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15 DIY Chicken Run Plans You Can Make Today (with Pictures)

Dean Eby

If you’ve got chickens, you’re going to need a chicken run. Granted, you can get away with free-ranging your chickens, but what’s going to keep them safe from predators? A chicken run keeps your flock safe while they exercise, and a secure chicken run is essential for every flock.

Should you decide to hire a professional to plan and build your chicken run, you might end up spending quite a lot on its construction. Building it yourself could save you a lot of money, making it far more accessible for the average family.

To help you construct the perfect run for your chickens, we’ve gathered 15 great DIY plans that you can tackle today. Each set of plans will guide you through the process of constructing a safe and protective chicken run for your flock.

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15 DIY Chicken Run Plans

1. How to Build a Chicken Run

Skill Level: Moderate
Cost: Inexpensive

This chicken run follows a simple design that’s easy to alter in order to fit the size you need. It utilizes simple and inexpensive materials, such as 4×4 posts and 2x4s. You’ll also need a post hole digger and some Quikrete, but installing the posts is definitely the hardest part of the project.


2. DIY Chicken Coop with Run

Skill Level: High
Cost: High

As mentioned, chicken runs are generally attached to the coop, as is the case with these plans. The plans will show you how to build the whole coop and run, and this is a very nice-looking coop overall. It’s going to cost a bit more for the materials, and you should also expect to invest more time into building it. You’ll probably want to have some decent DIY skills under your belt already if you decide to tackle this chicken run project.


3. Dirt-Cheap Predator-Proof Chicken Run

Skill Level: Low
Cost: Low

As the name implies, you won’t have to spend much to build this chicken run. Despite the low cost, it’s a very secure end product that will do a good job of keeping out the predators. It’s a simple build and doesn’t require any cement. Constructed out of lumber and wire, you’ll need only basic tools, skills, and materials for this run.


4. Amazing DIY Chicken Run

Skill Level: Low
Cost: Low

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 in, then you can use your existing fence as the main support for the entire run. In that case, all you’ll need to complete this project is a bit of wire fencing, some zip ties to attach it, and a few support posts, which could be PVC pipe, fence posts, signposts, wooden sticks, or whatever else is available to you.


5. Backyard Chicken Run

Skill Level: Moderate
Cost: Moderate

The fact is, you might not have a whole lot of space to devote to a chicken run. If that’s your situation, then you’ll need to get creative, the way that the makers of this backyard chicken run did. It’s long and narrow, running the perimeter of a garden, taking up very little space. You could use the same concept to line the outside of your yard with a chicken run, offering tons of room for your chickens without sacrificing too much of your yard space.


6. Building a Chicken Run for Beginners

Skill Level: Moderate
Cost: Moderate

If you really want to build an impressive chicken run but you’re not very experienced with DIY projects on such a scale, then you might like these chicken run plans for beginners. The run you’ll be building is large and highly functional, but it’s not nearly as difficult to build as you might believe based on its appearance.


7. How to Build a Chicken Run Easy

Skill Level: High
Cost: Moderate-High

This is one of the more professional-appearing chicken runs on this list. It’s well-built and very secure, offering excellent protection against predators to keep your flock safe. Constructed out of pressure-treated lumber with a metal roof, it will hold up for the long haul, even in humid climates. Because of its size and build quality, it’s a bit of an undertaking, but the final product is worth the extra investment.


8. How to Build a Cheap Chicken Run

Skill Level: Moderate
Cost: Low-Moderate

Building a chicken run that looks great doesn’t have to be expensive. These plans will show you how to build an affordable chicken run that offers plenty of space for your birds and can even be built around their existing coop.


9. Chicken Coop and Run Built on a Hill

Skill Level: Moderate
Cost: Low-Moderate

Unfortunately, conditions aren’t always perfect when we’re building. Ideally, you’ll have plenty of level land on which to build your chicken coop and run. However, that’s not always the case. If you have to build on a sloped surface, then you might take a look at these plans first, as they’ll walk you through the process of building both a chicken coop and run on a hill.


10. Farmhouse Chicken Coop Plans

Skill Level: High
Cost: High

Want to build a chicken run and coop that don’t look at all DIY? These plans will help you build a coop and run that appear to have been built by professionals. Granted, you’ll have to spend a bit more and you’ll need ample DIY skills to complete it. Even the plans cost money, but you’ll get very thorough plans that detail the entire process so no steps are missed.


11. Quaint DIY Chicken Coop and Run

Skill Level: Moderate-High
Cost: Moderate

If your flock isn’t huge, then you won’t need a terribly large chicken run or coop. That doesn’t mean you don’t want it to look nice though! These plans will help you build a very quaint little chicken coop and run that are perfect for small flocks. It almost looks like a childrens’ playhouse instead of a coop for chickens!


