Bury hardware cloth for run floor - how deep?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by PDXcluck, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. PDXcluck

    PDXcluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    My run is 4'x10' and bordered by 2x6's on edge. I am planning on filling with sand and gravel to a depth of about 4-5 inches.

    I have been thinking a lot about predator protection and decided I want to step up the rat proofing. Not in the least inspired by the rat I saw on the power lines two nights in a row. Rather than try to dig down and bury a perimeter of hardware cloth, I was thinking about laying it down across the whole floor of the run before I fill with sand and gravel. However, I don't want the hens digging into it much, if at all, as I can't imagine it's too good for their feet.

    So, how deep should I bury it? If it's covered with 4-5 inches of sand and gravel, is that enough? Or should I put it under the dirt a few inches before adding the sand and gravel (so it would be down 8 inches)?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Jaxon4141

    Jaxon4141 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It would cost you less to lay your fencing around the outside of your run on the ground coming out a foot or more.. Most thing that dig will dig where the run fence meets the ground. If there is fencing under their feet when they dig that is usually the end of there digging. That way you do not have to worry about your chickens digging into wire. If you have grass around your run you can just pin the wire to the ground and wait for the grass to grow up through it and it will not be seen.
     
  3. nh104

    nh104 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2012
    New Haven, CT
    are you worried about rats or just critters in general?
     
  4. PDXcluck

    PDXcluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    I am thinking specifically about rats in this case, but I am also trying to exclude everything else...except I assume the mice will slip right through 1/2" hardware cloth without much issue. I figured that since rats are able and often willing to dig down 3 ft. to get around an obstacle, having the hardware cloth covering the bottom of the run would assure that they couldn't get in that way. It also seemed like it would keep everything else out. Although it doesn't stop them from trying.

    I am putting pea gravel around the outside and am considering putting an 18 inch apron of hardware cloth in lieu of burying or lining the bottom of the run. That may be sufficient to stop anything from even trying to burrow in.

    Still can't decide which to do. It is 15 feet of 36" HC to do an 18" apron and about 20 feet to line the bottom, I have plenty so that isn't an issue. It is also a lot less cutting to line the bottom!

    I am open to suggestions...

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  5. dolrose33

    dolrose33 New Egg

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    Mar 30, 2012
    I am new to chickening. I, live in th country with coons, weisles, squirrels, snakes and bears. I am in the process of digging around the coop with the plan of burying metal cloth. I thought I would dig as deep as possible (many tree roots), then put the metal cloth down doubled and fasten it there with large metal spikes about enery 3-4inches. I'm thinking that MIGHT stop them, hopefully!! I am also going to use some motion detecting lights and electric fencing. If that doesn't work, its my best shot. I will let you klnow.
     

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