Hardware cloth apron help!

Meltheskier

In the Brooder
Aug 14, 2016
5
1
44
I am building my first coop and digging a trench to bury the hardware cloth isn't an option with our ground so I. Going the apron route. Is it enough to overlap pieces of hardware cloth by five or six inches on the grounds d or do I need to secure the cloth together somehow to mimic one continuous piece? If I do have to attach it, any suggestions? On the coop itself I did stitch pieces together with wire, but that seems very difficult to do with long pieces laying on the ground. Thanks!
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
14,711
28,076
982
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Dunno how others have done it but to cover corners (the only parts where I had to piece together different sections) I did a slight overlap in my apron of hardware cloth, just a couple of inches, then used the long lawn staples (6") to secure the ends together and to nail them into the ground. I have a chain-link run with concrete sunk into all of the corner posts so I personally didn't see the need for a bigger overlap. The same lawn staples also secure the rest of the apron to the ground, I staggered them so that one staple would be on the edge, then the next one close to the fence, then edge again, etc.

I then used 1/2" hog rings to secure the remaining portion of hardware cloth to my fence.
 

Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,881
3,909
296
Missouri
I would think overlapping them 6 inches or so would be fine.

I used a lawnmower to cut the grass down nearly flush with the ground, then laid the apron down flat and tight to the ground, using 99 cent tent stakes from Walmart. The kind that look like a long nail with orange plastic hold downs. I used 1" x 2" - 14 gauge welded wire for the apron. In no time at all, the grass quickly grew up through it and within a few weeks you could hardly tell it was there. Eventually the grass will hold it down as much as the tent stakes.

To date, it has repelled all boarders.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,086
19,514
857
Southeast Louisiana
You may be talking about the corners but I think you are talking about splicing a continuous straight run. For my straight runs I only overlapped mine a few inches, probably less than 6”, but connected them together with J-Clips where I used light gauge wire and hog rings where I used heavier gauge wire. I used leftover wire for some of mine so it’s a mix. I could see where threading it together with wire could be a pain even if the wire is not very stiff but maybe using short pieces and bending or twisting them at individual points instead of trying to thread it through would work better.

I made mine about 18” wide since I split 3’ wire down the middle. That’s about what I overlapped them at the corners but I did not tie them together.
 

8MerryHens

Chirping
Jun 27, 2016
80
33
91
Iowa
Wire clothe's hangers make great pins for apron wire - can make two long pins out of each hanger. Best part is most people have these at home so they are free.
 

Neubrechc

Hatching
Apr 1, 2020
2
0
1
My 10x 15’ run is made from dog kennel extension panels. I put hardware cloth around the bottom perimeter (2’ high) and have a 1’ apron made from bending the hardware cloth. My ground is very rocky and it’s hard to dig down to bury the hardware cloth. But how does that stop predators from digging under? They can still dig but just have to start a foot more back, right? The hens are only in the run during the daytime.
 

Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,881
3,909
296
Missouri
My 10x 15’ run is made from dog kennel extension panels. I put hardware cloth around the bottom perimeter (2’ high) and have a 1’ apron made from bending the hardware cloth. My ground is very rocky and it’s hard to dig down to bury the hardware cloth. But how does that stop predators from digging under? They can still dig but just have to start a foot more back, right? The hens are only in the run during the daytime.

The way aprons work is when diggers try to get in, they will start their dig at the base of the run fence or side of the coop, etc. The corner or crotch where vertical and horizontal meet. They will immediately hit the wire apron and be defeated. They may then cast up and down the sides, trying elsewhere, only to be defeated every time they try. In most cases, they are not smart enough to back up and start the dig some distance back from the base, essentially trying to tunnel their way in. In most cases, the safe distance is thought to be at least 1 foot, but 18 inches or even 2 foot is better and generally adequate.

When I have found dig attempts.....(right below the pop door), dig scratches exposed the apron wire to about 6 to 8 inches back from the crotch of vertical and horizontal.

The lone exception to the animals who do not tunnel in are rats. They can tunnel in from way out there. No apron is going to stop them, nor is a buried vertical wire.
 

Neubrechc

Hatching
Apr 1, 2020
2
0
1
Thank you for the info. I got some cement blocks to put on top of the wire, to hold it down. Someone else mentioned using tent stakes. I thought I’d lash the cement blocks to the kennel with wire so they can’t be pushed away. Thoughts?
 

Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,881
3,909
296
Missouri
I don't use cement blocks (not needed at all), and if I did, they would be in the way of my mowing. Grass grows up through the apron, and it disappears.

If you don't have the tent stakes, or landscape cloth staples, just use lengths of stiff wire or as noted, metal clothes hangers. Make them into a U shape......legs about 6" long.....the short segment between the legs....about 1". Push them down flush to the ground. Will hold the apron down fine. If you don't want grass to grow through the apron, you can also use mulch or landscape rock or whatever. Staples will still hold it down.

Whatever the case, just visualize it as being just like the wire that protects the vertical side of the run......this one is just horizontal and laying flat on the ground. But is the same thing, and serves the same purpose.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
26,093
18,475
781
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
I used hog rings and fastened the pieces of welded wire together. I didn't do everywhere only in the most vulnerable spots. I do have electric wire around my coops and pens. J-Clips work too. Good luck and have fun...
 

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