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Fence & weather protection for Eglu Cube 3m

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We are finally ready to add some chickens to the family! This plan was fully considered before COVID 19 but the additional time has been a blessing as who knew!! I feel I could go on mastermind already with all the reading, prep and planning!Our Eglu cube +3m run is due early May and have prepared a concrete paved area for the run and plan to use hardwood chips as a base and free range round our garden when we are home in the afternoons and more at the weekends.My questions are, living in rural Scotland what’s the best way to protect the Eglu 3m run from the elements, keeping the chickens and hardwood base from being a soggy mess?Tarp? Cover the roof, all round or partially?Wind and rain here can easily go sideways! The run will be semi permanent as would like to move to go in and clean out the worst bits regularly in the run by moving to another part of the garden.

Secondly,letting the chickens out to free range (as we plan to do daily )we don’t see many foxes if any but is a standard move and peg fence enough if we are not monitoring the chickens every minute of free ranging time? We would only be in the house but I’m not sure how much you need to monitor, can you nip into the house and make a cuppa without the risk of returning to a feathery massacre?I was looking at the Omlet 20m fence but did look at electric but I think that’s more if they free range all the time while you are out? 

We are to get hybrids the number undecided (4 or 6?) I don’t want to over crowd as realistically on a horrible day here even the locals want to stay close to home and on the dark nights/morning will spend more time in the 3m run than out. Thanks for advice in advance, want to get this right and so far the forum has been a fantastic source of information.

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Hardwood chips on a concrete base sounds like a good plan - you obviously have done your homework 😃 As Dogmother says, clear tarps are the way to go. Mine have eyelets at the edges with little bungees from the Omlet website, but I add bungees over the top in winter storms (I’m in Cornwall). I have tarps to the ground on one long side and one short side of my 4m by 2m run, half way down in the other short side and just over the edge on the front long side. In the winter about a third of the woodchip stays completely dry.

My gang are shut in their run while we’re at work (generally Mon to Friday until about 16:30) and then free range in the garden evenings a partial weekends. I have the standard Omlet fence. I know there are foxes about but they very rarely come near our garden and we can hear the chooks and get to them very quickly from anywhere in the house - didn’t stop a dog getting in and killing one last month though 😔 An electric fence will stop foxes providing its properly used and maintained - whether you need it depends really on how risk averse you are, how likely a fox is to be in your garden during the day, and how quickly you could get out there if you were indoors.

On numbers, if I understand correctly and you’re getting an Eglu Cube with 3m run, please don’t get any more than 4 hybrids for the set up you have planned. In fact I’d suggest no more than 3 as they’re going to be in there a lot of the time. 

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Thank you so much for this, greatly appreciated. I spent most of the afternoon reviewing a thread on predator attacks (heartbreaking 💔) so I think for us too an omlet fence will work as a starting point for supervised free ranging! The protection of the run sounds simple enough, will make sure we measure up to try protect as much as possible from the wind and rain.As for the numbers, originally I thought 3 hybrids based on calculations however I’ve had conflicting advice from 3 up to 8 so feel more comfortable with your suggestion of 3 as 6-8 sounded way too many chickens! 

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