Coop Building Question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by scubastasia, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. scubastasia

    scubastasia Just Hatched

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    Feb 28, 2017
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    Hi Friends,

    I have some questions about building my coop. We are using part of an old barn and fencing around the side as the run. The run will be 35 x 35 so hardware cloth around all of the run will get costly. My question is, do I need to bury hardware cloth around the outside of the run or only around the outside of the coop?
     
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What predators do you have?
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    In Fort Worth I’d expect you to have pretty much all of the normal digging, climbing, jumping, and flying predators. A 35’ x 35’ run is going to be really difficult and possible quite expensive to cover, depending on what you use and how you do it.

    Anything you do will provide some protection. The greater the level of protection the more you’ll probably have to spend. As much as it gets maligned on here, even chicken wire gives you some protection. Maybe not a lot, but some. As much as people love hardware cloth, there are posts and photos where big animals, usually big dogs, have torn through hardware cloth. Foxes, raccoons, and many other critters can climb a fence really well.

    While practically any predator can show up at any time of day or night your risk is generally a lot higher at night. A method I’ve used is a predator resistant run during the day while locking them in a pretty predator proof coop at night. For my 12’ x 32’ main run I used 2” x 4” welded wire on the sides with chicken wire down low, on the bottom 18” or so. About 2/3 of that is covered but the rest is open on top. I used 2x4 wire and hardware cloth for an apron around it, whatever scraps I had left over. I also have an area maybe 45’ x 60’ enclosed in 48” high electric netting. No top and no apron. It’s worked pretty well for me.

    Will 2x4 wire stop everything possible? Absolutely not. Snakes, weasels, and rats can easily get through. A bear can get through anything. But 2x4 wire will stop practically anything from tearing it apart if it is attached properly. A fox or raccoon can still climb over it. And a lot of things can dig under it, an apron is a good idea. It’s surprising how little room some critters need to just squeeze under a fence without digging if you ground is the least bit uneven.

    Electricity will stop about anything on four legs if it is installed correctly. There are different ways to go about that and if the power is out you are somewhat vulnerable but it is very effective. Once something is bitten by electricity once or twice they generally stay away, so there is deterrence even without power, but there are new critters being born all the time, dogs are being abandoned all the time. Nothing is foolproof.

    If it were me I’d probably build a fence using 2x4 welded wire and use electricity to stop climbing and digging predators if electricity is available. But there are other ways.
     
  4. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls BYC Fan Premium Member Project Manager

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    My Coop
    You could dig a trench around the run...pour a few bags of cheap cement in...?
     
  5. scubastasia

    scubastasia Just Hatched

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    Feb 28, 2017
    Fort Worth, TX
    Ridgerunner, you're right practically all predators are around. I've seen hawks, owls, skunks, opossums, armadillo (are those a chicken predator?), and coyote. I'm making the run so large since they will not free range due to hawks and I'm encompassing a large tree for shade. I will take pics and attach to this thread soon.

    Kikisgirls, the trench idea sounds viable, I'll do some research to see if anyone has done this effectively.

    I plan to make the run with welded wire and was looking at bird netting to go from the top of the run to the tree. We have 5 acres and I've had a hard time finding a spot that has access to electric and water with shade, this is the best spot I could come up with and using the existing barn is saving a lot on the supply side. I have 27 girls (I think they're all girls, that's another thread for this evening). I've considered putting our hunting beagle in the coop at night she bays at EVERYTHING that moves, not sure if she would be a deterrent but if you've ever heard a beagle bay it's not the prettiest sound.

    Will attach pictures shortly.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Armadillo are not chicken predators. Their danger comes from the holes they dig, you can turn an ankle.
     
  7. scubastasia

    scubastasia Just Hatched

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    Feb 28, 2017
    Fort Worth, TX
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls BYC Fan Premium Member Project Manager

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This coop is only two years old...I have welded wire around the whole thing...the DH put this "other" wire stuff around it...(not sure what its called)
    See how we dug a "trench" then poured the concrete in it around the edges?
    So far nothing has got in.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. scubastasia

    scubastasia Just Hatched

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    Feb 28, 2017
    Fort Worth, TX
    Looks great! Nice coop! How deep is the trench?
     
  10. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls BYC Fan Premium Member Project Manager

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    We just dug..I didn't measure anything....if I had to guess I'd say 10 inches?
     

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