Dig Prevention Techniques

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Steve B, May 16, 2009.

  1. Steve B

    Steve B Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2009
    I've read as much as I could on the forum about this, but I wasn't able to find a specific answer on hardware cloth versus chicken wire.

    My 6 hens are well protected above the ground. I have welded wire for the the first 3 feet high - then I switch to chain link all the way up to the top (10 feet High). There is a solid wood roof (this is all underneath the deck of our house down by the walk-out basement door). So, the only reasonable entry remaining for a predator is to dig. I have a bunch of chicken wire left over from another project - can I just use sod staples and put this on top of the grass around the perimeter of the run? Or, is it a must to use hardware cloth?

    We have this right up close to the house and I have two male dogs that are outside during the day, but inside at night. I don't think we get much wildlife this close to the house anymore because of the dogs. My only reason to believe this is that we haven't had anything get in our trash in several years (and it used to be a common thing).

    Any advice?
  2. Chickenfortress

    Chickenfortress Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2008
    chicken wire won't last any amount of time on the ground. Whats more most things trying to get through won't be slowed down much by it. Go with the heavier material. Better yet use concrete, as in pavers. I use broken glass filled trenches at the base of the run covered with pavers.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I've seen what my dogs can do to chicken wire when I tried to protect some plants from them. It did not work. I'd expect it to rust out pretty quickly also.

    Welded wire will work and should be less expensive than hardware cloth. You can always try Craigslist.

    Good luck!
  4. aidenbaby

    aidenbaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    Chicken wire is built to keep chickens in, not predators out. Don't underestimate predators because you haven't had anything go wrong in the past. Think of them as ever expanding. If a racoon has a litter of kits, it will, in time, need more territory. One may just happen to cross you backyard without disturbing your dogs and notice that you have chickens. They are easy prey for just about any predator out there. Once they realize that you are "offering" chicken dinners, they will come.

    I would use something like welded wire or hardware cloth in the ground and use the chicken wire as back up to keep your chickens heads inside the run and coons arms/legs out.
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I have an "apron" of welded wire around the exterior perimeter of my chicken yard about 12 inches wide and stapled to the ground with tent pegs. I have never had anything attempt to dig into the chicken yard. That being said, I also have several other mechanisms in place to deter predators, and the chickens are secured inside a locked house at night without access to the yard. Chicken wire is so thin and pliable that it will not withstand the elements or a concentrated assault for very long, but it might tide you over until you can upgrade to a tougher welded wire/hardware cloth.
    Last edited: May 16, 2009
  6. detali

    detali Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2009
    I have a welded wire fence around my chicken yard, three feet high. On top of that I have three feet of chicken wire which I wired to the welded wire. The top is closed in with bird netting. This is coyote country. My chickens don't stay out in the yard at night. The floor of their coop has a heavy wire floor, topped with old boards, then 3 inches of dirt to cover it all. No critter would be able to dig through that mass

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