building coop, do I need 1/2 inch hardware cloth all the way up?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kueblercoop, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. kueblercoop

    kueblercoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2015
    I just got chicks a few weeks ago and am working on the coop. We live in Indianapolis and see occasional coyotes, hawks, and racoons around the neighborhood. My coop will be inclosed and secured with a 360 surround. I am digging a trench for 1/2 inch hardware cloth and placing it under the coop as well. We plan to take the 1/2 inch 36 inches up the sides. The coop is about 5-6 feet tall. Our question is, do we take the 1/2 inch all the way up or do we stop and 36 inches and do a less expensive hardware cloth on the top half of the run? It will have hard plastic roofing. Trying to save cost where we can but don't want to do make a mistake either. Thanks for your help!
     
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    My pen is hardware cloth bottom 3 ft, and chicken wire from there up to 6ft.
     
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  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    If you are talking about the run (not where they will be sleeping) then a lot of people don't predator proof the run.

    If you are going to have them not totally closed up inside the coop then the fencing needs to be basically a 1/2 inch hardware cloth cube (open bottom) with it aproned out or buried. So weasels and rats can get through all but the hardware cloth and they kill chickens. Raccoons of course can tear through chicken wire as if it isn't there.

    The expense of the hardware cloth leads many to just close them up at night inside the coop and not leave the pop door open to the run.

    I hope this helps and enjoy your chickens!

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/robbdebbies-chicken-coop
    4th pic from bottom shows what you are talking about doing I think. The welded wire is good but not weasel/rat proof- good for daytime run. The reason everybody runs that hardware cloth along the bottom like that is that owls, hawks and coons will pull a chicken through the fencing when they are standing next to it. It may sound like that is a strange and infreqent occurrence. But I unfortunately have had it happen several times and it is not infreqent or rare.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
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  4. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    Now the answer will be what will you try to keep out. Coyotes will need to be kept out with chain link fence. raccoons also chain link. You would need to give us more details as to how high your run will be. What area are you trying to enclose. Hardware cloth is pricey and there are other options or combinations. 2x4 welded wire is another option to keep coop predator safe. If you have rats that you need to keep out then chain link and 2x4 would not do well. I don't really see much advantage to the hardware cloth under your coop. Is your coop going to be elevated.??? or on the ground.??? If your run is well secured , then the coop inside the perimeter should be safe. Look at some pix of how others constructed theirs for additional ideas.

    AND [​IMG]
     
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  5. kueblercoop

    kueblercoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2015
    thank you everyone. yard is surrounded by a combination of chain-link and Pickett-ish. I looked at amazon prices and think I will do hardware all around. I mis-spoke. I was going to put the hardware buried under the run with whatever I start my deep litter with. I read that would stop digging predators.
     
  6. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    I have found my run resists coyotes, dogs, foxes, weasels, bobcat, hawks (due to the heavy - duty poultry netting over the top). All of these have tried getting in - I have seen them. I think a bear would be able to get in. I also buried hardware cloth, and stapled it underground to slab cedar boards. Unless the weather is extremely cold the pop door is always open from coop to run.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    I should say buried it around 10" deep around the edges, not underground in the run itself
     
  8. kueblercoop

    kueblercoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2015
    Thank you. I have really be debating it I go under the actual run or not. This helps. Now I need to decide if I bury the hardware the 10 inches or do an apron. I have alot of tree roots so I am afraid it will be difficult to bury it... thoughts?
     
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    My Coop
    It would have been extremely difficult to dig under the perimeter of our run to bury hardware cloth or welded wire as well. Our ground is extremely hard and rocky. So we opted for the apron around the coop and run and have never looked back. We knew it worked when our English Setter, Molly, tried digging under and broke and bloodied a toenail. We used hardware cloth about 2 feet up the sides of the run, then folded it where it met the ground and extended it out another approximately two feet. Initially we planned to cover that with rock, but the grass grew through it so well that Ken can mow right up to the sides of the run - right over top of the apron. That has another advantage - no hiding places for smaller pests!

    Our run is made of cattle panels arched over and covered in chicken wire to deter overhead predators. We have way too many of those! I also wanted to keep out small wild birds. I don't want them eating the chickens' food, and they can bring in mites and such that I really would rather avoid. If you click on "MY COOP" under my avatar you can see how we built our setup.
     
  10. kueblercoop

    kueblercoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Very helpful, I think this is what I will do. do you think one foot out would be OK?
     

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