Are my plans for my chicken pen good? (Pictures included)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by wmcdow, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. wmcdow

    wmcdow Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 25, 2015
    Here's my beautiful artwork: http://imgur.com/a/oLdge

    It will need some explaining.

    This will be a 15' x 20' chicken pen/run. I already have my coop. For the pen, I'll be using ten 4x4x8 treated wood as the posts. I will then be attaching thirty 2x4x7 (The picture says 2x4x8 right now). I currently have a 24" deep trench dug out in a 15' x 20' area. I will be burying the bottom 10 2x4x7 that are all attached at the bottom of the trench. I will be attaching 4 feet wide hardware cloth to the wood that will be buried and it will attach to the middle beams 2 feet above ground. So half of my hardware cloth will be buried (2 ft) (vertically) and the rest exposed (2 ft - still vertically) and I'll be wrapping it around the entire perimeter, attaching it with washers and screws.

    My question: Since I have the bottom 4 feet (2 ft below ground, 2 ft above ground), should I just use chicken wire for the top 4 feet? Will it work to have the hardware cloth where it is? Please let me know! Thanks!
     
  2. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    Hello, and welcome to BYC, yes the two feet down and two feet up will work. Chicken wire will perhaps keep the birds in the run, but will not stop dogs, raccoons and the like. Should you have predators that need to be screened out, you might want to reconsider. Only you will know what risk(s) vs. cost you are will to go with. To put so much work into the buried wire, and to leave such an easy entry above the two foot mark, do not jive with one another. If you only use it as a day pen, and lock the birds in the coop during the night, it might be ok. Everyone has an opinion and I have shared mine. Do that which makes sense to you and yours.

    Best to you and your birds,

    RJ
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  3. wmcdow

    wmcdow Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 25, 2015
    Thanks so much for your reply! I'll probably go ahead and just do the whole thing with hardware cloth. I've never seen a chicken run where there are no boards at the base. Mine will be underground. Do you think this will make it weaker somehow? What do you think about the top just being deer netting? Do you think the top (as in roof) should have hardware cloth as well?
     
  4. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    I think deer netting is or would be ok. I only worry enough to show something to the hawks and other such, to deter them from dropping in for a snack. Out here in Utah, I don't see boards above ground, other than the base to hold the wire. I think you will be happier with the hardware cloth, if it is in your budget. As an aside, I do not bury wire in the ground any more. I use an apron that extends eighteen inches or more, around the base of the pen. Critters try to dig down, and can not. In short time it is in and under the grass or what have you, mostly hidden from human eyes, but in the way of diggers. It is a lot easier to install and etc. But if your trench is dug, well only put in a foot down and the rest up. Use a apron with scrap or extra wire. Any combination that makes sense to you, will be fine. If I have made a mess… here sorry, just offering the options I am aware of.

    Best to you and your birds,

    RJ
     
  5. chickens123432

    chickens123432 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2015
    I think that will work great! Chicken wire keeps all the predators out but every once and awhile you have to replace it because it gets rusty and comes apart
     
  6. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

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    The Land of Enchantment
    Why are you burying the 2x4 boards at the bottom underground? What you don't see at my old coop/run is that the hardware cloth extends 18" straight down into the ground. I tossed a few rocks in the trench here and there, but hard-packed dirt kept it in place, covered with gravel. The bottom of the frame rests on concrete blocks.

    I was mostly worried about rats, so the ceiling was done in hardware cloth, too.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For my new area, I'm going to go out with an apron buried barely underground, since I'm renovating some existing areas and don't want to dig long trenches!
     

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