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Home > Birds > 19 DIY Chicken Run Plans You Can Make Today (with Pictures)

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

chicken run

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 19 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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The 19 DIY Chicken Run Plans

1. How to Build a Chicken Run

DIY Chicken Run
Image Credit: Almanac
Tools:  Shovel, Hammer, Saw, Wood nails/screws, Post hole digger, Cordless screwdriver, Level
Supplies:  4×4 wooden fence posts, Optional: Quikrete (or other concrete mix), 2×4 boards or 1×6 boards, 1/2” welded wire fencing or 1” welded wire fencing, Staples (U-shaped nails)

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

DIY Chicken Run
Image Credit: The Inspired Workshop
Tools:  2 sets of 3″ t-hinges, 2 gate latches, Kreg Jig, drill, miter saw, 2 1/2″ Kreg screws, 3 1/8″ wood deck screws, 1 1/4″ wafer head screws, wood glue
Supplies:  1/2″ or 1/4″ Hardware cloth (same hardware cloth listed in the chicken coop plans post), 2 – 2×4 @ 90 3/4″ top rails, 2 – 2×4 @ 59 1/4″ middle and bottom rails by the door, 4 – 2×4 @ 33 3/8″ door, 4 – 2×4 @ 20 3/4″ door, 4 – 2×4 @ 43 5/8″ middle and bottom rails, 3 – 2×4 @ 70 1/2″ vertical stiles, 2 – 2×4 @ 67″ vertical stiles,

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

DIY Chicken Run
Image Credit: New Life on A Homestead
Tools:  Tape measure, Posts, Post hole diggers or an auger, Wire mesh/ fence (hardware cloth is much better than chicken wire at keeping predators out), Drill, Screws, Hammer, Steeples, Framing boards, Level, Wire cutters
Supplies:  Plywood, Pallets, PVC pipe, Metal sheeting, Zip ties

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. Building a Chicken Run for Beginners

DIY Chicken Run
Image Credit: Instructables
Tools:  Kreg pocket hole jig kit, Drill and set of bits (cordless is fine, but mine ran out of juice after about 4 hours of each day of work, so bear that in mind when managing your time), Chop saw, circular saw or miter saw, Bar clamps, especially if you are building this solo, Standard issue household tools such as a hammer, level, ruler, etc
Supplies:  Approximately 22 pressure-treated 2x4s. I primarily used 2x4x8s, but you could get away with mixing a few 2x4x6s in there., 4-6 smaller boards such as 1x2s or similar, or a 8’x6′ wooden lattice, to support the roof, 1 wooden screen door, 1 box of 2.5″ deck screws, 1 box of 2.5″ Kreg pocket hole screws, 4 sheets of 8’x26″ corrugated vinyl roofing sheets

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.

5. How to Build a Chicken Run Easy

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.

6. How to Build a Cheap Chicken Run

DIY Chicken Run
Image Credit: Hannah Shens

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.

7. Chicken Coop and Run Built on a Hill

DIY Chicken Run
Image Credit: Dansle Lake House

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.

8. Quaint DIY Chicken Coop and Run

DIY Chicken Run
Image Credit: Lehman Lane

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!

9. Predator Proof Chicken Run DIY

DIY Chicken Run
Image Credit: Dust Bunnies Dogs and Toys

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.

10. Small and Simple Chicken Run

DIY Chicken Run
Image Credit: Summers Acres

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.

11. Building a Chicken Run Tutorial

DIY Chicken Run
Image Credit: Lil Blue Boo

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.

12. Urban Chicken Coop

Our Urban Chicken Coop Plan
Image Credit: thetanglednest

The urban chicken coop is ideal for temperate climates in the spring and summer, and your chicks will soon be running around all over the place. It’s moderately difficult, so if you have any DIY experience, you shouldn’t have a problem. If you’re on a budget, this might not be the best choice for you, but if you can afford it, it’s undoubtedly a sturdy design that will serve you well and last a while.

13. Chicken Run with Metal Fence

How to Build a Chicken Run
Image Credit: theprairiehomestead

Tools:  Tape measure, Posthole digger or T-post driver, Tamper, Pliers, Wire snips, Hammer
Supplies:  4”x8’ wooden posts OR half posts/garden posts OR 7’ T-posts, 2×4 14 GA OR 8-10 GA welded wire fence, Zip ties, ¾” poultry net staples, Metal wire, Optional, but recommended: hardware cloth OR a strong metal fencing material with ½” to ¼” openings (Other options include small aperture chicken wire or rabbit fencing. Do NOT use regular chicken wire.), Optional: heavy-duty C flex 80 round deer fencing, Gate (or supplies to build one; see below)

This chicken run with a metal fence is not that hard to install, and you’ll be able to keep your chickens away from predators. After all, you can’t be out in the yard all the time, so you need to be able to protect your flock when you’re not there. With this chicken run, the creators included a gate for easy access.

