If you’re planning to keep your hens in an enclosed run during the day (which we would recommend if you are away at work) then check out the range available from Garden Life. They offer 2m, 3m, 4m and 6m runs starting at £259.99.
The primary reason for keeping hens in an enclosed run while you are away is to protect them from fox attacks. While you can never be 100% sure that a run is completely fox proof, there are steps you can take, and the runs from Garden Life can be upgraded to a 19g welded mesh with a half-inch hole, making it almost impossible for a fox to get through (standard runs are made from a one inch hexagonal wire mesh). We would however recommend reinforcing the base of the run, as foxes are determined creatures and will think nothing of digging to get underneath one.
The below is a series of FAQs with John Bolton, from Garden Life, who explains a bit more about his walk-in runs so you can decide whether they are the best option for your hens.
Fox attacks – will it ever happen to you?
Two of my most memorable phone calls were, one from an unlucky lady who had made her own run with 6ft high steel mesh, only to wake up one morning to discover a fox had climbed up a near-by tree and literally dropped into the run. It couldn’t get out so I’m sure you can imagine the destruction it caused. The second was from a very excited lady who called me from her kitchen. She was standing there looking at a fox in her garden which was sitting on her lawn looking very pitiful and just staring at her little ladies strutting around inside her Garden Life Walk in chicken run. It’s a very satisfying sight to see a Garden Life walk in chicken run and coop, along with our half inch welded mesh offering a very safe environment for your little darlings.
But how many birds can I fit inside?
This is a very common question which we really can’t answer. Everyone has their own thoughts on this but a generally accepted size is 2 square metres per bird. My usual advice is to mark out an area of ground yourself, then stand back and look at the area to decide yourself how many birds you would put in that space. We can supply our steel poultry runs with spans (looking at the door) of 2, 3, 4 or 6 metres (6ft, 10ft, 13ft or 20ft) and the depth can be almost any size. DIY assembly is required but I have personally written the step-by-step instructions with tips and pictures right through the process (no special skills needed). See our FAQ’s on our website, gardenlifedirect.co.uk
Are they easy to move around?
Another question we are often asked. Any size run up to 4m x 4m can be moved by two people. Simply lift off the ground and ‘walk’ it to a new position. Any bigger sizes would take at least four people to move.
Our runs come complete with our 1-inch hole, hexagonal chicken wire mesh but each run can be upgraded using the drop-down menus on each items page. Our options are a much stronger welded mesh (19 gauge) with either a one inch square hole or, our ultimate option of a half inch hole.
We also supply optional part-covers to give shelter for your birds and help keep coops, feeders and drinkers dry. These covers are made from very strong PVC material and secure to the frame with strong elastic bungees for quick removal in strong winds. The part-covers are placed over one bay of your run so they don’t completely cut off sunlight from your birds.
All items are shipped by 1-2 day courier to UK mainland addresses (slightly longer to remote addresses and during busy periods).
Garden Life Ltd
Tel: 01522 740118