The birds have gotten about three times as big as when we first got them, and the coop is getting very, very crowded. They need to get out soon, so I spent the weekend building a chicken run. It's 14 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 7 feet tall. Heather and Zoe went to Fresno for Jasmines birthday, so it was just me. Total cost for the chicken run was $320, bringing the total cost for the coop up to $1,320. There are still a few things left to do, so I expect the price to get to at least $1,350. I'm actually very happy with this amount, as there are several commercial coops available that cost more than that, have less space, and do not include a run. Total time to recover based on expected income rate from selling eggs and the amount we save on buying chicken at the market is 3 years. After that, it's all profit!
I didn't use pressure treated wood, but that only gets you a few extra years anyway. The roof is corrugated PVC plastic, and the sides are mostly (big surprise) chicken wire. I started digging Saturday morning, and finished at 8pm Sunday evening.
Here's what I did, in case anyone wants to repeat it.
Step 1: Dig trench
Step 2: Add wall
Step 3: Add second wall
Step 4: Add final wall - leave a gap for the door.
Step 5: Add roof and door
Things I have learned while building the run:
1) Chicken wire really hurts when you lose your grip on it.
2) Every project will need more materials than you think.
3) You can't make chicken wire stretch tight across anything - there is too much give.
4) The ground in my backyard is really hard to dig into.
Here are the pictures, enjoy!