I'm putting in a fenced-in run behind our detached garage, roughly 27' x 12', which will contain the 4'x6' coop in one corner, next to the garage. The back of the garage, around 20' long, will be one wall of the run, plus an additional 7' extending out from the garage for the gate and coop (so we'll be able to see the coop from the kitchen window).
I'm planning on using wire fencing on the 3 sides of the run that need it, so will need around 50' of wire fencing, as the coop will sit on the corner with fence attached to one side and the gate to the other side between coop and garage.
I'm planning on using 1/2" mesh hardware cloth to enclose the bottom of the raised coop on the two outside sides, plus hardware cloth attached to the bottom of the fence and dug in/toed out about 8-12".
Does this make sense, or is it overkill?
The chickens will be locked up in the coop at night. Do I still need the hardware cloth around the bottom 2-3' and dug under the perimeter fencing of the run? I know I'll need it on the sides of the coop, but what about the run, if they will only be out in the day?
As for the wire fencing:
1) i was thinking of getting the pvc-coated wire fence. Any reason not to? It seems a little more attractive than the plain galvanized wire.
2) It seems to come in 2 x 4 or 2 x 3 mesh sizes; is one preferable, provided i'm using the hardware cloth on the lower 2-3'?
Also: What about securing the gate?? If chickens will be locked in the coop at night, is it still important to make sure the gate is absolutely predator-proof??
Thanks for help!!
Our 6 chicks are coming Monday, so it's finally time to get serious about this. :)