Anyone have a rock apron around their run?

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,560
6,928
516
middle TN
And if so, what do you like/dislike about it?

I have a pile of big rocks and was considering using them rather than fencing on top of the ground to prevent critters from digging under. I've built enough flowerbeds with these rocks to have a good idea of how much hard labor will be involved but they're not being used and they're free. Obviously, rocks never rust and I believe they would also accommodate the uneven terrain better than the fencing.
 

Captain Carrot

Songster
8 Years
Jan 25, 2011
471
7
111
Austria
The problem I see about using the rocks is that it will be difficult to ensure you have the ground covered properly. With the wire skirt you know that you're protected against burrowing. I'd be worried that I've left gaps somewhere.

But you could make it look really nice by filling the cracks with earth and putting some plants in there.
 

Remo

In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 20, 2010
30
0
32
Oneida, TN
I have both wire and rocks. I bring my fence out about 14-16 inches(I don't bury it I just lay it on top of ground) and then I lay large flat rocks on top of it. I have only had my chickens for about 9 months but I have never had anything try to dig under the rocks. I am currently converting a 20' x20' pole barn into a coop and run and am doing it the same way. The rocks I use are large flat rocks that are about 16-20 in. wide and about 2-4 in. thick.
 

elmo

Crowing
13 Years
May 23, 2009
4,908
280
376
DFW
Are the rocks big enough so a digging critter can't just move them out of the way to dig its access hole?
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
401
341
Ontario, Canada
I have big concrete pavers around one run, and have used concrete rubble to digproof the fenced area around part of the chicken building (to keep the coyotes outta the sheep, when I initially had the sheep there before I built them their own empire the other side of the barn).

Big pavers are great, mine are a mixture of 18x18 and 18x24. Well, it's a bit of work moving them, and you have to get the ground real *flat* first, but they work terrific and make a nice sort of paved walkway effect as well. Three thumbs up. And ain't *nothin* digging thru there, except maybe a really really 'professional' fox but we don't have that sort around here.

The concrete rubble, if you have huge enough pieces AND the time to let it sort of "meld" into the ground/turf it can work pretty well on its own. However, if you primarily have smaller sized pieces (anything not-obnoxious to move, let's say large-toaster-sized and smaller) I would suggest putting wire mesh under it, at least 2x4 mesh, as additional insurance. If you don't want to put wire mesh under it you can throw loose dirt and turf and compost over it and let the weeds/grass grow together and "consume" the rubble and knit it together... HOWEVER this will take at least a season, and during that time you will not have very reliable protection.

If you have a known rat problem, or are likely to contract one, I would not suggest doing rocks or rubble because they are just BEGGING for rats to set up a condo under there, happily safe from rat predators and close to the chicken-food convenience store.

Good luck, have fun,

Pat
 

Remo

In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 20, 2010
30
0
32
Oneida, TN
Quote:
I think mine are, but I have a border of wire laying on top of the ground under the rocks so if a rock gets moved then you still have the wire that is connected to the bottom of run or coop. so basically a critter would have to move the rock and then step out 20" from the botton of run or coop and dig under the wire. But that said, I wouldn't feel safe without the wire underneath.
 

abChicken

Songster
11 Years
Mar 10, 2008
746
12
151
Gaston County N.C.
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GarlicEater

Songster
8 Years
Feb 23, 2011
585
5
121
Gilroy, CA
Remo Sez: "I have both wire and rocks. I bring my fence out about 14-16 inches(I don't bury it I just lay it on top of ground) and then I lay large flat rocks on top of it."

Hmm interesting idea!

I may also consider, since I have a lot of corrugated galvanized steel, just burying that all around the edge, dig a slit all around the coop and then bury it up. That'll sure discourage some digging!
 

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