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Digging underground for predator protection

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Smorz, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. Smorz

    Smorz Chirping

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    Mar 12, 2014
    So, if I were to build a run like this.... what about digging the wire underground? What would you do?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    Well, I might just attach the hardwire cloth to the bottom of the structure, and lay it out on the lawn much like an apron eighteen inches or so wide. The wire will work down into the lawn and you can mow over it and etc. Varmints can not dig through it, so to me, it works better than digging a hole and filling it with wire, as is often done.

    Either way should work, the apron method is easier on the back and much quicker to get in place. I will weight the ends or drive over it with the mower to 'get' it down. In time you may not even know it is there.

    Best to you and your birds,

    RJ
     
  3. Smorz

    Smorz Chirping

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    Mar 12, 2014
    I can tell you this, my husband would like the idea of the apron. :) Thanks. That's a good idea.
     
  4. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    Yes, I don't know why more people don't do this. Everyone is so 'fixated' on digging a hole, like it is some right of passage… been there, done that. But nothing magical occurred at the end of the project. If you choose the apron style remember to run the 'top or bottom, or long side/shortside' of the wire out to extend the coverage to the corners. You won't have to stock up on Advil now.

    RJ
     
  5. David1998

    David1998 Chirping

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    For a small coop, what does everyone think about completely covering the bottom of the coop and run with hardware cloth, then covering that with 3-5 inches of dirt/sand? Then you wouldn't need 1+ft open space around your coop. You could put your coop right against a fence, building, ...
     
  6. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    I suppose that would work, small coops sometimes have owners that like to move them, but it would be the same in keeping varmints out. I suppose we are talking one half in hardware cloth… chicken wire is not so good.

    RJ
     
  7. EmeraldRuby

    EmeraldRuby Chirping

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    For our coop we did not put anything on the bottom. Our chickens are still alive and have been in the coop for about 2 months now. But my neighbors but chicken wire on the bottom of their because last time they had chickens they had a coop with nothing on the bottom and a fox killed some of their chickens.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  8. BriarwoodsFarm

    BriarwoodsFarm In the Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2014
    I've got to build a run attached to a coop we bought from a neighbor. He had the whole coop enclosed in a dog run type thing until snow collapsed the "roof" of the run. I was thinking of putting wire "floor" in the run since my uncle said something would dig under but we want to make the run the width of the coop (5ft). Does the "apron" idea (18 inches laid on the ground outside the enclosure) really work? My DH would love not to dig down - we've got very little fill on top of ledge in our yard.

    Also, I have both 4x50 roll of 2x4 coated wire, and 3x50 roll of galvanized "chicken wire" - are either of these good to use? I was going to use the 2x4 wire around the sides of the run and the (1 inch?) chicken wire underneath the coop, as the floor (or apron I guess) of the run and also on top. We'll make a peaked roof on the run so hopefully it doesn't collapse in snow, and also give another foot of height in the middle to stand.
     
  9. David1998

    David1998 Chirping

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    Houston, Texas
    Hardware cloth (1/2 inch) is recommended all over BYC. You may never have problems with the 2x4 wire or the "chicken wire", but many people have. Here's one example https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/911281/mink-raccoon
     
  10. ktn65

    ktn65 In the Brooder

    First, [​IMG] Briarwoodsfarm!

    Chicken wire is really only good at keeping chickens in/out. I think the 2x4 wire (which I have a lot of here - but not used with my chickens) would let too many smaller predators in. But here is something to think about, I have a small cage made of 1/2 inch 19 gauge wire mesh that something chewed a nice 3" diameter hole through to get the salt lick that was inside. Not sure what it was, but this is making me rethink what I'm going to be using on my new run I am currently working on.
     

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