Chicken wire roof?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Coop de Grille, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Coop de Grille

    Coop de Grille Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 10x16 coop with a 12x16 outdoor run that is fully enclosed with hardware cloth. I am adding a second run on the other side that is 25x10. I have a six foot high chain link dog run that I am building a wood frame over to enclose. Can I enclose the roof with chicken wire and use the hardware cloth skirted around the bottom two feet of the chain link? I'm trying to keep the costs down since I am recently unemployed but I don't want to chance a predator getting my chickens.

    My main predators are dogs. We back up to woods and every one has at least 3 or 4 dogs that all run loose. My own dogs do a pretty good job of keeping strays off my property and I have not seen anything else come near my run. Will predators climb the fence and try to rip the chicken wire off the roof?
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I can't answer if they actually will or not. Many of us have open top runs and don't have problems with predators getting in. How you manage them makes a difference.

    Some predators can climb to the top and could rip the chicken wire, raccoons especially but there are others. Foxes can climb. Coyotes and some dogs can jump up there if they want to bad enough, though six feet is getting up there. I'd be pretty confident in that. You might have some members of the weasel family that live in your area. I don't know where you are or what predators you could have in your area. Big cats maybe. Wolverines? Badgers? Bears?

    How you manage them makes a difference to your risks. Most predators can come out during the daytime, but most are most active at night. I built a predator-proof coop and a predator-resistent run. My run will stop dogs, coyotes, and most other predators, but it is possible something could climb in. I securely lock my chickens in the coop at night and have not had problems during the day when they are locked in the run. I normally free range and have had problems with people dropping off dogs in the country, but the coop and run have worked when I used them.

    Is what you are proposing predator-proof? No, not entirely. It sounds pretty predator-resistent. You could make it even more resistent by using something stronger on top, such as 2" x 4" welded wire instead of the chicken wire. That will stop about anything, though snakes and some members of the weasel family can still get in. But if you lock them securely in the coop at night, they are even safer.
     
  3. joan1708

    joan1708 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Certainly won't keep the rats and mice out. Are you planning on securing the feed at night?
     
  4. Coop de Grille

    Coop de Grille Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My coop is still a work in progress lol.. The right side is fully enclosed with hardware cloth. The chicken door from the coop to the run is open, there is no actual door on it. My chickens come and go as they please, and they sleep inside at night.

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    There is a chicken wire wall that divides the coop into two sections. That wall has a 2x3 chicken door that I will open up once my 6 week old chicks are big enough to be with my 3 1/2 month old Buffs. Right now the left side has no outdoor side access.

    [​IMG]

    This is the 25x10 chain link dog pen. I have two more panels and can probably bring it out to enclose the front of the coop. There are trees in the way of extending it any other way. This is the area that I am going to close in with a wood frame and wire top. I will bring the hardware cloth skirting all the way around on all sides. The cost of covering a pen that size with hardware cloth is a LOT more than doing it with chicken wire. I want to put a shade cloth on the left side roof since that side gets the full sun in the afternoon. I don't really have to worry about snow since I am in South Carolina.

    [​IMG]

    My dogs will be moving to the pen on the left which is off camera.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  5. joan1708

    joan1708 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nice building!
     
  6. Coop de Grille

    Coop de Grille Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think the hardware cloth on the bottom will keep rats and snakes at bay. My worries are with the roof if I use chicken wire. I just don't have it in the budget to use hardware cloth like I want to. Do I chance it or do I not open the coop to the outside on the left? I will have 42 chickens with just the right side open for them to go outside. That seems awful cramped.
     

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