How do I connect my run to my chicken coop?
You can buy connectors which attach an open part of the run to the coop, so the two parts are effectively separated and you can make the most use of the space. However, this is best done when the same manufacturer has made both parts; for example, the Omlet Eglu run is made to attach to one of their coops via a connector.
An alternative is to buy a generously sized run and just leave your coop inside the run. This gives a good level of protection, as any predators would have to get through the run *and* the coop to get to your chickens at night, but it does also mean that your run would have to be super fox-proof.
How do I make my run fox-proof?
You have a couple of options.
Just ensuring that the wire is strong isn’t good enough, as foxes can dig underneath, and a really hungry fox could even break through the wire. We would recommend either installing a wire skirt around the run which makes it impossible to dig underneath the walls, and also gives you extra leverage to fix the run to the ground via pegs.
You can also sink the run or fence into the ground, as far as possible, again to stop them digging underneath. If you’re worried about them breaking through the wire, it could be worth doubling up on panels to make it more difficult for them to get through, and make the holes smaller.
It is worth also trying to fox-proof your garden. Use scent repellents or sound repellents, and ensure they can’t get into the entire garden. This means checking under fences for digging opportunities, adding wire to any open fences or trellis, and placing heavy paving stones anywhere where they could dig.
Foxes can get through holes just 12cm (5 in.) in diameter. You may want to place your coop and run inside another fox-proof enclosure, for double protection (and less likelihood that they will pick up the scent or see them).