So I am drawing up plans for our new chickies' house and run, and trying desperately to find something cost-effective to use as the fencing around/on top of the run. I found a fencing supply place somewhat close that sells 6 ft. chain link for $1.25 per lineal foot--seems the perfect way to go after checking out pricing on woven wire mesh and hardware cloth--yikes! I want the run to be 6 ft high, and being 12 feet long and 6 ft wide, the other options, in the lengths they have to be bought in, are just getting too expensive. I figured the chain link will be STRONG, and is the best cost... But I am worried about rats getting in, or something reaching through... If I were to put up hot-wire at say, 4 and 8 inches high, would this be a sufficient means of protection? I have never had to deal with possum, raccoons, etc., so I don't know what other measures I should be taking... And I haven't seen rats around our new place, nor any sign of them (nasty messy nests, droppings, etc in the barn or near the house). But I'm sure they are out there, and will eventually make an appearance when we start feeding the horses grain, and the chicken feed is out. And when they do... Will they pose a problem to our chickens? We do have a silkie, and a bantam amerecauna, and then 3 brahmas. I am worried about the two "minis", and the rats. Are rats generally a problem as an aggressive predator? Or do they just go after the feed? Should I be concerned? Also, I am wondering if anyone uses chain link, and has it attached to wood posts rather than the metal ones it is usually used with? I will have the posts at all 4 corners, with 2x6's along the top and bottom, and some placed vertically between for extra support. Hhmm... I assume the chain link can be buried as well, I hope so! I plan on COMPLETELY enclosing it, including underground. I want my chickies to be SAFE! Any suggestions or advice is appreciated! Thanks!