Glad I'm putting wire over the run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bobbieschicks, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    My Coop
    We took our 3.5 week old White Leghorns outside again today to play in their exercise pen while I worked on the coop/run. At one point I heard my 10 yr old son screaming "get out of here" - and a bunch of squawking noises. I popped out of the coop to see what was up and saw no less then 6 osprey circling overhead - maybe 50 feet up. The chicks were huddled together in the corner of the pen - obviously freaked. I told my DH that I wanted to cover the run to keep our birds contained and safe and he had laughed at me. Now I know it will be a good choice - I just have to finish the job.

    Here's the question - I have both 1" hardware cloth and 2"x4" welded wire - and enough of either to cover the whole top of the run. Should I use the 2"x4" or the 1"? Will the 2"x4" welded be sufficient to keep out osprey or eagles - which are our main predators? I was hoping to use the 1" as a ground cloth to keep out large snakes.

    What would you do?
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    What did you use on the walls of your run?? I have 2x4 welded wire as my roof/ceiling, and haven't had any issues. If you used HWcloth on the sides, that will probably go far enough toward keeping really small creatures out. And if you used 2x4 on the sides, well...snakes can certainly climb well enough. Unless the entire structure is covered in HWcloth, then there's always a chance snakes can get in. That doesn't help you, does it??? LOL [​IMG] Skirt or roof - use either for either...lol
     
  3. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have any trees over the run that will drop leaves? Then the 2x4 welded wire might be better. I have plastic bird netting over mine temporarily (just to keep hawks out and chickens in), and leaves from the nearby apple tree are caught on top of the small openings. I want to get larger welded wire to leave on permanently this fall. I'm not sure I'd use hardware cloth with any nearby trees.
     
  4. edselpdx

    edselpdx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    2 x 4 inch welded wire will work for the "ceiling" of the run. It will keep coons and hawks/osprey's out of the pen. Remember, though, you need to have smaller than 1 inch hardware cloth on the side for at least a couple of feet up to keep coons from reaching in and pulling out chunks of chicken who get close to the sides if they'll ever be in the run when coons are out and about.
     
  5. MVchickens

    MVchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say the 2x4 because if you get snow it will hold up a lot better. Ospreys would not attack a chicken or chick, they are primarily fish eaters. I live right on a pond and have a nesting pole 200 yards from my coop and uncovered run. never had a problem, plus they chase hawks away.
     
  6. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    King George, VA
    My Coop
    Oh I'm dense - the hardware cloth I have is 1/2" not 1" wide - sorry - and it goes up the side about 3' and down in an skirt about 1' out and is buried under soil that will hopefully compact & grow weeds or grass over it. I also have a layer of 2" x 4" welded wire coming down from the top to meet up with and pass the hardware cloth.

    here's a pic of it so far. The door has 1/4" b/c I had alot of it left over after doing all the windows, the upper part is only temporarily attached with zip ties to the lower part - I have hog rings to put in place shortly. I just needed to have it connect so I could poultry nail in the hardware cloth to the 2x6s & 4x4s.
    [​IMG]

    here's the back side
    [​IMG]
     
  7. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    My Coop
    Quote:No trees over the run at present, but there's a fir tree growing behind it that will probably be an issue at some point.
     
  8. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    King George, VA
    My Coop
    Quote:We do get snow in VA - not too much usually, but occassionally we'll get like 2 feet with ice - I was thinking the 2x4 would be best for stability as long as no one could swoop in and hurt my little ones [​IMG] I'll keep that in mind about the osprey if I ever get brave enough to let them free range.
     
  9. lauriej57

    lauriej57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have never used hardware cloth, so I'm not sure just how strong it is, but I am going to check into it when I build my next coop/run.

    Right now, I have 1x2 welded wire covering my runs, and have never had a problem with it. I have a couple of roosts in the run that my adult chickens are in. I made sure that there was at least a foot of head room between the chickens and the roof, since i usually let the chickens have access to their runs in the hot summer, even though the adults go in at night no matter how hot it is.

    Last month, not thinking, I didn't close my young ones up in their coop, it was still 85 at 11 pm, they were about 10 weeks old and I just figured they would be ok. No roost in their run, except for one that's about a foot high, and I have chicken wire 4 ft up, along with the welded wire. It didn't dawn on me that the pop doors to the coop are only about 6 inches below the roof of the run. Hubby woke up to the chicks peeping like crazy, and saw a red fox on top of the run, mind you, my run is 6' high. That fox reached in and pulled one of the chicks out, thankfully it only got one, but it was a hard lesson. I watched the next night, waited til almost dark, and the chicks were roosting on top of the pop doors, which put their heads within inches of the ceiling. I now have, temporarily, a piece of plywood 3' wide covering that area, and haven't had any problems since. But it was a hard lesson to learn. A raccoon could have easily pulled one out also. I would probably go with the hardware cloth also, if it's strong enough to support the weight of a fox or a big raccoon. Or make sure that there is nowhere in the run the chickens can roost where something can reach in and harm them.

    Needless to say, the young ones in this run, even with the extra precautions made, get closed in at night, no matter what.
     
  10. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    no less then 6 osprey circling overhead

    Ospreys won't bother your chickens:

    The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), sometimes known as the sea hawk or fish eagle, is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey.

    It is a large raptor, reaching 60 centimetres (24 in) in length with a 2 m wingspan. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts, with a black eye patch and wings

    As its other common name suggests, the Osprey's diet consists almost exclusively of fish

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osprey
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011

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