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dog kennel or hardware cloth run.

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
so I can afford one or the other and I don't know which to pick. I know the hardware cloth would be the safest route, but the dog kennel gives much more room. I can either afford a 6x6x3 hardware cloth run which will run about $80. or I can get a 10x10x6 dog kennel for $200 but I won't be able to line the bottom with hardware cloth. I don't know which one I should choose. I should also mention the run will be for 4 silkies.
post #2 of 11
Personally, for Silkies, I'd say go with hardware cloth for now. They're small, they can easily get hurt. You can save up $ for a used dog run or tractor later to use when you're home. Craigs List frequently has both for sale. Some good prices, some overpriced junk.
post #3 of 11

Are they going to be locked in a coop at night and supervised during most of the day hours?  I so I would get the dog run and save up to fortify the lower portions at a later date...  If they are not going to locked in the coop and no supervised or at least kept an eye on invest in the hardware cloth or you will almost certainly lose the birds to a predator like a raccoon that will reach though and pull the chicken through the fence, and at least by me during 'baby' season it's pretty normal for me to see raccoons out and about well before sunset so it's not only a night thing, that is why I put in the 'supervised' qualifier...

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
alright that's what I was thinking to do as well. I will be able to let my girls out sometimes during the week as well. just not every day.
post #5 of 11
You could get the kennel then go to Home Depot or TRactor supply and get the heavy wire mesh. It is about 3 foot tall and is about $25ish. If you line the kennel with the mesh it will keep snakes and mice out. We are building a guinea hen pen. We use this material all the way around the bottom. Iooks great and is not hard to work with. You can use zip ties to hold it in place.
post #6 of 11

We bought a 10 x 10 x 6 dog kennel and lined the bottom half with chicken wire and put up a shade cloth to keep a top on it.  Our kennel was $200 at TSC.  We did some some small square hard wire for the gate area because of the openings and attached it with zip ties.  It's working great. You can kind of see the wire on the lower half in the pics.  We do not have a big threat for predators though.



post #7 of 11
I also went the dog kennel route, but I have not lined it yet, my girls free range so the kennel portion is to keep them contained when I have company over. I did put a wood roof over it.
post #8 of 11

Really nice dog pen.  I have one now that I want to convert for my girls.  What did you use to attach the hardware mesh? and top?

post #9 of 11

Julia, your setup is so cute!!  We were planning to go the dog kennel route too.  We wanted the chickens to have plenty of space even though we were really pinching pennies. But then we regrouped.  We got 8 steel fence posts and 3 cattle panels.  We pounded the panels into the ground, 4 per side, then bent the cattle panels and attached them.  We had some chicken wire already on hand because when we first started we thought that was the best thing, but after reading so many posts on BYC about how flimsy it is and how ineffective against predators we put it aside and planned to return it.  Instead we covered the cattle panels with it against overhead predators and small birds.  We put hardware cloth up the sides about 2 feet and then folded it outward as an apron about 2 feet out to deter diggers.Worked too - the first time the chickens went into the run our dog tried digging under to get to them.  She broke and bloodied a toenail and decided that they weren't worth it. 


We spent just a hair over what we planned to spend on a dog kennel run.  I think the 3 panels ran us about $60.00. The fence posts we already had, but they are pretty easy to come by. We would have done the hardware cloth on the kennel or whatever else we decided to build, so that expense would have been there anyway.  I can stand and move around in the run, and since it's curved snow isn't a problem because there is no sagging in the cover - most of it slides off and a quick swipe with a broom removes any that doesn't.  It has withstood horrible Wyoming winds as well.  The beauty is that if we decided to enlarge the run we just need to add two more fence posts and another panel.  I'm really happy that we went this route.  The overhead cattle panels give us lots of places we can use to hang things in the run.  We're going to run heavy duty plastic on it this winter to gather solar heat and keep out most of the snow so the girls can be out no matter what the weather is doing.  The last thing I did was add couple of pieces of white lattice.  We live in town and our setup is visible from the street so I wanted it to look neat and finished.


And if we ever get to the point where keeping our chickens isn't feasible anymore, we have a ready made garden shed and greenhouse!  No matter what you decide to do, itstrist, I so strongly recommend hardware cloth at least going a little ways up the sides and then out into an apron.  Better to be pro-active than re-active after some sneaky little chicken eater finds a weak spot.  It is a little spendy, but when you figure what you've got invested in your chickens already against a few extra dollars to protect them, it become obvious that you'll save money (and heartache) down the road.


post #10 of 11
Hi my name is ANDREA and all this is new to me
My husband and i are also using a dog kennel
Can u pls tell how you put the hardware cloth on the door I know u said you used ties but how do u get the door to open and close ?
There is such a big gap and I really want to close them up

Thanks Andrea
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