Burying Coop Apron...Am I Doing This Right?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DonnaFreak, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. DonnaFreak

    DonnaFreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2016
    Central Kentucky
    Howdy y'all. [​IMG]

    I'm in the process of digging the trench around my coop so I can bury a hardware cloth apron around it. I bought a trench shovel at Lowe's to dig it with, which is about 4 1/2" wide. I'm digging down about 12" so I can staple my 24" hardware cloth to the tops and sides of the boards at the base of the coop, lay it flat on the ground for the 6" or so between the coop and the trench, then bend it down the side of the trench, and curve the remaining 6" or so out so it lays at the botom of the trench curving outward. Once it's in place, I plan to replace the dirt and sod, cover it with pea gravel, then I plan to build wooden planters that are 12" wide and 12" deep to be screwed onto the base of the coop and to cover where the trench is. I'm attaching a pic of the trench I've started with my foot beside it for comparison. Am I doing this right?


    Also, Im including a picture of my back yard. In the picture, I was standing in the front corner of the yard when I took the picture, and looking across the the yard diagonally to the far back corner. As you can see, other than the large maple tree in the back corner, there isn't anything in the yard to give protection from hawks or owls. I will have a vegetable garden on one side (the spot where I'll have it is hidden by the coop) where I will definitely have some squash plants the chickens can hide under. But what are some other things that I can plant that aren't toxic, will grow fast, and will provide some protection for them to hide under? I'm in Central KY in either zone 6 or 7, depending on which chart you look at.


    For what it's worth, I got an LGD puppy yesterday and have already signed her up for not only puppy training classes, but also two adult classes as well as classes on training a working dog! Her name is Sadie, after my grandmother! Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions! I greatly appreciate it! [​IMG]


    1 person likes this.
  2. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2017
    The trench should work great, And your dog is adorable.
  3. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2015
    Desert Hills, AZ
    Yep, that'll work. I've done both sinking hardware cloth into the ground vertically and also laid a skirt down on top of the soil out to 24". Either way will work fine.
  4. Calichicken2015

    Calichicken2015 Chillin' With My Peeps

    For the skirt how did you anchor it down what did you cover it with? We have all rocky soil so unfortunately digging down far enough to bury isn't an option. We can't get grass to grow naturally so we have to work with just soil unfortunately. Thanks!
  5. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2015
    Desert Hills, AZ
    I have the exact same soil and terrain here where I'm at. I used those galvanized 10" spike nails you can get at Homeless Depot (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Grip-Rite-3-8-in-x-10-in-Galvanized-Spike-Nails-10HGSPKE/100187580). Just pound them though the hardware cloth and into the ground. You could also use washers on them but I didn't and the nail head alone was plenty to hold everything down. After nailing in place we covered the screen with gravel and dirt from around the yard. You really don't have to cover it with anything but aesthetically it looks better.
  6. snow5164

    snow5164 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2015
    We laid the skirt on the ground for two feet from the run , covered it with dirt and the grass grew in and covered it. The thought is an animal won't start digging two feet away from the fence , they'll start right by what they want . Just have to make sure to pin it down with cut up metal coat hangers so it doesn't catch in the lawn mower[​IMG]
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I think you purchased a post hole digger. They are awesome! I use one every year for deep small holes to put a post or 2x4 in. Then attach netting for garden fence or what have you...Post hole diggers are excellent. Not what i'd use to dig a trench though. Dig aprons are best done as said above. laid flat out. In this way any animal digs at fence line. Hits welded wire and moves over. The most determined animal will dig up one foot from fence all the way around. Go deep and your hedging how determined the animal is...is it one foot determined or two? They are not smart enough to step back and dig. So your flat apron is depedent on how big the animal is making a hole....not many are bigger than 18" and that is my apron width. Under sod flat out from run wall.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Better off just laying it on top of the ground, 18-24" out from run wall.
    Cut grass real short first, lay it out, pin it down with landscape staples, then let grass grow up thru it.
  9. sheetmetaltom

    sheetmetaltom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2013
    looks like it should work, im to lazy to dig, i rolled wire out on the ground and built my run and coop on top of it, so no digging. plus its outside each about 8" so even if they start tunneling further out they come up against 1" square galvinized wire wherever they surface.
  10. Calichicken2015

    Calichicken2015 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you!!!! Just want to make sure I get it right [​IMG]

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