1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Floor of Run: Hardware cloth & Predators

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mobius, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi there, I am uber new to this and researching away. My coop is being built, 4x5 raised up with a 9 foot run for my six girls, 3 Gold Laced Wyandottes and 3 Partridge Rocks. Having super fun with the babies. They are going to be a gorgeous flock and are very cuddly already (1 week old). I will be transferring them to the bathtub into two Lowe's medium moving boxes I taped together. The bathtub has a tall glass shower enclosure...should be adequate, lol, my fond hope anyway.

    Regarding coop/run design and predators, here is my question. Can I have the builder attach 1/2 in hardware cloth to the very bottom of the entire run and would that be adequate for predators? Or do I really need an apron and 12x12 pavers for the coop to sit on? If I have it done the second way, the coop would sit on the pavers and underneath the pavers and the entire run would be hardware cloth with a 12 inch apron, but it would not be attached to the base of the run. The run will sit on level (I hope) dirt with probably straw litter...

    I live in cold snow country in the woods with some neighbors about but many raccoons and other predators. The coop/run will also be inside my fenced yard, four foot high fence with 2x3 inch wire fencing (not really to keep anything out, but it has so far, mostly to keep two small dogs IN). So I plan to let the girls out to forage only in the fenced yard under supervision.

    I want to do this right the first time for peace of mind, mostly, and because it is complicated enough (go figure huh) without additional problems...! Many thanks for all input.
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    6,612
    883
    328
    Sep 13, 2011
    Welcome! You've picked some nice chickens to start with, and your bathtub will work for another week or two for them. Six big birds really will want more space, preferably over four sq. ft. per bird in their coop. Yours is pretty small, four birds would fit better in there. There's no such thing as too much security ! Anything you can do to keep predators out will pay off. Think about smart handy raccoons, weasels that can get through tiny openings, and big dogs who can rip things apart. Pictures will help here too. My coop and run have a concrete foundation, which is wonderful, so I haven't built an apron as you describe. Hopefully someone else will chime in here about it. Mary
     
  3. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,965
    288
    148
    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    I think you can squeak by with your size coop, but you really don't have any room for additions to the flock. If you're in snow country, the chickens will be "cooped up" for potentially extended periods of time...more floor space equals less behavioral problems in those instances.

    Hardware cloth on the bottom of the run is more than adequate protection. Most people go with an apron or burying about 18" because it takes less material (and therefore costs less).
     
  4. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,202
    118
    188
    Oct 29, 2012
    Tyro-Lexington, NC
    If I could have done the entire floor of the run in hardware cloth I would have. Right now I have issues with moles burrowing in to snack on feed. Not only would the 1/2 inch cloth keep them out but the odd snake as well. As for the run, it is 9 x what? I'd go a bit larger myself. You can not have too much space for them and the more room you have the less behavior issues you'll have later on.

    As for you not believing that you have anything to keep out of the run, LMAO!!!! You never really pay attention to the things that would love a chicken dinner until after you actually have them and they start to disappear. When planning your coop and run, plan on trying to keep the most crafty predators away. You will have hawks, coons, coyotes, foxes, owls, snakes, stray dogs that find their way to your place, as well as others eventually. As you said, the more thought you put into it now, the easier it will be later for you.
     
  5. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]

    Wow! Thanks so much for your responses. Let me try again.

    Maybe I should call this "Front Yard Chickens" (not Back Yard LOL).

    The Coop: 4x5.
    The Run: Actually 12 feet by 4 feet, because it includes the coop inside the run. In winter, they will be in coop and run mostly. Walk in Run with Roof.
    The Yard: (for "free-ranging") 60 feet x maybe 24 feet, four foot fence of 2x3 inch wire on two sides, retaining wall of same height on one side, house on other side. Gated. Nothing has come in since fence was built, but when chickens go in of course I expect something will, regardless of small highly alert watchdog! Coop and Run will be in Yard. When chickens are in yard, they will be personally supervised!.

    I realize I have maxed out chicken space with 6 hens, but I am just one person, at home and I can let them into run and yard daily... I may have to sell the eggs! and thanks, I think it will be a great flock and good chickens for the climate!!

    Thinking about those predator lights attached to run as well....any preferences?

    From responses, i am thinking that the entire Run including floor I will have wrapped with 1/2 inch hardware cloth. Minus the solid roof of course. Money upfront = Peace of Mind in the long run. Amazon seems to have some good deals on hardware cloth, maybe $100-$150 for the entire wrap, I am thinking.

    It is SO difficult to describe in words, right? I will try to add some pics. Just want it right the first time.

    I am making one of those great DIY feeders with 2 PVC 90 degree elbows in a 5 gallon bucket. Not sure if that will be ok in run or if should keep in coop (then less floor for the girls). If I secure the run as mentioned, the feeder might be okay in the run.

    What do you think?
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    6,612
    883
    328
    Sep 13, 2011
    Good start! You will love having that roof; chickens aren't fond of snow, and rain can make a real mess. If your run will be predator proof, the feeder is fine out there, because you won't have the coop closed at night. They eat at first light, and again right before roosting at night. Most people find that 'predator lights' don't really work. You do have to train your dog that the chickens are off limits, which will take time and effort on your part, because he'll love chicken too. Mary
     
  7. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,451
    337
    151
    Dec 15, 2014
    Massachusetts
    FYI, even just 6 chickens can end up doing a real number on a 60x24 yard. I hope your not too attached to any landscaping plants you might have in that space.
     
  8. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,965
    288
    148
    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    I might consider keeping the feeder inside the coop. That way it will already be there when they have shut-in days? Which is when the floor space really matters anyway.

    Here's another good source for HW cloth: http://www.midlandhardware.com/search.asp?keyword=Hardware+cloth&search=. You can compare costs to amazon. I'm lining the bottom of the initial portion of my run with it too, so will be buying "in bulk". :)
     
  9. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ya know, I am lucky girl. I just called the builder, and he will source the cloth and put the roof on. I offered to get the cloth and he said it was just as easy to get it himself! He also said he staples from the inside, which I think is even better! Here is a link to the ad (hope it works):

    http://kalispell.craigslist.org/grd/5463464300.html
     
  10. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,965
    288
    148
    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    Nice looking coop!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by