2x4 welded wire run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by K813ZRA, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. K813ZRA

    K813ZRA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So after asking many questions I have finally settled on what breed and how many chickens to buy. Now it is on to the building stage as I already have my two coops and runs planned. However, this leaves me with a question about what to use on the run. It seems that a lot of people use welded wire and more still seem to use 1/2x1/2 hardware cloth. The thing is, after doing some math the hardware cloth will run me about $360 per coop and the welded wire about $180 per coop and that is a rather large savings. So on to my questions.

    Is 1/2 hardware cloth 100% needed for a day time only run? The chickens will be locked up in their coop/hen house at night which will have 1/2 inch hardware cloth on vents and windows. It seems that 99% of the predators that people worry about are nocturnal or will be stopped by the welded fence. Save for things such as rats, snakes, etc which should be stopped by the coop. I guess I am just wondering if there is a reason for me to go with the twice as expensive hardware cloth for a day time only run.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    The 1/2" hardware is not needed. If used over the entire run and apron would be 100% predator proof and no need for a coop at all if in warmer climates. I'm confused by so many using it. Even further baffled if it's only used for first 3 or 4 ft of run bottom. It just doesn't add up. If a person wanted a 100% predator proof run 4 ft of coverage wont do anything but cost more. Weasels climb and can fit in just over 1" holes which makes attempting full run protection slim chance. Closing your coop at night every night is the best solution for 100% protection. Most attacks other than dogs or hawks are at night. 14 gauge welded wire can't be chewed through so stops all predators excepting the very small that attack birds at night on the roost. Always use 1/2 inch hardware cloth for all coop openings no matter how small.

    Don't forget to cut some of the welded wire roll in half to make 18-24 inch lengths as an apron. If just under the run wall and run horizontally out will stop digging predators. I don't have a set run so leave the apron on top of grass. It can be staked in place to allow grass to grow through then can be mowed. Or you can lift the sod and lay flat under it.
     
  3. K813ZRA

    K813ZRA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you very much. Yes, I have read about an apron and intend to put river rock over mine to spruce up the looks. (I don't enjoy mowing.) As well as some raised beds for plants along the sides. I got the idea from the coop thread here.
     
  4. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a welded wire run. And (gasp!) I don't have an apron and my run is completely open at the eaves. I live in a "suburbural" area that's not real rural but not your stereotypical suburb either. Deer have run through my yard, foxes and fishers scream from the woods, I see dead coons in the road often so I know they are around, too, but I also have a gigantic car dealership and retail area just 4 minutes from my house.

    The welded wire has served me well and was much more affordable. I know housing my birds as I do isn't without risk and there are some nights when I wish they were more secure so we wouldn't have to leave parties early just to lock up the chickens but I'm satisfied with it.
     
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Yeah, I went many years without an apron. That was in town and thought little risk. Lost one to a skunk and days later (how I figured it was a skunk) had to push a skunk out of run with the side of hatchet. It was facing off with my cock bird, in about 5 more minutes would have had him if I'd not intervened. Where I live now I'd not even think of no apron excepting with the electric poultry netting that's about to go up until late fall. Love those, birds are open to hawks but they are so nice to be able to move around to fresh forage every few weeks. There's always some risk no matter and it's up to each their level of acceptance.
     
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  6. K813ZRA

    K813ZRA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in the middle of nowhere so predators are a concern for sure. Better safe than sorry so I think I will go with egghead's advice and go with an apron.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    There are risks no matter what you do. The more you spend the more you can reduce those risks but they never totally go away.

    I use a philosophy of a predator resistant run with a mostly predator-proof coop for night. I have a 45 x 90 area enclosed in electric netting plus a 12’ x 32’ run with top. The walls are 2x4 welded wire with chicken wire forming an apron and coming up about 18” around the bottom. The main purpose of the chicken wire is to keep baby chicks in when I lock them in that main run, but a couple of times I have seen where something was digging, hit the wire, and stopped.

    2x4 welded wire will stop most predators, especially if you put a top on it to stop climbing predators. Raccoons, bobcat, and foxes can climb. Don’t fall for the myth that predators are only a threat at night. I’ve seen dogs, coyotes, foxes, bobcat, skunks, mink, raccoon, and even possum out hunting and feeding during the day. If you read through the Predators and Pests forum you will see plenty of stories about foxes and bobcats taking chickens during the day, sometimes not that far away from a human. But your risk is much greater at night. With less human activity to scare them away they are bolder and they have more uninterrupted time to do their mischief. And many critters are more active after dark. Dawn and dusk are especially risky times.

    I’m in the middle of not much. Since the first of the year I’ve permanently removed one raccoon, seven skunks, eight possum, and 12 rats from my property. Traps are still set. I have three different coyote packs that I can usually hear at night, one pretty close by. There are plenty of predators around here but so far I’ve done OK. That doesn’t mean I won’t have a disaster this afternoon. You just never know for sure.
     
  8. captivatedlife

    captivatedlife Out Of The Brooder

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    That's for the information. This is a timely thread as we are going to be building our run soon for the chicks.
     
  9. DisasterGuy

    DisasterGuy Out Of The Brooder

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    I am new to the forum but for what it's worth, using all hardware cloth wasn't an option for me financially. My run is 12x25 and 12' tall (I enclosed an old carport style trailer pull-in. I used standard poultry netting for the entire enclosure and then installed (free to me) 2x4 welded wire for an apron and the lower 5' in addition to the poultry netting. I did use 1/2" hardware cloth for the door. I live "in town" so my main preditor are dogs, cats and hawks.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Safety is relative; the more you spend, the safer it will be, but 'reasonably safe' works for many flocks most of the time. Layered protection is good; a very safe coop, the safest run you can afford, and then some wider perimeter security too. Mary
     

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