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Fencing the run. Will this work?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by billfields, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. billfields

    billfields Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I’m building a run. It’ll be about 350 sq ft attached to the coop. The coop and the area where the run will go are pictured below. Therun will basically extend out front of the coop (the shape will be a bit odd, basically two overlapping squares as I’m trying to fit it around the trees). I plan to use a welded fencing wire with openings about 2 inches. I’ve read hear and elsewhere that the wire should be bent out about a foot and buried down several inches to keep out critters. It makes sense but here’s the thing. All the wire I’ve seen at Lowes and Home Depot is 5 ft high. I want the fence to be 5 ft high. If I bend it out 1 foot and burry it even another 5 or6 inches I’ve lost a foot and a half of height leaving it 31/2 feet high, basically a hobbit fence. [​IMG] I’m not real crazy about the expense of another roll or two of that wire to make up the difference.

    Here’s what I’m thinking. I set the posts and dig a trench about 6 inches deep along the fence line. I attach the wire letting it sit into the trench a few inches. Next I expand the trench out about a foot. I then take a less strong (and less expensive) wire—something like chicken wire and attach it along the bottom of the fence with enough bent out to extend to the end of the trench. Then I fill the trench with Quickcreet covering the bent out chicken wire and the bottom of the original fencing wire. I end up with a couple of feet of chicken wire around the bottom of the run on top of the fencing wire which should help to keep the chickens from poking their heads out and, when they come next spring, baby chicks from escaping. There would be a foot or so of concrete a couple of inches thick around the outside and my fence stays (nearly) 5 feet high. Even if say a coyote or dog was able to tear off the chicken wire they are not going to pull it out of concrete and the fencing wire is still there, set in concrete as well. The chicken wire (set in concrete) will extend out a foot from the fence just under the dirt. If I get all creative and landscapy I plan to line the outside of the fence in flat rocks too. Nothing short of a bear is going to dig through 2 or three inches of concrete and while there are bears around none have been in the neighborhood in the 20 plus years we’ve lived here. I think coyotes and dogs are the biggest critters of concern.

    So what are the reasons this won’t work? [​IMG]

    Thanks

    Bill

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  2. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    You're gonna have a heck of a time digging down around those trees. It's much easier to make a skirt/apron around the bottom. It's going to cost about the same as the quick crete. Just attach about 2ft of fence to the bottom of your run, throw a layer of mulch or dirt over top of it DONE! Eventually plants will grow through the wire and nothing will get under it
     
  3. DinosRBirds

    DinosRBirds Hunted by Moonlight

    Feb 1, 2011
    Lake Huron,MI
    with all those trees, you'll have to put wire over the top of that pen
     
  4. jinxschuh

    jinxschuh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with Coyote, leave the digging to the birds. LOL.… I plan to use landscaping boulders around my run skirt. If you wanted to keep the woodsy fill you already have (which makes me green with envy by the way) maybe you could find some large dead fall to use as your skirt anchor?
     
  5. chicken995

    chicken995 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2011
    Northern Colorado
    If you're going to do the quickcrete I would forget about the chicken wire apron. I put a concrete apron around my run. It is 18" wide and about 4" deep.
     
  6. stcroixusvi

    stcroixusvi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2011
    Western NC
    My Coop
    I am subscribing to this thread because I have the same issue. I am intrigued with the idea of the apron. CoyoteMagic, Do you have a picture of this?
     
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Grifton NC
    That's a lot of digging in ground that will have plenty of tree roots.

    Wouldn't it be easier to just have the wire on top of the ground, covered with enough dirt so it doesn't show?

    Lowe's can order 6 foot fence. or you could get a roll of 3 ft and split it for an 18" apron

    I think the concrete is overkill.

    It will provide a dry area underneath it for snakes and rodents, and will crack from tree roots growing underneath, and from the freeze/thaw cycle in Winter

    I'd run 2 X 4's between the posts, top and bottom, to attach the wire to, and avoid all the digging and concrete pouring.

    Nail the apron to that and it will be just as secure without the extra labor and cost
     
  8. billfields

    billfields Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Tell me about it. I'm having a heck of a time right now digging post holes! Was real luck when I built the coop, I sunk 9 foundation posts and didn't hit a single root. No so this time around! [​IMG]

    So this skirt you are talking about, you are saying it is not the fencing bent out but another couple of feet of fencing extending out? Can that be something like chicken wire?
     
  9. billfields

    billfields Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's appealing...y'all are most helpful, I'm starting to feel like this can be a bit easier than I was planning. I like the idea of no digging through roots. [​IMG] So if I used the 2x4s top and bottom (was planning on just top) and attach the skirt and cover it that should do? Someone mentioned dead fall trees as anchors---certainly have plenty of those!! And I am going to cover the run, one section with an actual tin roof so I have a dry place for outside food and water and the rest with chicken wire to keep out flying critters. The fact is, as you can see, it's in the woods and I can't much change that---we have 3 acres and it is all woods except for my garden. There's only so much I can do but I've gotten attached to these chickens and I would hate to see anything happen to them. I want to make the run as secure as I can within reason.
     
  10. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    And I am going to cover the run

    In that case, I'd make it at least 6 ft tall so I could walk inside it without stooping

    So if I used the 2x4s top and bottom (was planning on just top) and attach the skirt and cover it that should do?

    That's what I did with mine. I basically built "walls" of 2 X 4's rather than sinking posts

    I'd do the skirt first if you are going to extend it up the side of the fence, then put the vertical fencing on top of it so any gaps are on the inside:

    [​IMG]
     

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