Hardware cloth apron

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by leight54, May 13, 2011.

  1. leight54

    leight54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    My coop is a raised wood playhouse. I plan to enclose the underneath area, plus an extension out, with hardware cloth. The area I need to cover is 43 inches high. I'll use 48 inch hardware cloth. My question: Is that extra 5" enough to bury, if I apron it out?

    My yard is fenced in, and I'm in town so the beasties to consider are: raccoon, skunk, possum, and that danged cat that keeps teasing my dog.

    I know we have a skunk, because I can smell him right now.

    I know we have a possum, because I actually SQUEEZED one with my hand! I was reaching down into the trash can in the dark garage, to grab a bag of trash. Only it felt warm, fuzzy, and I swear it moved a little. [​IMG] When my eyes adjusted to the dark, I saw a "dead" possum in there. I waited, and sure enough, he came back to life and tottered off! [​IMG]

    So 5" enough, or should I tack on some chicken wire? I plan to lock the girls up (only have 2) at night.
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Euuuw, you *grabbed* a possum? Wow, good thing you didn't get bit! Wow. Euuuw.

    Er, anyhow [​IMG] ... I would NOT NOT NOT trust 5" to prevent digging no matter whether you run it vertically or apronwise or both. Most of the things on your list will happily and easily go down further than that. I would suggest either get some 2' wide fencemesh (or 4' width and cut it down the midline) and make a proper apron (not buried but with the edge turned down a little and the whole thing either well pegged/weighed down or covered with mulch/gravel/rocks/dirt/turf/whatever and affixed *very well* to the foot of the run fence); or you could get some 18x24" pavers and use them all around the run fence, set very tightly against the foot of the run fence, for the same effect.

    Good luck, have fun, don't reach into dark trash cans! LOL

    Pat, who has handled all sorts of snakes and snappers and hellbenders and other various creatures but is totally wigged out at the concept of a handful of live possum [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 13, 2011
  3. leight54

    leight54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks Pat.

    I have some wire fencing I've used for my leaf composter. It has 2 x 4 inch holes and is, I think, 3 feet high. That would work, wouldn't it? AND I could still plant my sunflowers and nasturtiums right in the holes! Cool!


    The extended run will go back from the coop about 4 feet and over to the wood fence - a total of 80 square feet. That should make a happy playground for my 2 girls! Now all I have to do is, well, DO IT! Starting today!
  4. tarragon

    tarragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2011
    Bothell, WA
    Wow, the handful of possum pretty much freaked me out. [​IMG]

    I'm still glad I read this, because now I don't think our apron is big enough. Phooey.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    3' 2x4 mesh would be *great*. If you want to live a little dangerously you could cut it in half so you only have an 18" wide apron, which would keep most things out mostly; or you could do the full 3' width and be really pretty positive that nothing of any size is digging in. And yes, you can certainly plant thru the holes [​IMG] (just bear in mind it can be harder to *weed* thru the holes)

    A previous poster mentioned concerns about that 2-3" gap between run and fence. As it is not *impossible* for something to dig back there, if you are concerned you could wedge some paver bricks in there and that would pretty much take care of it [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  6. leight54

    leight54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good idea! I have some concrete pavers lying around that I can use along the wood fence. I had thought that something could dig under there from the other side of the fence.

    Can't be too careful when it comes to my babes! ( My real children are grown, so now I have to worry about my new little ones!)
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I had thought that something could dig under there from the other side of the fence.

    Just lay some wire there too.

    It doesn't have to be "buried" as long as there is just enough dirt over it to allow grass to grow up through it​
  8. Capvin

    Capvin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2011
    Lake Placid, FL
    I extended my 1/2 inch hardware cloth out 36" all around to prevent digging and burrowing. I would think that 24" should be the minimum if you want to be 100% sure you have discouraged all diggers
  9. tdstim

    tdstim Out Of The Brooder

    May 15, 2011
    Thanks for the advice. I was not planning to put that much on the ground and I am now thinking to using 18" to 24" on my run.

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