run may be a little more complicated and expensive than the others on this list, but it’s also much safer than most runs you’ll likely see. It is constructed with stress-pressed steel and wood wire fencing panels cemented into place with rows of cinderblock planters surrounding them for added protection and a bit of decor.
13. Small and Simple Chicken Run
Chickens aren’t very tall, so it makes sense that they might not need eight feet of headroom. That’s why these chicken runs are made shorter, reducing the ingredients you need to make them. That helps keep the cost and time factor of these chickens running very low; almost as low as the ceiling.
14. Making Chicken Running Tutorial
This plan will help you create a running chicken that you can flaunt proudly. That said, it’s one of the more expensive and more involved projects on this list, but if you want a chicken run that makes your backyard look better than ever, you should at least check out this plan.
15. DIY Pallet Chicken Run
If you’re planning to take the DIY route when it comes to making chicken runs, then you might be hoping to save some money along the way. By reusing old wooden pallets, you can make this chicken run at no cost. It’s incredibly simple to make, requires almost no DIY skills, and if you can find a free pallet, your material costs will be as low as you’d expect.
What is Chicken Run?
A chicken run is simply an outdoor coop that allows your chickens to have the space they need to exercise and stay active while also protecting them from harm, such as predators. Generally, the run is attached to the chicken coop, allowing them to access it however they like.
Why Your Chicken Needs to Run
Your chickens don’t actually need to run, but having access to one will make their quality of life much higher and will be very comfortable for you. Without running, you should make sure your chickens get daily access to a wide open space where they can lie down and get their much-needed exercise.
But chickens can be difficult to protect in cases where the flock can disperse, making individuals easier to prey on by predators. Running chickens will keep your chickens safe from predators while providing ample space for them to exercise and even forage.
Considerations for your Chicken Run
When building a chicken farm, you’ll want to make sure that the plan you choose fits your needs. If this is your first time building a chicken run, then you need to seriously consider the following characteristics before you start building.
If your rooster runs are big enough, your rooster won’t need any additional training or time spans outside of running. So you’ll want to make sure your run is big enough to provide enough space for exercise. If you want your chickens to forage on the run, you have to make them bigger. You also need to consider how many chickens you have when deciding how big to run. Naturally, the more chickens you have, the bigger your run to accommodate them.
Safety is one of the most important aspects of running your chickens. If predators can get in, they can easily annihilate your flock, which will thwart the whole purpose of raising chickens. You’ll want to make sure that your running chicken is sturdy and strong enough to hold off any hungry predators trying to break in.
Safety and size matter a lot, but the truth is, it doesn’t really matter what you want to build if you can’t afford it. Fortunately, there are many ways to make your projects less expensive, including reusing materials to save money on wood and other items. Pallets, for example, can be dismantled to supply good wood for buildings, and you can often get pallets for as little as a dollar or two per pallet, or even for free if you know where to look.
Chicken runs are available in various shapes and sizes. They can be meticulously crafted with a beautiful appearance or constructed in a clear way of form over function. Either way, as long as it provides enough protection for your flock with plenty of room for them to walk around and exercise, that’s enough.
You can make a chicken run from whatever ingredients you want. Just find the plan that looks most appealing to you and use it as a starting point to build your chicken run. You don’t have to follow them to the letter, you’re free to change any of these plans to create a chicken run that you think will be perfect for your flock.
Looking for more DIY ideas? Try the 10 DIY Chicken Farms You Can Make Today (with Pictures) or the 10 DIY Chicken Nest Box Packs You Can Make Today (with Pictures)!
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay