Digging up the foundation! Make them stop!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by superchemicalgirl, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

    Jan 10, 2010
    Vacationland, Maine
    We built the chickens a nice coop and a nice addition to their coop (in my opinion) but they're actively working to destroy it. It was built on dirt. The chickens absolutely love to dig up the foundation blocks of the coop. They love one foundation block so much the coop is starting to list to one side (sorry it's dark out so early here, look at the white top trim you can see the left side listing):


    And here's what they're doing to the foundation:




    We've tried filling the holes back in with dirt. Seems like that is a great excuse for a chicken to dig it up even more... FRESH DIRT! Then we tried putting a 50 lb bag of landscape "erosion control" rocks down next to the worst foundation block after adding dirt thinking that would help. Except... somehow the rocks have disappeared and the digging has continued. It didn't take long, maybe a few days? And these were pretty big stones. They flung them all over the place (as an aside: I can't WAIT to snow blow the run for the first time this season with all the extra small rocks to fling! Thanks, girls!).

    The girls also have a covered turtle sandbox with all kinds of fantastic dust bathing goodies in it and they love it. Except they continue to dig and dust bathe under the coop.

    So... what do you guys do? What works? The permanent solution I can think of is to concrete around the foundation blocks, but I really don't want to do that.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. ll

    ll Chillin' With My Peeps

    hmm you could attach a 2-3ft wide apron of hardware cloth all around the base and then put rocks/mulch/dirt over it to hide the majority.
    It will also keep rodents and etc from going/living under your coop.
  3. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Quote:Ditto here. Mine had dug a hole and used it to get out. I put hardware cloth all the way around my coop and that put an end to it.

    I wish you the best,

  4. johnsons-r-us

    johnsons-r-us Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2011
    Eudora, Kansas
    We put chicken wire along the bottom of ours and they have never bothered it. I didn't want them going under it or anything else getting under it. Seems to work so far.
  5. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

    Jan 10, 2010
    Vacationland, Maine
    Good ideas but I do want them to be able to go under the coop. It keeps them covered in inclement weather and we have a lot of raptors up here (you might have noticed the fishing line in the first picture glowing) so I'd like them to be able to go under the coop when there's a raptor up above.
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Had you used a posthole digger and dug a circular pier footing, even down 24", filled with quick crete, they would not like have been able to disturb anything that deep. Your coop is just "floating" on the surface, which is fine. Lots of folks use skids and don't use footings, but this is sometimes the result I'm afraid. A couple guys with tractors at both ends could pick that up and relocate it a few yards to prepped "foundation". Just an idea. Be somewhat careful. Wouldn't want to be under it if it decided to slip or shift.
  7. mrkep

    mrkep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2010
    Richwood , Ohio
    My group did the same thing around one corner of their coop, so I made the hole the size of a 60# bag of concrete, layed the bag in the hole (paper and all) and watered the bag. 24hrs later, it had turned into a 60# rock.Now they have gone to digging all around the perimiter of the run. When I let them out each morning, I kick the sand back into the holes, then they spend the day digging it back out. Gives us all something to do.
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    A strip of chicken wire on the ground at the base of buildings, etc., will keep this from happening. You can pin it down with pieces of hangers cut and bent to fit the purpose.
  9. lucky123

    lucky123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2009
    Yes, just lay some rabbit wire, or any small square wire on the ground around the post and cover with dirt.
  10. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    I think you could put down a wide board with a car jack on it and jack your building up, repair the damage done by the birds, and then lower it back down. Perhaps just put a piece of wire fencing underneath the re-leveled block that sticks out several inches all of the way around so they can't dig right up against the block.

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