Coop and Run Project, 5 Years in the Making (Picture Heavy) It all began 5 years ago in March of 2013, when I begin replacing a row of red tip photinia bushes marking the northern property line of my place. The two previous summer droughts had killed off almost all of the trees, so I decided to pull them up and build a privacy fence in their place. While I was planning the fence, I started researching back yard chickens, and decided now is the time -- I can construct the fence as part of the chicken run and build a coop. ______________________________ June 2013 I got the picket fence built on the property line. I put up an 8 foot high fence, so it can double as the northern boundary of the chicken run. I started by installing 4x4 post -- setting them in concrete 40 inches deep and 8 feet apart: Once I got the top two cross members in, I used my X748 John Deere garden tractor and my tiller to dig-out in-between the post so I can bury welded wire. That should keep critters from digging under the fence and getting my chickens. The tiller worked pretty good. Just had to take a shovel and clean out the loose dirt: I installed the wire, and curved it to the outside so if a critter digs down next to the fence, they will hit the wire: Then I added a row of buried bricks, just to make it harder to dig under: The wire was installed in the last 6 sections, which was originally planned to be the chicken run: With the wire installed, I continued installing the pickets, to finish the privacy element of the fence: So the chicken run has on its north border an 8 foot high picket fence with 4 feet of welded wire on the inside: I installed the end posts of the chicken run's south side. This will be a welded wire fence to keep the girls safe, and allow us to watch them from the back porch. Originally, I planned on a run that is 8 foot wide by 48 foot long (384 square feet): I will build the coop on that end in the shade. This picture was taken at 4:30 PM, so as the day heats up the coop will have plenty of shade. Here is the "coop’s view" of where the run will be: I installed some solar power accent lights on each post. Kind of gives it a nice affect after dark: ______________________________ August 2013 I’m made progress on the project. After finishing the privacy fence construction, I started working on setting the post for the chicken run: Next came burying the lines. I am running water, electricity, Cat 5 (internet) cable and compressed air to the coop: Yep, my girls will have their very own internet café. And I figure 140 PSI compressed air will be handy for blowing out the coop at cleaning time. I then set the post for the coop. I used 4x6’s and buried them 40 inches in concrete: The string you see in this picture (around the post) mark where I will add fill to raise and level the ground. Since this is the lower part of the yard (and in the flood plain) I figured I better raise the coop up off of the ground and fill in underneath to redirect the rain run-off. I cut the post to 18 inches above the fill line, and will use the underside of the coop for more additional run area: I installed the hardware cloth before adding the fill, and used road base for the fill so it would pack in real tight under the coop, and if a critter gets past the hardware cloth, trying to dig though road base will be its worst nightmare: Darn, I hit the 20 picture limit -- see follow up post for: "the rest of the story."