Critique my run idea

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jc12551, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. jc12551

    jc12551 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Predators in the area: dogs, coyotes, racoons, possums, armadillos, snakes, weasels, hawks, owls, bobcats....probably more that I haven't thought of.

    We will be using 2 x 4 welded wire, 6 feet tall and wooden stakes. One foot of the wire buried, turned outward. Hardware cloth up part of the sides and wadded chicken wire along the bottom. Two strands of electric fence-one close to the ground and the other a foot off the ground. The run will probably be 80 feet down each side and 20 feet wide. I was just going to put deer netting across the top since the chickens will be locked up at night. Hubby wants to put barbed wire in the trench and a strand of barbed wire along the top, but I am not sure what that would accomplish?

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    How high will the hardware cloth be? I did my whole pen with hardware cloth or 1/2 plywood, sealed. (Including the roof, partial metal roof)

    My pen is 1/4 the size of yours (roughly).

    I'd put barbed wire or hot wire at the intercession of the welded wire (which is large enough to have bird's heads stick out) and the hardware cloth met. To keep the critters with arms from reaching in.

    What are you going to do about snakes and rodents?
     
  3. jc12551

    jc12551 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think the hardware cloth will come up about three of the five feet that will be above ground. The crumpled chicken wire generally catches snakes. I am still working on coop improvements. I might just encircle the coop with the run.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Just burying a foot of wire, especially if it is also turned out, is not going to be really safe against dogs or coyotes or foxes. I'd really suggest something a lot more hardcore, like a 3+' wide apron (of hardwarecloth if you wish, but wider mesh in heavier-gauge wire will work just as well and be cheaper) NOT buried (or just with some rubble or mulch or dirt thrown on it) but with the very edge turned down slightly or pegged down well. It will be more digproof, also (conveniently!) easier to install.

    Make sure to test the hotwires regularly so you can detect and fix problems promptly, especially with your lowest wire. You might want to add a hotwire higher up the fence to deter climbers.

    The rest of it sounds good to me.

    I'm with you, I don't see a huge benefit to the barbwire. It would provide a bit extra digging deterrent if you only buried a foot of fencing but IMO the apron is so much better that barbwire would not add anything to THAT. You could put it along the top if you want but with that hieght fence *and* hotwire I think the extra value would be near-zero. OTOH if he is volunteering to put it up himself, it's not like it's going to do major *harm* as long as there are no domestic animals likely to come in contact with it.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. jc12551

    jc12551 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure how NOT burying the bottom foot of wire would make it more secure? In my experience the dogs dig under the wire if it is only pegged to the ground. I had a chicken dig out from the run two years ago when it was like that (we called her Houdini!) My fiest can dig under a fence in less than a minute. If the wire is flared out (not up) from the bottom and buried then as the dogs dig they encounter the wire, right?
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  6. rachelbarnes4

    rachelbarnes4 New Egg

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    Sounds pretty secure to me. We have all those varmits too. I don't have any netting or barbed wire on the top and have never had a problem, but mine are locked up at night as well. Hardware cloth is good but you definitely need some metal shears-- they saved my sanity.
     
  7. jc12551

    jc12551 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Our last coop was 100% hardware cloth and that stuff is hard to work with!
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:I am suggesting an apron, or whatever you want to call it. It is like a surface or barely-subsurface, WIDER, version of what you're describing.

    You put a length of 3-4' wide heavy gauge wire mesh on the ground outside the run fence. Attach it securely to the base of the run fence. Then weight/peg it down so it does not flap. You can cover it or not, as you wish. Dogs (coyotes, foxes, etc) will try to do their digging at the base of the fence, and be stopped by the mesh apron. Because they are in fact standing on it, they cannot get through or around it. It is exceptionally rare for an animal to be smart (or more probably lucky) enough to hit on the idea of backing up 4' and starting to dig *there* -- you or I would do it, but wild canids just don't. You do have to make sure the edge is not conspicuously flapping up but otherwise this works really well to digproof.

    The problem with burying the base of the fence 12" is that most digging critters will fairly easily dig deeper than that. You'd need to go at least 18" and if you have a lot of coyotes and stuff around, deeper would really be better, and that is a phenomenal amount of work unless you have access to a ditchwitch/trencher, and even if you DO, it is going to be next to impossible to monitor the condition of the underground wire and replace if needed. Yes, even heavy galvanized wire DOES rust underground (rate depends greatly on your location, also on quality of galvanization and gauge of wire)

    Pat
     
  9. jc12551

    jc12551 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok so I am thinking the same thing you are thinking, just buried deeper. So there is no reason to bury it? hmmm that would save a lot of work. Thanks for re-explaining it to me!

    Edited to add-hubby says yes, he likes this idea better!
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes, no real need to bury it, or at least not very deep. If you have sod or grass growing, just take up a little grass at the outside edge of the apron wire and cover the edge of the apron with that. That will hide the edge and hold it down where the lawn mower or weed eater doesn't get hung up on it. The grass will grow up through the rest of the wire and pretty much hide it and hold it down.

    I can't imagine barbed wire stopping any predator, unless you install a roll of concertina wire on top to stop climbing animals. Even then, I would not bet on concertina wire really stopping anything not human.

    Not sure how you are constructing your fence, but I find that if chickens have something to land on, they might fly up to perch, then just fly or hop down on the outside of the run. They can never figure out how to get back in. I don't think you need to worry about them landing on the welded wire, but think about your posts and maybe your gate.

    I initially made my 12' x 32' run fencing 5 feet high. I found that when trying to get away from the rooster, some pullets would fly/crawl/climb up the fence and get out. I had a roof over most of it and just closed the gap between the roof and the fence top. But on the open part, I took some 2"x4" welded wire and attached it to the top of the fence and again about a foot lower, which left about 2 feet free standing, sticking up. That stopped them from getting out, plus anything that tries to climb up and in will get to that free standing bit and their weight will bend the wire back. It should keep them from being able to climb in there. I don't consider that makes it predator proof, just a little more predator resistant.

    If you cover it with deer netting, that should keep them in. I'll just mention this because you may find if the deer netting starts out five feet high and sags some, you may want to raise it a little after you have tried walking around in there.

    Good luck!
     

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