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Chicken Coop Runs: Designed Based on Your Flock’s Needs

by Dakota Storage Buildings, on March 23, 2023


Chickens need outdoor space to run and stretch their wings. Free-range chickens have abundant space to do so, but an attached run is critical when you need an enclosed chicken coop. Many choose an enclosed chicken coop over a free-range coop due to its extra security. Keeping your chickens confined to a designated area is a great option if you live in a neighborhood or have limited space. If free-range coops are not an option, an enclosed coop and run will allow your flock to roam safely. If you are trying to find the best-fit coop and run for your flock, keep reading to learn more about the important qualities to look for.

What Do Chicken Coop Runs Do For My Flock?

Chicken runs are fenced-in enclosures that allow your birds to leave the coop without letting them roam too far. You can compare it to a fenced backyard for a dog. Chicken runs have many advantages that can help ensure your birds have a happy and safe life. The run lets your flock get the precious outside time they love while decreasing the risk of bird harm. Predators like foxes, raccoons, opossums, and hawks will be deterred by the protective shield that is run. It keeps harmful predators at bay, and a run can help protect your flock from other outside elements. Weather conditions are hard to predict, and if your chickens are free-range, they may not get back into the coop before harsh conditions occur. If there are sudden strong winds, heavy rain, or hail, your chickens can quickly seek shelter in the coop. Chickens love to forge for food. Enclosed chicken coop runs will give them that opportunity while allowing them to soak in the sun. Giving your chickens time outside the coop can boost their health and produce more nutritious eggs.

Best-fit Features for Chicken Runs

While the built-in runs are simple enclosures around a defined area, there are features you can add to make a life for your flock more fun. The highest-quality materials are essential for your chickens to remain safe and healthy. Longevity and durability should be key factors in any coop purchase. When our coop utilizes premium materials, it will reduce the routine maintenance needed to keep it clean and intact. You will need specific features in your enclosed chicken coop instead of utilizing high-quality materials. 


Inadequate airflow can be as dangerous as outside predators and harsh weather conditions. When you ensure proper ventilation, it will reduce the risk of high ammonia levels and harmful respiratory diseases. Clean air is essential for good health. When enclosed chicken coops have stale air, it will be humid, and the carbon monoxide levels will increase. Mold and mildew will thrive without proper ventilation. A chain-wire fence will give the outdoor feel while ensuring your birds can breathe. Using some other type of material for the perimeter can limit airflow and increase the risk of infection. If you want your flock to be healthy, ensure your coop is properly ventilated. 

Run Size 

For enclosed chicken coops, you will need 10 square feet per bird inside the coop. However, this number does not calculate the space inside the chicken run. To ensure that your flock has adequate space for exercise and vitamin c, your chicken run should be at least 8 square feet per bird. If your flock consists of eight chickens, your run must be 64 square feet.   


Adding a roof to part or all of your run will protect your flock from harsh weather conditions and prevent hawks and other birds from swooping in and taking one of your chickens. You can choose a roofing material that prioritizes durability while also reflecting heat. This will help your chickens stay cooler even on hot days. Maintaining the interior temperature of your enclosed chicken coop is crucial and can even be beneficial on your run. 

Perches and Stumps 

A flat surface to play on can be boring. Chickens are curious creatures, and your flock would benefit from added texture. Branches and stumps make your run like nature and can be a fun addition for your birds. Make these features different heights and move them around every few weeks to encourage exploration. 

Chicken Swing 

Being kept in the same place all day can be boring for anyone. Keeping your flock active and happy is crucial. What better way to ensure that than with a chicken swing? Even more importantly, it will increase the time you spend outside with your chickens. Encouraging playful exercise and human interaction are just a few benefits of adding a chicken swing to your chicken run.  

Stock Chicken Coop Options and Styles

Coops with an enclosed chicken run can come in multiple options, sizes, and styles to meet the specific needs of your flock. At Dakota, we offer a wide range of stock chicken coops so that you can find the perfect option. From Quaker gable to board and batten, you can find the exact coop you want in various colors. Plus, all our chicken coops come with nesting boxes and a roost to ensure your flock has everything they need for a happy life. 

Keep Your Chickens Safe, Happy, and Healthy

Enclosed chicken coops with a built-in run have numerous benefits, but most of all, they prioritize your chicken’s safety, happiness, and health. These coops give you the freedom to let your flock freely explore outside when you would like but will also keep them safe from outside threats when you are not comfortable with your birds roaming your yard. Chicken runs allow you to do what is best for your flock daily. It is the best of both worlds! 

Find Your Flock’s Best-fit Chicken Coop

Buying an enclosed chicken coop will provide a safe space for your flock while automatically giving you a run for your flock to explore safely. Choosing a prebuilt coop will give you peace of mind knowing that it is made of the highest quality materials. If you are ready to buy or want to look further into pre-built coops with enclosed chicken coop runs, you can shop our stock coops today! 

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Topics:Chicken CoopsBackyard Chickens

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