DIY Chicken Run from Greenhouse Frame

by Manda H

Published March 26, 2024

Over the years I have enjoyed finding items that could be recycled into things that I could use around my homestead. Especially for projects that involved my chickens. Cat litter boxes became excellent, easy-to-clean nesting boxes. Trampoline frames that could be turned into hoop houses and most recently, taking an old greenhouse frame and turning it into a chicken run.

Homemade DIY nesting boxes from 5 gallon buckets Meyer Hatchery

Making the Most of What You Have

I do not have a lot of carpentry skills, but I have more determination than I have money. Being able to recycle items allowed me to continue with my passion for raising chickens when buying new was way outside of my budget.

This past Spring I had a friend give me a large 20-foot-long greenhouse.  I had given it my best effort to secure it to the ground, but one major wind storm and I found the mangled greenhouse across the yard.  To some, it would have become trash. To me, it shouted out, “Make me into a Chicken Run”

DIY Chicken Run

The priority when it comes to creating a coop or a chicken run is to make sure that your flock will be safe.  If you cut too many corners, it can have negative consequences later. You want to first think about what kind of predators you may have in your area. In my area, I have foxes, hawks, owls and raccoons. This meant for me that I needed to surround the entire greenhouse frame with good fencing.

I purchased enough 1×1 inch poultry wire to cover the frame. In addition, I purchased 2” x 4” woven wire fencing to run along the bottom. Hose clamps can be a bit expensive and for me, it was the most expensive part of the project, but very important because it secured the fencing to the poles. In areas where predator entrances are at a higher risk you will want to secure it extra. These areas include corners and digging under.

My biggest predator is the fox. I have several dens within a mile of my home. I buried larger rocks and old poultry fencing and buried it just outside of the perimeter of the run. I secured things extra well where the chicken run attached to the coop as that would be a vulnerable point for climbing predators.  This would include coon and fox. It is fascinating how agile a fox can be when it smells fresh chicken on the other side.

Chicken run repurposed from greenhouse frame chickens on a homestead Meyer Hatchery

Here is my chicken run just before I had it fully completed.  I did add a tarp for the first 10 feet so there would be a partial cover to the run. I also had to dig down a little to place the bottom of the frame into the ground by about a foot. Then I added the fence and rocks around the outside to add to the discouragement of digging predators.

Cost Breakdown

The approximate costs included $130 for a 48” tall by 150’ long roll of 1” poultry fence. The extra fence allowed for some overlapping. $150 for two rolls of 50’ long, 2”x 4” welded wire fencing.  Then I purchased about 6, 10-Packs of 1/4-in to 5/8-in dia stainless steel adjustable hose clamps from a local hardware store which cost around $60-$65 altogether, and a package of thick zip ties for another $20. The total cost was about $360 to add around 400 square feet of floor space that can last a very long time. 

What do you have to repurpose on your homestead?  Let us know the creative ways you are recycling old things that may be not so useful anymore into new useful items for your flocks.  We’d love to hear from you.

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