building a run; do I need to put wire down into the ground and if so..

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by new chick chick, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. new chick chick

    new chick chick Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 23, 2011
    Hi Fellow Chicken Lovers,
    I have decided to build a 6 ft tall run with hardware cloth. That decision was settled by other posts! I am going to have treated 2x4's along the ground and the wire will be attached to the 2x4's. What predators might dig under this? How do I prevent it?
  2. pdbantam

    pdbantam Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 13, 2011
    South Mississippi
    I put hardware cloth on the floor of mine. Grass grows up through it and I put some dirt on top in some places. Also put hardware cloth on the top.
  3. MontanaMomma

    MontanaMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 7, 2008
    I know that any kind of dog will dig... will raccoons dig? I suppose a rabbit might dig to get at the feed. We've had mice problems too. Ick.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    They like to scratch, so I don't recommend hardware cloth on the bottom of a run.

    What I suggest, lay about 18" to 24" of wire flat on the ground around the outside of the run and firmly attach it to the bottom of the run (and coop if appropriate). You don't have to bury it, but many people like to remove about 2" of sod, install the wire, then put the sod back. The idea is that the predator goes up the base of the fence, starts to dig, hits the wire, and does not know to back up.

    You can use hardware cloth, but I used 2" x 4" welded wire. That will stop practically anything, but hardware cloth will stop even more.
  5. eggplucker

    eggplucker Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 15, 2011
    Both racoons and rats can dig under your fence, so I recommend burying the fence wire not only below the fence line, but outward a foot or so as well. I just finished my run a few days ago, and on my home page there are pictures of how I did mine, if that will help you.

  6. Alethea

    Alethea Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2011
    We attached three feet of chicken wire inside the fence, threaded it under the fence and then out another foot. We then staked it down and covered it with gravel. Anyone who thinks they can dig through gravel will reach the wire. The run itself is bare ground. Just about everybody digs.
  7. smalltownchicks

    smalltownchicks Seven Silly Hens

    Jul 7, 2011
    Our girls "dug" a little to settle down into and the raccoons dug right under and killed all three. It was awful. We now have hardware cloth buried about 10 inches folded outward with chicken wire outside of that so the racoons can't run them in a corner and grab them...they work in teams. I am all for burying wire.
  8. OneTenthAcreAndAChicken

    OneTenthAcreAndAChicken Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 10, 2011
    San Diego
    Quote:After reading several posts like this one, and since the coop/run footprint was only 5x8, I dug a trench around and lined it with chicken wire. It really didn't take that long and I feel better now that it's done. You can see more pics of the coop foundation here .

  9. simplynewt

    simplynewt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    My Coop
    Where I live there is limestone inches below the topsoil so I do not have to worry about preditors digging in. I am going to lay down about a foot of 1 x 2 welded wire all around the run just for good measure though. pdbantom - is the hardware cloth on the roof of the run to keep snakes from dropping in?
  10. Tambo26

    Tambo26 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    Orrington, MAINE
    My coop and run are built under a stand of pines so digging and burying fencing was not an option for me due to the roots! I'm pretty sure that I live in Snow White's neighborhood because there is every sort of creature in my yard! Fox daily (day and night), Bobcat last weekend (day!), porcupine, skunk, racoons..heard about a bear close by but have YET to see it (lets hope it stays that way!)... anyway.... I have 1/2" hardware cloth on my run (sides and top) and I layed it out anywhere from 3-5' on the ground all the way around and covered it with soil, gravel, big rocks. Only once have I seen evidence of anything trying to dig... and they tried in three different spots (because of the fencing). Since I purchased my Have a Heart electric garden fence THAT DAY, not a single attempt has been made. I feel pretty good about my security... but am not nieve.... I know that a hungry predator will find any weakness... but they'd better watch out! They don't know that I am a one woman army who will protect my girls with everything I have!

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