A chicken pen, also known as a chicken run, is one of the most important areas of life for your chickens. The area will allow the characters to peck around in the dirt digging up bugs, worms, and minerals that are essential to their diet. At the same time, it’s extremely important to make sure that your chickens are protected from predators at all times; your chicken pen needs to be just right for your chickens, environment, and weather conditions.
The first step to figuring out what kind of chicken pen is right for you is to first consider the breeds of chickens you have. For example, if you have small breeds of chickens that you feel could potentially fly over a fence, you’ll want to have a chicken pen with either overhead wire or a roof. On the other hand, if you have heavier chickens, you may only need a wire fence and no roof. Of course, if you have both small and large chickens, it’s always best to air on the side of caution and have a roof of some sort to ensure that your chickens don’t escape.
Once you decide whether or not you need a roof, you’ll then need to decide the on the location of your chicken pen. In most cases, it’s best if the chicken pen can be attached to the chicken coop; if the pen is attached to a coop you’ll simply have to open a door for the chickens. Not only that, but your chickens will probably feel more secure if their pen is close to their place of safety. Be extremely careful not to put your chicken coop or pen near places that are closer to animals that would prey on chickens; placing your chicken pen in or near the woods would be a very bad idea. At the same time, you don’t want your chickens to be stuck out in the blistering heat during the summer; some shade is a bonus.
Now that you know the basic structure of your chicken pen and where to put it, the next step is to decide on the structure and material for your chicken pen. There are a variety of pre-made chicken coops and pens available, however, those can be slightly expensive and aren’t as easy to customize. If you have a budget you need to stick to it, it can often be cheaper to buy the materials and build the chicken pen; generally speaking, building a chicken pen isn’t complicated and you shouldn’t need too many tools.