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Dig barrier tested and passed - Page 2

post #11 of 18

Good news on the apron / skirt! That is exactly how it is supposed to work and why a grower would want one.

 

For those wondering what this is about, below are some photos of the apron I attached and how I did it:

 

 

 

There is no need to dig this in or bury a vertical wire. The part of this apron that attaches to the house was bent into a short upright L. Upright part maybe 4 inches or so, and is then nailed to the side of the coop runners with fencing staples (or steeples if you are from MO). Before installing, the grass was hacked down to dirt level, then wire simply laid out flat on the ground. The outside edges tacked down with landscape pins or in my case, nail type tent pegs from Walmart. The grass quickly grows back up and through the wire and I mow over it. But it is still there and on the job. I have noticed a couple times what appears to be attempts to dig in. They don't get far and quickly give up. What may also happen is as they attempt to dig, they extend their toenails to help scratch and dig, and those will probably hook on the wire and may get ripped out. Hopefully, painfully ripped out, which also persuades them to stop digging.

 

The way this is supposed to work is the varmint who wants in will start his dig at the junction of the horizontal ground and vertical house wall. He immediately encounters the wire apron and is defeated. If he tries again, it will be up and down the line, always probing at the base. They never seem to figure out then need to back off a foot or so and start their tunnel operation way out there. So a 18 to 24 inches seems to be enough of an apron to work. Far easier and probably as effective, if not more so, than digging a trench to bury a vertical wire.

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard E View Post

Good news on the apron / skirt! That is exactly how it is supposed to work and why a grower would want one.

For those wondering what this is about, below are some photos of the apron I attached and how I did it:







There is no need to dig this in or bury a vertical wire. The part of this apron that attaches to the house was bent into a short upright L. Upright part maybe 4 inches or so, and is then nailed to the side of the coop runners with fencing staples (or steeples if you are from MO). Before installing, the grass was hacked down to dirt level, then wire simply laid out flat on the ground. The outside edges tacked down with landscape pins or in my case, nail type tent pegs from Walmart. The grass quickly grows back up and through the wire and I mow over it. But it is still there and on the job. I have noticed a couple times what appears to be attempts to dig in. They don't get far and quickly give up. What may also happen is as they attempt to dig, they extend their toenails to help scratch and dig, and those will probably hook on the wire and may get ripped out. Hopefully, painfully ripped out, which also persuades them to stop digging.

The way this is supposed to work is the varmint who wants in will start his dig at the junction of the horizontal ground and vertical house wall. He immediately encounters the wire apron and is defeated. If he tries again, it will be up and down the line, always probing at the base. They never seem to figure out then need to back off a foot or so and start their tunnel operation way out there. So a 18 to 24 inches seems to be enough of an apron to work. Far easier and probably as effective, if not more so, than digging a trench to bury a vertical wire.

Is that 1x2 wire? It looks like it but pictures are deceiving sometimes. I'm building a run for a friend who is very concerned about dogs in her neighborhood digging in.
post #13 of 18

Yes......1" x 2" 14 gauge welded wire. Seems about right. One of the least weasels might make it through, but not much else.

post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard E View Post

Yes......1" x 2" 14 gauge welded wire. Seems about right. One of the least weasels might make it through, but not much else.

Thanks
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard E View Post

Yes......1" x 2" 14 gauge welded wire. Seems about right. One of the least weasels might make it through, but not much else.
A rat snake would waltz right through (they eat eggs and chicks up to ~8 weeks). Rodents could also get in so if you use any sort of gravity feeder, they'll be into it. If I were doing it over, I'd spend the money and use hardware cloth for the enclosure. Doesn't matter what you bury so much, just something thick and well-galvanized.
Edited by debid - 4/25/17 at 4:28am
post #16 of 18

True. I had not considered snakes and rodents like mice and rats. Those could get through a 1" opening.

 

But.......most hardware cloth I've seen, while having 1/2" openings, is made from lighter stuff. Maybe 19 gauge wire. It is possible some diggers can rip through it, not to mention if the coating isn't good, it won't last as long on the ground as the heavier 14 gauge, which is generally strong enough to be considered "bars on the windows".

 

BTW, yet another option, and one I had considered, is 1/2" x 1" 14 gauge welded wire. It is what I use on my window openings. For the stuff I buy, the wire it is made from is as heavy as my 1" stuff. The cost for that, however goes up. Most don't realize it this way, but wire fencing is sold by the pound. 1" x 2" wire has double the material as 2" x 4", and 1/2" x 1" has double the material of 1" x 2"........so all things being equal, may cost double. Going to the lighter gauge stuff is one way the cost goes down, but then the trade off becomes the strength factor.

 

So be informed, pick your varmint / rodent and then pick your poison?

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard E View Post

...

So be informed, pick your varmint / rodent and then pick your poison?

There's always a trade-off. I have a chain link kennel for strength because foxes, bobcats, and coyotes were my main worry but then had to add a layer of lighter wire to stop the parade of feed-gorging opossums that didn't find the rat/mouse prevention feeders a challenge at all. Would you have guessed that an opossum could run through a dog kennel panel? It wasn't even a struggle for them.
post #18 of 18
My concern is just for the run right now. I'm laying an apron of hardware cloth all around the coop, 18"to 24" out and staking it down. The eggs and new chicks should be safe in there. I'm worried about dogs or whatever digging into the run. This coop is in a large open field so there isn't much cover for snakes. These folks keep their grass mowed pretty short, so I don't expect a lot of snakes anyway.
I found a half way decent price for 1x2 wire on Amazon, so I may be using it for the run roof also.
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