We are in the process of building a new run (we live on a fenced acre in a rural area) and our biggest predator concerns are raccoons and hawks/eagles. Our run is about 50 ft by 25 ft and we have two coops inside of it. Our plan is to predator-proof the run so that when we go on the occasional weekend trip, we can leave the coop doors open and the girls can come in and out in the morning and at night, without someone having to be at our house to chicken-sit. When we are home, the hens will have use of the yard for free-ranging for several hours per day, in addition to the run. We planning on an 18 inch apron around the entire perimeter of the run, and are enclosing the run with hardware cloth. However, I'm wondering if we have to use hardware cloth to cover the top of the run, or can we use something less expensive? In other words, can raccoons climb up the sides of the run and enter through the top of the run if we use a material like chicken wire for the roof? Also, does the apron have to be hardware cloth or will a double-layer of chicken wire work for this? Any suggestions or tips? Basically trying to keep them safe and save a few hundred dollars, if possible.