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First coop and run, , should we dig or use hardware cloth?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by marywallin, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. marywallin

    marywallin New Egg

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    Feb 1, 2012
    Hamburg NY
    We live in a suburban village and are the second family to raise chickens since changing the laws. We are getting ready to building the coop and run for 6 chickens.
    Our village is suburban, many dogs and cats on the street. We are in New York, don't normally see predators such as snakes foxes etc. just squirrels and skunks.
    Should we dig a trench for hardware cloth, put wire on the floor, or any other method? Our chicken-owning neighbors did not bother, and have had no problems with predators, but we are closer to a cemetary and wooded area. We do have a fenced yard.
     
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    I use vinyl lattice from a big box store.

    [​IMG]

    My rabbits live there to and I didn't want the cloth to rust in the ground.

    no dig ins, no dig outs... I can put sand over it, or leave it naked!
     
  3. Jaxon4141

    Jaxon4141 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 18, 2012
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    The best way of stopping anything from digging into the area where your chickens are is to lay fencing out away from the area you are trying to protect. It doesn't have to come out very far to be effective. This stops anything from digging, be it a dog or whatever. If you have a wooded area then there is likely going to raccoons, skunks and opossums around also. Digging fencing down into the ground is a lot of work for minimal protect. Since it sound like chicken are new to your area it will be awhile before the local wildlife will find out that there is a potential new source of food around. A fenced yard it not a barrier to raccoon and opossums. Make you coop and run secure now and you will not have problems latter.
     
  4. joan1708

    joan1708 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can bend the wire out and make an apron (12-18 inches out is recommended). You can dig down 12 to 18 inches. I think which ever is easier for you. I think the vinyl lattice would work great also! I would take the time and hassle and do one of these things. There are lots of sad stories in the predator section. And you really don't want to have to add it later, after everything has been throughly pooped on!
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  5. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I've read about how some people, instead of digging a trench and burying the wire/fencing. They lay an apron of fencing on the ground all the way around the run. That prevents a digger a easy way in. After a while, the grass grows up through it and it's not even noticeable. I guess how far you go with predator proofing is according to your own comfort level. I know I have ratcheted up the security around here.
    It's a real bummer when a bunch of them get killed. Watch out for stray dogs around the chickens, They can do A LOT of damage. Good luck with the birds and welcome to BYC.
    Jack

    Wow, after I posted this, I see a couple of people got ahead of me with the apron idea. You snooze you lose around here.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  6. 3forfree

    3forfree Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2010
    essexville, michigan
    I did the apron thing and haven't had anything in my coop except my birds. Coons can and will reach into the run and grab birds, so I put hardware cloth attached with wire ties on the bottom of the run and spread out on the grass with some weights or tent stakes to hold it in place until the grass grew through it to keep in down.
     
  7. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    I used plastic lattis panels also. I split them in half lengthwise and centered them under the periferal wire so that I had one foot on both sides. They are held in place by landscape spikes until the grass grows. This not only kept the predators out, but it keeps the chickens from digging holes next to the fence. Works really well and I am very rural with many predators, including dogs. Hardware cloth is not needed at the bottom or as an apron. Any heavy wire will keep preds from digging. The idea that preds can reach in and grab a chicken is only valid if they are not in a coop at night. Chickens can see well enough during the day to stay away from a predator trying to reach them through the wire. At night they are most vulnerable, but not from predators reaching through the wire, especially if they are in a coop............Pop
     
  8. Eddy Chicken

    Eddy Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use these: They don't rust and they provide a protective barrier around the chickens when free-ranging. They also have a built in alarm and have killed several predators that got within half an acre of the chickens lol.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
    2 people like this.
  9. joan1708

    joan1708 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Eddy Chicken - you have beautiful dog, and I''m sure he/she's the best, but just like all dogs, they get old way too fast! [​IMG] Are you training a replacement?
     
  10. Eddy Chicken

    Eddy Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I never trained her. I just let them interact with everything I do and socialize them. I say them because this is the whole crew.

    [​IMG]
     

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