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Dog Kennel wire roofing and preditor proofing questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Alley, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. Alley

    Alley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 23, 2008
    Eureka, California
    Hi,
    I'm converting a 4 foot high dog kennel into a run that will be attached to my coop. I have 2X4 inch wire, wired to the top for a roof. Is that enough? Should I can criss cross the wire to make the roof stronger and the holes smaller? Or should I wire 1" chicken wire to the top of that? I have racoons so I need to preditor proof the entire run and I'm afraid I'm not doing enough to keep them out. Also, I need to dig proof the run. Can I lay wire on the ground and then use garding u shaped 4" long garden stakes to keep the wire down. Or will the coons just pull it up? I plan on putting pea gravel over the top of the wire.

    Any and all advise to keep my run secure is appreciated,
    Alley
     
  2. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    If the roof of your run is 4' high then raccoons can't sit up there and reach your birds, right? So if you make it secure enough that it doesn't sag or fall under the weight of the coon, 2x4 holes in the wire should be fine.

    Not sure exactly what you're saying about the ground though. For mine the hardware cloth comes down the side of the building and then extends straight out, so kinda makes an L shape. Raccoons aren't smart enough to back up and dig further out. I also use an electric wire around the base.
     
  3. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    Sep 7, 2009
    Florida - Space Coast
    Dogs runs have one major flaw. The corners are rounded where the panels join and leave open holes that raccoons can slip through. Make sure to have these covered in wire as well. You can lay a couple of 2x4 or scrap wood across the top of the kennel to give support to the wire roof. Secure the wire roofline at evey hole, dont skip even one of they will work at it trying to get in.

    The wire at the ground should also be ran UP the sides of the kennel attached and then L shaed off the sides and laying on the ground. The U shaped pins work well and gravel helps hold it in place, and keep it clean for you.

    I use to have 3 raccoons as pets, 2 blonde and a red. They have a large kennel as their run and bot did they teach me how to secure a building. Nothing like waking up to your new babies looking in the sliding glass door.

    Good luck, when you think you have everything secure, double check once more. [​IMG]
     
  4. 2txmedics

    2txmedics Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    Manvel Texas
    Another thing you might want to think of...what kind of predators do you have in your area?...can a cat jump up there and maybe push the roof in and get in?...one cat, two...etc...what about a dog if it really wanted to get in?

    I dont have anything in my area but skunks...so far we've noticed for years, we live on 4 acres...so we have a dog run 10x10 on the top is covered with chicken wire...ONLY....the only thing that has gotten in and not from the roof, is a squirrell to get eggs...and that was via a small opening about 2 1/2"-3" at the door way...at the top of the door frame.

    It made itself thin and squeezed in...I went into the run, not knowing and that thing scared me, it was running so fast to get out, that it didnt have time to slim down to get out...so it was running all over the top inside of the roof, the kennel walls...as I was running in different directions...YES...IT WAS A SITE!!!! [​IMG] It was so far, I couldnt see ....all I could make out was "fur"....

    I finally stayed back and saw how slim it got to get out....
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    If the chickens have nothing, like zero, in there that they could potential get up on top of so that their noggins are closer to the 'ceiling' wire, then I see no particular need for smaller mesh up there, although 1" chickenwire might be cheap insurance (not absolute insurance but helpful just in case).

    If however they have anything they could get up on top of, bringing their heads within stretched-arm grabbing reach of the ceiling, you would for sure want something no larger than 1" mesh and personally I would use either 1x1 or 1x1/2 welded wire mesh or some size of hardware cloth.

    Make extremely sure that the wire mesh 'ceiling' is very stoutly attached and supported -- raccoons can be HEAVY, and you certainly wouldn't want the mere weight of a coupla raccoons to collapse things down to where they can get in or just rip apart your hens! A single raccoon can weigh up to 20 lbs (or, I swear from one I had in a trap a coupla years ago, possibly more! [​IMG]) and you can easily have several up there working together, a momma and her grown kids.

    As for digproofing, your plan sounds good as long as it is all strongly done and the apron is like 2-4' wide.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. Alley

    Alley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 23, 2008
    Eureka, California
    I hadn't thought about the wire sagging! I'll have to add a 2x4 for support. My 4 girls will have access to the coop which is preditor proof and nothing but dirt so no worry about them standing on anything. The apron for digging has to be 2 feet out? Could I use 1" ply wood instead of wire?

    Anyone care to estimate the reach of a racoon?
     
  7. Alley

    Alley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 23, 2008
    Eureka, California
    One other thought... I've seen pictures of people you the 12" cement pavers for a dig barrier. What's everyone's thought on that? Also... could I use the same wire for the dig barrier that I used for the roof?

    Thanks you're all awesome and I really appreciate everyone's input on how to keep my baby girls safe!
     
  8. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    Florida - Space Coast
    Quote:as long as the pavers have some weight they will work, yes you can use the same wire from the top. A raccoon can reach amazingly far (over 12 inches) as they will shove their arm in all the way up to the shoulder and grab at things.

    Also an old wives tale is that raccoons are nocturnal. This is FALSE they are Dayurnal meaning they can be found in the daylight or night time hours. last years little can be found with mom this year following and learning where the good stuff is.
     
  9. Alley

    Alley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 23, 2008
    Eureka, California
    They can reach 12". Okay, that means I have to put hardware cloth near the ramp to the coop. My coop is large and up off the ground.

    Pavers weigh a good 5 to 10 lbs. Can they lift that much?
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:At least. Well, I mean, obviously you *can* do less, but it starts to provide much shakier security. You want the animal to be standing so completely on it that when it tries to dig, the edge of the apron is nowhere around and it never occurs to the animal to back up past the edge.

    Could I use 1" ply wood instead of wire?

    I wouldn't. First, the edge is obvious so animals would be more likely to figure out how to tunnel under it; and second, it will rot and weaken and then it isn't really a secure apron anymore just an eyesore [​IMG]

    You can use large (I would suggest the 2'x2' ones) pavers instead of wire if you happen to have them around; but wire is cheaper and easier to work with. THere are many ways to camouflage/hide the wire, see other threads or ask here if you particularly want a list of the options [​IMG]

    Anyone care to estimate the reach of a racoon?

    LOL sounds like "what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail [​IMG]

    I would say 12" is a reasonable safe distance to plan for -- tho some of the pet raccoon owners out there can probably tell you more precisely. It will depend on the size of the opening it's reaching through of course.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     

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