Dog Vs. Hardware cloth...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Sky is Falling, May 11, 2016.

  1. Sky is Falling

    Sky is Falling Out Of The Brooder

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    Just kind of a heads up for the coop builders. We lost a pullet today to our big mutt dog (rottwieler/shepherd x) who just couldnt help herself... [​IMG] We thought that she might have and be a problem with the new chickens and tried our best to build our coop STURDY. Apparently not sturdy enough. at this point we will have to tie them onto chains and harnesses until a more permanent solution can be implemented. I hate doing that, but she just cant help herself. Our wolfhound cross liked to chase, but never tried to get in, although I am sure she helped when it came to eating it. I am just writing this to calm myself down mostly so apologies for rambling so much...
    I do remember grabbing the hardware cloth and just shaking and pulling the h### out of it and thinking to myself, "D### good job! I bet even a bear would have a rough time getting in there!" We do occasionally have them roam through Albuquerque neighborhoods. So proud of my handiwork... So now i am looking at tractor supply website at electric fences, and also keep looking over at my shotgun which has still not been put away after last weekends turkey hunt and deciding which would be cheaper a new fence or one less dog... It would be so easy right now as I am that mad about the whole thing, but alas I am a softy... So dont anyone write a post about how bad a person I am for wanting to shoot my bad dog... Anyone would think the same thing and I hope about 0.00005% would actually follow though, so dont worry...
    I suppose I am in need of advice for beefing things up as we still have 3 left. I also originally started writing so I could post the hole in the hardware cloth that she ripped in no time at all. And maybe someone building their coop around an iffy dog could realize that where there is a will there is a way for them and not have to go through this,cause it really sucks
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, that would suck.

    FWIW, I skipped over the .19 gauge half inch square hardware cloth in favor of half inch x one inch welded wire, which is .17 gauge, and seems to be twice as tough and strong. Only problem with that is it can be harder to get your hands on. I can only seem to find it at a local farm supply coop that sells fencing supplies. If any animal can get through that stuff, next option would be to put bars on the windows. If you moved up to 1" x 2" stuff, which is 14 gauge, it might not help with some predators, but that would be like bars on the windows to your larger dogs.

    But even so, unless and until there is some corrective behavior on the dog's part, they would still be just outside the fence and all that goes with that.

    I do think some type of electric fence or shock collar is the other half of the solution to your problem, which is as much animal control as it is coop.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  3. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    It is hard to know whether an absence of problems is due to luck or because your arrangements are satisfactory. I've learnt this recently because my dog has ripped off the aluminium (expensive) fly wire from a coop that I've moved my guinea pigs into while I renovate their other house. Up until she decided to do this, I thought the coop was pretty secure. Luckily, she hasn't bitten into or penetrated any of the aviary mesh (she's only medium size, I have no doubt that a determined bigger dog could do it).

    Have you considered attaching a trellis around the outside lower part of your run? It's more of a physical barrier than just mesh. You can get a plastic type that should be durable and easy to clean. Otherwise upgrading the mesh to heavier gauge would be the only way to go and that works out expensive (here at least).

    Another thought is to get a dog run for the dogs so they don't get to try to break in on the chickens.
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Since you already have the wire mesh on might as well put 2x4" 14 gauge welded wire over it. Comes in 4'X50' roll for $37. Nope, went up $7 since last year.

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_492387-16418-840192___?productId=50017410&pl=1&Ntt=welded+wire+fence

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt...lvanized-Steel-Welded-Wire-308302EB/204322262

    A dog can not chew through 14 ga. wire. Doubt a bear can. For $50 including the washers and screws you've a pen that stops bear size dogs and 1/2 mesh for weasel. Do you have a dig proof apron around the pen? Once stopped at ground level the dog will go under. Same 2x4 wire with lengths cut in half for a 18-14" horizontal skirt. Stake to ground and let grass grow up or lift sod and lay flat under it.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Yeah, you did everything right according to a lot of people on here using hardware cloth and this still happened. That’s extremely frustrating. And thanks for posting the photo. People often won’t believe a large animal can rip chicken wire, let alone hardware cloth. I plan to save his thread so I can refer some people to that tear. Chicken wire offers some protection, hardware cloth much more, but sometimes you still need heavier gauge wire. Potato Chip is right, you don’t know how secure your facilities are until they are tested. Most never really are.

