Do I need chicken wire around chain link run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sarahandbray, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was very happy to score a 13'x8' and 6' high dog run on Craigslist for $75. The thing is a BEAST and is perfect for my set-up as a chicken run.
    Do I need chicken wire around the bottom of it? Chicks will be 6 or 7 weeks old when put out there. (The whole coop and run will be enclosed by 164' electric poultry fencing).

    Also, what would you put over the top in the snowy upstate, NY? Would love to have something to deflect the snow off--have heard old shower curtains make great windbreaks for runs. Would like to encourage chickens to go out in the run, even in the winter. Thanks!
     
  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    I wouldn't waste my money on chicken wire. It is worthless as any kind of preventative against predators...they will tear through it like butter. While you have a very strong dog run in and of itself there, I would attach 1/2" hardware cloth around the lower perimeter of your run, say 3' up, and "apron" it all around, too as in this example pic:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    \Digging predators will not be able to gain access to your birds and you'll have some peace of mind. Leaving chain link by itself raccoons and weasels can literally reach through and grab chickens by their necks/heads just for the thrill of the kill.

    Wishing you all the best!
     
  3. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think I need predator protection added do I? Running the electric fence all the way encompassing the run and coop.
    Just wondering if the chickens/older chicks can sneak through chain link.
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Bantam chicks get through chicken wire! I agree with iwiw60 about the hardware cloth. Your chicks may be able to get through the chain link, and m any predators will get through it, especially if you don't lock everyone in a safe coop at night, every night. Do you have a wire top or a roof? I'd also recommend overhead cover to keep out raptors and your older chickens inside. Electric is great, but still it's best to have physical barriers. Mary
     
  5. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm thinking of chicken wire or some type of arched roof with a tarp over top to keep some of the heaviest snow out of the run. I've heard old shower curtains zip-tied onto the sides of the run keep wind and snow out somewhat. Would like them to still have the ability to go out in the winter as well. Thanks!
     
  6. ducks4you

    ducks4you Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm rebuilding a roof bc heavy snow will just sit on your chicken wire, as if it was a plastic tarp and pull the chain link fencing in towards it IF you attach to the chain link fencing. We just treated 8' 2 x 4's with sealer and will be making a roof (12 x 12 enclosure/run) with chicken wire attached to them. Just to be sure, I also have 8 ft long steel fence posts to add stability, which will be on the outside corners.
    My Vet has a client who lost her whole flock to weasels this Spring. Weasels kill for the fun of it, unlike raccoons or hawks or owls, who will kill and then consume, often taking their prey with them. We had an owl do that last year. He slipped through the chicken wire top and then got trapped. He had already killed two layers--we ate them for dinner--and he didn't know how to get out. Worthless rooster didn't make a sound. =/
    The owl died later...of lead poisoning, and then threw himself on my burn pile and turned to ash.
    Chicken wire roofing does keep out owls and hawks, but along the border, you should use hardware cloth. You can also put cement pavers that are ~ 2 in thick x 8 in x 16 in along the perimeter above where the hardware cloth extends to discourage further. I had to tear out my original (cattle) fencing, but I'm gonna buy plastic garden fencing and put it on the interior of this enclosure, if I decide to incubate and put young birds there next year. Until they are about 2 1/2 mo they can slip through the chain links.
     
  7. sarahandbray

    sarahandbray Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was kind of hoping that with a large circle of electric poultry fencing, I wouldn't have to do as much predator-proofing on the actual coop and run (which are pretty good at this point but not perfect). Was hoping I could just concentrate on keeping out hawks since they will be locked up in coop at night. Hmmmm....
     
  8. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Here's a few examples of what these predators can and will do to fencing, whether it be chain link, 2 x 4 welded wire, or just plain old chicken wire:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The only way to keep devastation from happening is to go the added initial expense of using only 1/2" hardware cloth...everywhere!
     
  9. Chicken Hound

    Chicken Hound Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree it is better to have more predator protection then you think you will need from the start. With that said what works in one area may not be what you need, you may have different threats. Hawks and owls are common in my area so I make sure I have over head protection even tho there has not been a Hawk seen near my property in several years. The next big threat I have is Coyote's, they can make short work of about any pen if they set there mind to it. My solution was to place the coop and pen also a chain link dog run inside my fenced back yard, 6' wood fence. My dogs have access to the fenced yard and do a great job of keeping predators away from the pen at night. I use to put the dogs up at night until I saw a Coyote scoping out the fence line one night, it even went next door and went on there back porch. After that they get full run of the fenced yard 24/7 no more visits. A opossum and a groundhog have made the mistake of coming inside the fence, last time they will do that. A few are even descent raters they at least keep rodents from setting up house keeping.
    This is what works for me and may not be right for anyone else, every area has different needs. If you live in a more suburban or rural area you might have more or different threats. It is easier to over build to start with then to try and exclude after something finds an easy meal.
     
  10. gotthefever

    gotthefever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey there, on another run I had laced hardware round 3 ft up. That took hours....

    On this chain link, I lined inside with cheap landscape fabric to keep the bantams who could have squeezed through for a few weeks until they grew and now won't fit.

    I agree with you, the key is the electric. I used strand electric. We used self tapping screws to install the chain link insulators on the corner posts. Now I found a product that works for corners, so I will order those next time and not have to put holes in the posts.

    A cover for owls and hawks, I used green snow type fence (instead of the bright orange). It's not the tidiest looking thing in the world.

    I am going to replace the top with something like a pool leaf net, cargo net, or batting cage netting...so that it will be one large piece, clean and tidier. I like that a barrier is visible from above and hinders the view of the chickens from above. ( I could buy a 10X10 chain link panel for the top....but $$)

    Actually all said, When I redo, I am going to go with a run made solely from the softer netting and add electric to it.


    I love my electric fence and will be using it. You can electrify anything....

    My coop is pretty good, but I don't trust that a coon couldn't reach a hand in or squeeze the roof open.

    But, with the electric....I feel content. Oh and the baby monitor is the best thing I have going! I want to hook up a web cam also that would be pretty cool!

    Best of Luck!!!
    -A
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2014

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