I live in Colorado (predator heavy: fox, coyotes, hawks, etc) and am a newbie at this whole thing. I have seven hopefully hens, five regular/large breeds and 2 silkies. We are almost finished constructing the coop and now adding on the run. Our original plan was to build a chicken tractor but the project became exciting and therefore overbuilt. My DH is still convinced in the future he can put it on a flat bed trailer type of tractor or big wheels but I'm not holding my breath. So, since the coop is at least for now permanently fixed in place, we are making a detachable run 8 x 12.
My question is how to fence it all in. We are using heavy duty wire throughout the run with hardware cloth (small tight heavy wire boxes) on the lower portion so that coons and fox can't swipe their paws in to catch the chickens. The top will be fenced and also have a light corrugated roof for our winters and bad weather.
I have been told that coyotes and fox will dig but do I need to worry about this if I bring the chickens in at night locked tight in the coop? If I do put wire on the entire bottom of the run, will it damage the chicken's feet if it is not fully buried?
My other option is to build the run as a permanent fixture also and bury the edges of the fence (fanning out 1-2') to prevent the digging by predators AND then build a moveable smaller run that I can allow them to "free range".
What sounds more logical? Any advice or tips?