12. Predator Proof Chicken Run DIY

Skill Level: Moderate-High
Cost: High

Keeping your flock safe from predators is of the utmost importance. This chicken run might be a bit more involved and expensive than others on this list, but it’s also considerably more secure than most runs you’re likely to see. It’s built with steel wire fence panels and pressure-treated lumber cemented into place with a row of cinderblock planters surrounding it for added protection and a dash of decoration.


13. Small and Simple Chicken Run

Skill Level: Low
Cost: Low

Chickens aren’t very tall, so it stands to reason that they probably don’t need eight feet of headroom. That’s why this chicken run is built much shorter, reducing the materials that you’ll need to construct it. That helps keep the cost and time factor of this chicken run very low; almost as low as the ceiling.


14. Building a Chicken Run Tutorial

Skill Level: High
Cost: Moderate-High

These plans will help you build a chicken run you can be proud to show off. That said, it’s one of the pricier and more involved projects on this list, but if you want a chicken run that makes your backyard look better than before, you’ll have to at least check these plans out.


15. DIY Pallet Chicken Run

Skill Level: Low
Cost: Low

If you’re planning on going the DIY route when building your chicken run, then you’re probably hoping to save some money along the way. By repurposing old wooden pallets, you can build this chicken run for next to nothing. It’s very simple to build, requires almost no DIY skills, and if you can find free pallets, your material cost will be as low as you could hope for.

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What Is a Chicken Run?

chickens in coop
Image Credit: Pixabay

A chicken run is simply an outdoor enclosure that allows your chickens the space they need to exercise and stay active while also protecting them from danger, such as predators. Generally, the run is attached to the chickens’ coop, allowing them to access it as they please.

Why Your Chickens Need a Run

Your chickens don’t actually require a run, but having access to one will make their quality of living much higher and will be very convenient for you. Without a run, you’ll have to ensure your chickens get daily access to wide-open space where they can stretch out and get their much-needed exercise.

But chickens can be difficult to protect in such instances where the flock can spread out, making individuals easier for predators to pick off. A chicken run will keep your chickens safe from predators while also providing ample space for them to get exercise and even forage for food.


Considerations for Your Chicken Run

When building a chicken run, you’ll want to make sure the plans you choose to follow meet your needs. If this is your first time building a chicken run, then you’ll want to give the following traits some serious consideration before you start building.

Size

If your chicken run is large enough, your chickens won’t require additional exercise or range time outside of the run. So, you’ll want to make sure your run is large enough to provide ample space for exercise. If you want your chickens to forage in the run, then you’ll want to make it even larger. You’ll also need to consider how many chickens you have when deciding how big to make your run. Naturally, the more chickens you have, the larger your run will have to be to accommodate them.

Security

chickens inside coop
Image Credit: Pixabay

Security is one of the most important aspects of your chicken run. If predators are able to get in, they could easily decimate your flock, which would defeat the entire purpose of having a chicken run in the first place. You’ll want to make sure that your chicken run is well-built and solid enough to withstand a hungry predator trying to break in.

Price

Security and size are extremely important, but the fact is, it doesn’t matter what you want to build if you can’t afford it. Luckily, there are many ways to make your project cost less, including repurposing materials to save money on lumber and other items. Pallets, for instance, can be taken apart to supply great lumber for building, and you can often get pallets for just a buck or two per pallet, or even for free if you know where to look.

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Conclusion

Chicken runs come in all shapes and sizes. They can be meticulously crafted with an exquisite appearance or built in a clear manner of form over function. Either way, as long as it provides ample protection for your flock with plenty of space for them to walk around and get exercise, it will suffice.

You can build your chicken run from whatever materials you desire. Just find the plans that seem most attractive to you and use them as a starting point for building your chicken run. You don’t have to follow them to the letter though, you’re free to alter any of these plans to make the chicken run that you think will be perfect for your flock.

Looking for more DIY ideas? Try 10 DIY Chicken Brooders You Can Make Today (with Pictures) or 10 DIY Chicken Nesting Box Plans You Can Make Today (with Pictures)!


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

Dean Eby

An avid outdoorsman, Dean spends much of his time adventuring through the diverse terrain of the southwest United States with his closest companion, his dog, Gohan.  He gains experience on a full-time journey of exploration. For Dean, few passions lie closer to his heart than learning.  An apt researcher and reader, he loves to investigate interesting topics such as history, economics, relationships, pets, politics, and more.