chickens tunneling out - suggestions?


9 Years
Jun 9, 2010
Well, they don't realize that they are tunneling out, but they'be been scratching the dirt under the inside edges of their run. I had built the run with buried 2x6 boards around the perimeter of the run and fixed the chicken wire to the boards. Over time the chickens have scratched quite large cavities out under the inside edges of the boards. If a predator was to dig down on the outside of the run, they'd easily make a hole and probably get in.

I've got to take care of this fairly quickly and have been thinking about adding extra wire, or boarding up below the boards, or even forming up the inside and pouring concrete in from the outside into the cavities.

Anyone else have a similar issue and experiences/suggestions/bright ideas they can share?


9 Years
Mar 1, 2010
Plainfield, CT
My girls have only been in their big girl coop for just about 2 and a half weeks, and mine are doing the same thing. From what I can see, I think I may have to dig down further along the edges and bury more of the hardware cloth, and fill back in on the inside where they are digging....probably dig the hole a little deeper and use some large flat rocks first, then fill in over them.....that should keep them from digging themselves out I'd say....good luck to ya


9 Years
Feb 25, 2010
Bridgeport, WV
If you plan to keep your coop and run in the same location of where they are digging/scratching you might want to consider adding wire under the run. When I built my run, I made sure to dig at least a one foot deep trench below the ground line and buried wire below and covered with dirt. This will hopefully deter any predators digging under my run, especially when they hit the wire. If they stop digging due to my wire, I can at least see the area and fix it before they try to dig again in the area and ultimately, my birds will be safe due to my extra precautions.


12 Years
May 8, 2007
I would fill in the holes around the perimeter and put a wire apron around the inside. I'd also make a dust bath area for them in the center of the run, just to get them started. Rake any poop away and dump some sand in there. They can spend their time messing around and scratching in there. Hopefully, they'll start dust bathing in the center of the run.


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
IME the simplest thing is to just take something big and flat and heavy -- pavers, bricks, decent-sized rocks, flat pieces of concrete rubble, whatever you happen to have -- and lay them on the ground inside the run right next to the fence. That forces the birds to dig their dusting holes further from the fence, so they don't accidentally end up "under" it. Works for me anyhow, and MUCH simpler than laying down wire.

Good luck, have fun,


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