    I agree with Egghead, putting heavier gauge 2x4 wire or some other heavy fencing over your hardware cloth is the way I’d go. I don’t know how you attached that hardware cloth, it seems to have held. Your connections are often your weak point. They don’t have to tear the wire if they can pull it off. If I’m attaching to a flat surface, I like to use a ¾” thick strip of wood and put that over the wire with screws. Drill pilot holes so you don’t split the wood, and put the screws through holes in the fencing. If you clamp it down tight it won’t go anywhere. Since that dog will try it again, I’d suggest putting fender washers on the screws to make it even less likely the dog can split the wood. There are other ways to connect it but pay close attention to the connections.

    Another viable option is a good electric fence. It won’t help during a power outage but once the dog is zapped a couple of times it should avoid that fence in the future. Some people will say the dog will forever avoid the fence in the future after it’s shocked but don’t be horribly surprised if it tests it a few times. Some dogs just need an occasional refresher course.

    A bear will not chew through 14 gauge wire, it will grab hold of it and rip it off. Or it will smash the coop or run to get inside if it really wants to. They are extremely strong. A good electric fence is probably the best deterrent for a bear. Although a bear may occasionally roam through Albuquerque neighborhoods the odds of one being attracted to your coop are probably pretty low. They are probably more interested in the garbage ready for pick-up. But that’s your call. The odds of a dog ripping through hardware cloth, even 19 gauge hardware cloth, are pretty small.
     
  6. Sky is Falling

    Sky is Falling Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2016
    Albuquerque, NM
    Thanks guys for the advice. I am still frustrated as heck this morning, but I do feel a bit better at least. I suppose I will let the dog live... :) while trying to go to sleep last night I was thinking of lining the bottom three feet of my beautiful coop with corrugated. Roofing stuff.as the claw wouldn't stick and pull. Or teeth. I really hate.to lose visibility of my birds and I think there is a clear fiberglass version out. Thoughts? Still going to do the.electric.fence I think.
     
  7. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    I wouldn't use alsynite/corrugated roof or fence sheets, I'd stick to trellis or something with gaps in it.
    Even though it would only be on the bottom, there'd still be a certain amount of condensation on cold mornings. That moisture running down could make it a bit damp. I think you've got a desert climate, cold nights, hot days - does it always get hot? Would condensation always evaporate? The advantage of trellis is that the air still gets through so any moisture from cold mornings can dry off more easily when the sun comes up.
     
  8. odysseychicken

    odysseychicken Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree with the 2x4 fencing. Install it right over your existing hardware cloth. It will offer much better protection from large predators. Your existing hardware cloth will still serve to keep smaller predators from reaching through and grabbing a bird.

    Another option, and one that I am currently using on my new run addition, is chain link. I am expanding my run and just cant afford to buy that much new 2x4 fencing. If you but it new, chain link is more expensive but you can usually find it cheaper used. Check Craigslist. I bought mine at a local scrap yard for 35 cents a pound. You will need bolt cutters to cut it. If you have an animal in your yard that can chew through the chain link then you might want to get something bigger than a shotgun.

    I should add that I am using just the roll of chain link like I would any other wire fencing attached right to the wood frame of my run. I am not using any of the metal poles usually associated with a chain link fence.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    How are you attaching it?
     
  10. OEF5

    OEF5 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a question about what the dog looks like after doing this. I mean, that's a lot of sharp ends that had to have cut the dog up pretty good, most things once hurt would have stopped, must have been very determined to eat a chicken. How long did it take them to tear through?

    Our run fence is made out of the same 1/2" hardware cloth sandwiched in a panel of 1x3 treated lumber, and I thought Man that's solid! Then I see this, that's kinda spooky that they put that size of a hole in it.
     

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