This inexpensive option should keep your chickens safe, give them plenty of room to run, and not be too hard to construct if you have DIY building experience.

14. Planter Box Chicken Run

Building A Chicken House
Image Credit: ladygoats

Tools:  Handsaw
Supplies:  2 – 4×4 @ 6 feet long (cedar or treated), 2 – 2×4 @ 10 feet long (cedar or treated), 2 – 2×8 @ 10 feet long (cedar or treated), 1 – 2×8 @ 8 feet long (cedar or treated), 2 – 2×4 @ 8 feet long (cedar or treated for base doors), 7 – 2×4 @ 8 feet long (inside coop so does not have to be treated or cedar), 2 – 2×2 @ 8 feet long, 2 – sheets ¾” plywood, exterior grade 1x3s or cedar fence pickets ripped to 2-1/2” and 1-1/2” width for siding and trim, 1 sheet of ½” plywood, exterior grade (for coop bottom) 20’ of 24” wide chicken wire and staples, 5 sets of exterior hinges Latches, 80” x 36” of roofing – pieces are cut to match roof plywood

This Planter Box Chicken Run is designed to be functional yet adorable. It’s a small-space-friendly coop and run, which means it doesn’t take up half your yard or garden and has a planter box. You can grow herbs or flowers in the planter box. Not only will it make it pretty, but it’ll also take care of some of the smell from the run. Even though it’s a smaller coop and run, the chickens will have plenty of room to roam.

15. Downeast Thunder Farm Chicken Run and Coop

Free Downeast Thunder Farm Chicken Coop Plans
Image Credit: downeastthunderfarm

The Downeast Thunder Farm Chicken Run and Coop is the perfect run and coop to keep the predators from snacking on your chickens. No matter where you live, there will be hawks, eagles, bears, foxes, bobcats, weasels, raccoons, dogs, cats, and more that would love to eat your chickens for dinner. The best way to keep them out is to build a chicken coop and run that is durable enough to do so.

This is a more expensive chicken run than the others on our list and can be difficult to build. If you don’t know much about electricity, it’s best to bring in a professional to run the receptacle for the heating in the winter.

16. Amazing DIY Chicken Run

This Amazing DIY CHICKEN RUN is what your backyard needs
Image Credit: typesofchicken

This amazing DIY chicken run is an inexpensive, easy way to let your chickens run free yet still be safe from predators. This home-built design is unique and uses your existing fence to build off of, making it a very affordable option.

From PVC pipe to wire fencing and zip ties, you only need a few supplies and a tiny bit of DIY know-how to make this chicken run a reality. It gives your chickens plenty of room to roam and exercise while keeping them contained so they don’t wander off or put themselves in danger.

17. Simple Chicken Run

How to Build a Chicken Run1
Image Credit: almanac

Tools:  Shovel, Hammer, Saw, Wood nails/screws, Post hole digger, Cordless screwdriver, Level
Supplies:  4×4 wooden fence posts, Optional: Quikrete (or other concrete mix), 2×4 boards or 1×6 boards, 1/2” welded wire fencing or 1” welded wire fencing, Staples (U-shaped nails)

This simple chicken run can be fully customized according to your needs. Most of the materials are cost-effective, and you may have some lying around the yard. Not only is it simple to build, but it’s not an eyesore like some chicken runs can be. Besides, you can paint it to match any outside décor you like.

18. Hennsington Palace Chicken Coop and Run

Hennsington Palace
Image Credit: backyardchickens

The Hennsington Palace Chicken Coop and Run is a chicken coop and run that will make any chicken feel at home. It doesn’t take up much space and is great for a small flock of chickens; around four birds is the ideal number to give them enough room.

The run is a triangular prism shape, which gives four adult chickens plenty of room to run and peck. Building this one doesn’t require much skill, but you need a little DIY experience. If you’re looking for a palace for your chicks, this is the one you’ll want to build.

19. Dry Chicken Run

This dry chicken run is just what it claims to be, a chicken run capable of keeping your chickens dry when it rains. Though it’s an expensive project to take on, the overall design and result are well worth the money you’ll spend to build it. It’s a secure run, so you don’t have to worry about predators attacking when you’re not around to protect your chickens.

It’s also more stable than many others because of the posts cemented into the ground to keep it secure. The metal roof has a slant that ensures water doesn’t pool on the roof and drip down on your chickens. In fact, the water will run off the roof and into the yard. Your chickens will be happy and certainly thank you for not getting wet every time it rains.

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What Is a Chicken Run?

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.

chickens in coop
Image Credit: Pixabay

chicken divider 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.


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 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.


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.

chickens inside coop
Image Credit: Pixabay

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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:

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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