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Chicken Run...protecting my girls from local foxes

post #1 of 2
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Some would say give up on the chickens.  But 3rd time has got to be a charm!  Our first group of girls died tragically in a fire due to a faulty (yet new) heat lamp.  Our second group of girls got old enough that they were allowed to free-range.  One evening this summer we came home to feathers everywhere and all but 3 of our girls had gone missing (4 confirmed dead) by a fox attack.  Thank God, the next day 6 more wandered back home very cautiously. 

We ordered 18 more chicks. Now we have 9 layers and 18 pullets (separated still by chicken wire as they are only 10 weeks old).  Since our fox attack I built a small hoop portable run for the older girls... but with the new ones coming up and fall (soon to be winter)... I am building a new, large, run for the girls.

My plan... about a 12x12 area... 4x4 posts sunk and cemented.  I am using chain-link fencing all the way around and to protect from our avian predators (we have some beautiful hawks, Osprey and Eagles in our area) I had planned to cover the top of the run.  Not only for protection from the flying predators, but the raccoons and weather.

What I am not sure on is should is two things:

1.  Should burry fencing into the ground 12-18 inches OR should use welded wire and bend it at a 90 degree angle, attaching it to the chainlink and then covering w/ rock, dirt, tree logs, etc?

2.  The Roof - should I cover w/ chain-link and then in the winter just put heavy duty plastic to keep the snow out?  Or should I use clear/translucent Corrogated roofing panels to allow natural light in and it would warm the run in the winter, like a green house affect.  OR should I use wood boards and cover part of the run w/ wood (to keep it dry) and let part of the roof be chain-link. 

I am just not sure how I want to do it... I don't want to spend a fortune...as I feel I already have for my girls.  But we want to protect them.

Advice would be appreciated...
 

post #2 of 2

My vote is for the later roofing option but I or at least my chickens don't live in your neck of the woods.  I would sink the fence wire a couple of inches then  cut some wiring up into strips and attaching it to the standing portion of the fence and use loose dirt to cover or hide it.  Roofing tin screwer down on rafters and lath would be how i would go.  


Edited by chickengeorgeto - 9/25/15 at 3:15pm
Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
Reply
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