coyote proofing dog run around coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sandykopandy, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. sandykopandy

    sandykopandy Out Of The Brooder

    May 22, 2011
    Hi All~
    I lost my three sweet hens about a month and a half ago to a coyote that tore through the wire on the coop. We are in the city and there have never been reports of coyotes in this neighborhood but now things have changed. Our house backs up to a wooded area (yes, in the city) and because I have nearly an acre, I can't afford to fence the perimeter of the property. I obtained a much more sturdy coop. I also have put a chain link dog run around the coop and added chain link to the top. I have three chicks who should be fully feathered in about three more weeks and ready to go outside. Now I'm understanding that a coyote can dig underneath the dog run and I cannot take this kind of risk again. I've read all different things about predator proofing fencing and I'm trying to decide what to do. I have a few questions I would really appreciate help with. I don't have a lot of money so I'm trying to get the most bang for my buck for $100, but willing to spend a little more if necessary. Here are the options I'm considering along with my reservations. Feedback please!

    1) I've read about electric fencing. How does that work if you have your own animals who are in the yard? One of my dogs is super afraid of everything and visually impaired and I worry that he would have a heart attack. I'm not leaning toward doing this but am open to it.

    2) Digging a trench and sinking the dog run into a foot of concrete. First of all, how wide does the trench need to be? Second, Since the run is only 6' tall, this would mean that it would be only 5' tall and difficult to stand in with the chain link roof. Is there any way around this? Could we sink it in less than a foot? In some ways this seems like the best option, but the permanence of it bothers me. If I want a different coop, it would be nearly impossible to ever get it out of the dog run.

    3) Apron of chicken wire underneath. Can someone please tell me exactly how you do this? I can't seem to find it in the detail that I need. What tools do I need and how much man/woman power? This seems like a viable option other than the labor involved.

    Sorry if these questions seem obvious. I have searched and can't seem to find what I need, so I much appreciate your collective wisdom!

    Mama to three new chickie girls: BR, PR and Ameracauna (named respectively Wanda, Eve and Mabel)
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    The apron would need to be hardware cloth, not chicken wire. Anything out there can break through chicken wire. You dig a trench a foot wide and 8 inches to a foot deep. Attach the hardware cloth to the fencing and curve the wire outward from the fence. Put the dirt back on top of the wire.

    Some people use logs or railroad ties around the base of the fencing. I personally don't like all the chemicals in the railroad ties and we live in termite heaven - any wood on the ground for 2 days attracts termites here.

    I don't know if you're planning on covering your run, but keep in mind some predators can climb. Raccoons, foxes, bobcats, etc can climb. Our runs are too large to cover, so we've had to make other plans to prevent losses.
  3. yellowirenut

    yellowirenut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 27, 2011
    New haven, IN
    Quote:this is the option i went with. I also have a dog kennel as my run.

    Get yourself some good hardware cloth 1/2 X 1/2 squares. Like mentioned above NOT chicken wire. I then dug a trench down about 10" and about 6" wide along the outside of the fence line. Doing one section at a time. Depending how rough your hands are you may want gloves when you place the cloth into the trench. curve the bottom outwards and attached the portion that sticks out to the fence using cable straps or what ever you want to call them.
    I will go out and take some pics now.

    A look from inside the run..the hardware cloth goes down and curves out under the dirt. The areas you do not see the protection to the right has a block walk way and the rear of the run has a property line fence with dig protection from the previous owners of the house (Pomeranian loved to run away)


    The tarp is there for winter only. That side is the prevailing wind side

    I had a great chicken escape wile taking the pic....sneaky bird.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    You don't need to do any digging to install an apron.
    It's just unnecessary work since wire on top of the ground serves the same purpose just as well.
    Cover it with just enough dirt so grass can grow up through it and you can mow over it
    Any good welded wire will work. It doesn't have to be hardware cloth to stop large animals.

    Electric fencing is better for stopping climbers, or animals that can tear through fencing
  5. sandykopandy

    sandykopandy Out Of The Brooder

    May 22, 2011
    Interesting! I was thinking that it was to prevent tugging the edge and loosening. Why do people think it should be buried?
  6. yellowirenut

    yellowirenut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 27, 2011
    New haven, IN
    For me its cosmetic.

    There are coyotes in my area also...the apron would have to be a foot or more beyond the run to fully deter a digging animal.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  7. RareBreedFancier

    RareBreedFancier Surrounded by Broodies

    Nov 5, 2010
    Australia :)
    Please don't even think about electric fencing with a visually impaired animal around. I have a partly blind goat and have had to make modifications to the paddock fence so he doesn't walk into the hot wires. It was awful when I first got him as I didn't know he just couldn't see the fence. [​IMG]

    I would go with the apron of mesh. Firmly attach to the fence as others have said and just let it lie on the ground. Peg down the outer edges so it can't be lifted and you can put a fine layer of dirt over and sprinkle grass seed to make it disappear. Or do what I did and just peg it down and wait for the grass to grow through it's self. My apron is 1' 6" wide as I cut 3' wide mesh in half. Never had a problem and I have had something (dog or fox) try to dig through a couple of times.

    Added benefit of having it on top of the ground is you can lift it up and move the run if desired. [​IMG]
  8. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    When I get around to adding a run to our coop, mostly for rainy days so they can stay dry and still be outside-they free range all day. I am going to use an apron and dig under, build planters on two sides out of old redwood we already have, the wire will run under the boxes as well. AND add a path way of 12x12 pavers around the edges to walk on. I figure that is a long ways for either my dog or raccoon to try and dig under, plus I have a place for gourds to grow all summer and keep our feet clean walking around the coop.
  9. sandykopandy

    sandykopandy Out Of The Brooder

    May 22, 2011
    Great advice, everyone! Three questions:

    1) When you say to peg down the edges of the hardware cloth, what do you use? Those big long nail looking things- sort of like stakes?
    2 I can't conceptualize how to do the corners. I'm imagining that if each piece is placed along each side, then that leaves four wedges that could potentially be dug under (each corner). How do you address that?
    3) Really truly how far up should it be on the inside and how far out from the fence perimeter should it feed? What would be ideal? In other words, what width of hardware cloth would be ideal? I would love to go to Home Depot soon so that perhaps I could get it started tomorrow!

    TIA again!
  10. ll

    ll Chillin' With My Peeps

    my apron/skirt of hardware cloth is 2ft all the way around the coop and run.
    The front is covered with brick for a walkway.
    The side is covered with dirt & mulch.
    The back has rocks on it.
    The corners can overlap or just meet.
    Good luck!

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