Chicken Coop Tour No. 18: Nine Secure Chicken Runs Built from The Garden Run Plans

Consider this a slight “de-tour” from the usual examples of chicken and quail coops. In this collection, we share nine secure chicken runs built using The Garden Run plans. These are modular designs, so you’ll notice everything from simple additions to entire “habitrail” style habitats for chickens. As you scroll through, think about what kind of extra space your chickens would enjoy.

Run 1: Mike and Rhonda’s North Texas Chicken Coop with Attached Garden Run

Mike and Rhonda used our plans to build The Garden Loft walk-in chicken coop, then they added secure run space using a mix of designs from our Garden Run enclosure series. I love how they kept the color scheme the same across the entire complex, with a pop of red in each section!

Walk-in chicken coop with a series of colorful secure chicken run extensions in a large backyard in Texas

My wife and I built The Garden Loft a few years ago and then added modules. Never thought I would say this, but I think we want to build another!

Run 2: Christy’s Pink Coop Surrounded by a Secure Chicken Run, Wisconsin

Christy used the plans for The Garden Run pergola-top walk-in module and modified the design larger so that it could fully enclose her existing chicken coop. It scaled up well, and her adorable pink coop fits in quite nicely. 

Adorable pink chicken coop and ladder enclosed inside a secure chicken run scaled larger using plans from

Here’s our adaptation of your walk-in module. We expanded it from 6′ x 6′ to 10′ x 10′ to give the coop and the girls some more real estate. Before this, the coop was jammed into a prefab dog kennel. We will decide later if we need to add roofing, but for now, the chickens are enjoying the fanciest pen in town!

We didn’t have much trouble making it larger, really. It would have been easier if we’d placed the wall studs perfectly at 36″, so we wouldn’t have had to cut so much wire. But we thought 9′ square was too small and 12′ too large.

The other challenge was setting the purlins across the top. But the thing is pretty rugged, and we laid a ladder across the top so I could crawl up there to reach the intersections of the purlins and the rafters to screw the center purlins in place. I’m not very big so that worked. 🙂

Run 3: Amanda’s Garden Coop Walk-In Chicken Coop with Attached Chicken Run, Austin, Texas

Amanda used our Garden Coop chicken coop plans to build her walk-in coop, then later won a set of plans for The Garden Run chicken coop enclosure series in her local coop tour raffle. We’re glad she did — look at all that green goodness growing from the garden-top module!

The Garden Coop walk-in chicken coop design in a Texas backyard, extended with a garden-top chicken run built using The Garden Run plans

I LOVE my coop and the extensions. I want to build more!

Run 4: Catherine’s Secure Duck House Build from The Garden Run Plans, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Catherine used The Garden Run chicken coop enclosure series to create a spacious, safe home for her backyard ducks. The walk-in module gives them room to roam while the half-height module with added siding provides shelter from the elements.

Backyard duck house with wood siding and a corrugated roof attached to a spacious walk-in pergola-top run.

We modified the Garden Run plans to build a backyard duck house and run. It was our first building project, and it turned out great.

The ducks love the space. It is really difficult to find prefab duck housing in the U.S., so the plans were a great solution. Thank you!

Run 5: Susan and Patrick’s Protected Pergola-Top Chicken Run, Upshur County, West Virginia

Susan and Pat used The Garden Run chicken coop enclosure series to extend their chickens’ secure habitat beyond their original Garden Coop home. They used the walk-in pergola-top design, enlarging it to an 8′ x 8′ footprint.

Pergola-top walk-in chicken run attached to a large backyard chicken coop

We couldn’t be happier with our coop and run. An unexpected bonus is that it has totally solved our problem with boredom in our small flock. The girls run back and forth through the connector box to explore and scratch in all the new areas. Sometimes they stop in the connector box do do a little preening, just like they are on stage. It is great fun to watch.  

Walk-in chicken coop built with an added run extension in the shade of a backyard tree

In regards to the reduced boredom, we noticed the same thing in our flock as well, which surprised me, since the enclosed runs actually had a smaller footprint than their previous open day run. Having “rooms” to spread out in and explore seems to encourage calmness. I mean, it does for people, so why not chickens? Also check out The Basic Coop that Susan and Patrick built for their chicks (see Coop 5), which also incorporates a half-height Garden Run module.

Run 6: Ken’s Garden Run and Extended Garden Ark Mobile Chicken Coop, Sterling, Virginia

Ken used The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop plans as the basis for a larger version of that design, then coupled it with The Garden Run to create a permanent, secure, and colorfully painted space for his chickens to scratch and roam. He also used thicker lumber (two-by-threes instead of two-by-twos) for some of the boards in the run project — totally doable as long as you use longer screws and stick with the same outer dimensions.

Yellow mobile chicken coop set atop a concrete foundation

Yellow mobile chicken coop docked to a series of colorful enclosed chicken runs

Ken and son inside their secure yellow mobile backyard chicken coop

Colorful backyard DIY chicken coop habitat with coop and attached run

I elected to use two-by-threes because I found it much easier to find ones that are relatively straight. I had to do a little remeasuring and play some silly games with half-lap joints (particularly on the door), but it worked out well. 

The extended Garden Ark has certainly held up, but I would probably do it very differently now! One thing I learned was that two-by-sixes are crazy heavy. 😉 It never really was very mobile since it weighed so much. 

The girls seem to like the whole thing, and usually I see all of them sleeping on the top perches. 

One discovery that I made in the winterizing of these new sections was that I could just build simple frames with plastic sheeting that would fit inside the frames of the runs and could be secured to the fabric cloth from inside with some screws and washers. Simplified the weatherizing like crazy! 

Run 7: Mary’s Existing Chicken Coop Extended with Garden Run, Arcadia, California

Mary had an existing chicken coop that she wanted to extend with a secure run, so she used The Garden Run plans to do just that. The plans explain how to attach the modules to any coop, not just our designs. By using the half-height garden-top module, she was even able to get some usable garden space out of the deal.

Backyard chicken coop with attached half-height garden-top run module

Herb garden planted in the garden bed above a half-height garden-top chicken run

Herbs and flowers in the garden bed atop half-height garden-top chicken run module

Thank you for the fabulous add-on plans!

Run 8: Heidi and Digger’s Secure Garden Run, Naperville, Illinois

As a first-time builder, Heidi knew she wanted some guidance when building her extended chicken run. She found The Garden Run plans and took it from there. I love how she attached two of the walk-in units side-by-side to create a larger enclosure — first example we’ve seen of that. 

Two large backyard chicken run frames attached side-by-side and painted black

I built it, and it is amazing! Thank you for your fantastic plans that this newbie was able to follow. I am excited to add on to it.

I am really proud of myself. It’s been a great addition our growing flock! 

Run 9: Christi’s Chicken Paradise, Fort Walton Beach, Florida

And last but not least, the last of our collection of nine secure chicken runs. . . . Christi has built several of our designs as she’s grown her backyard flock. Her latest project was to use The Garden Run plans to stitch together a safe, spacious yard for the chickens to enjoy for extended periods of time. Notice the sand floor for easy cleanup. Also check out Christi’s Garden Loft and Basic Coop featured here (see Coop #7).

Chicken run extensions with sand floor connected to The Garden Loft walk-in chicken coop

I’ve built four more runs to make a much bigger predator-proof space when we are away for the weekend. I just love your plans!

A BIG thank you to everyone who shared their photos and stories about building with The Garden Run plans. Which of these nine secure chicken runs do you like best? Let us know in the comments below. 🙂


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