Hardware cloth direction

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by thegoldengirls1, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. thegoldengirls1

    thegoldengirls1 Just Hatched

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    Nov 7, 2016
    Hello,
    I live in Gainesville, FL. I have 4 chickens that are going to be 8 weeks old this Wednesday and I want to put them outside in the next week or so. I have been working on their coop/run for weeks now and doing as much research as possible but I need everyones opinion on installing the hardware cloth. I purchased 1/2 inch galvanized hardware cloth and I'm securing it to the frame of the run with washers & screws. I'm securing it on the inside of the run from from the roof and into the ground. So what I've been doing is digging a 2 foot trench down into the ground along the inside of the frame and then digging in 1 foot towards the center of the run. All the pictures I've seen have people digging down and having the wire go out away from the cage. Is their a reason for doing it away instead of inside? I want to make sure they're going to be safe. I was also considering putting pavers along the outside of the cage as well. Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The basic idea of the apron is that you don’t need to trench down to bury it. It can go flat on the ground at the surface but many of us bury it a couple of inches just to get it down out of sight and below weed whackers and mowers. That means you take up the turf, install the apron, and replace the turf. The thought is that the critter goes up to the fence, starts digging, hits the wire, and does not know to back up. Usually 12” is enough but I like 18”. That works really well when the fence is 3’ wide, just split it in half. Or bend the bottom of your fence.

    It’s a really effective system. Zoos use it for certain critters.
     
  3. thegoldengirls1

    thegoldengirls1 Just Hatched

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    Okay. So it sounds like what I did is overkill hahaha! But do you think what I did will still work or should I add the pavers along the outside to keep something from digging along the outside?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I don’t give guarantees. With living animals which describes predators, you can’t. And I really don’t know the quality of your construction materials, type of soil, or connection techniques. But I’d be extremely comfortable with what you have described without the pavers.

    The pavers add another layer of protection but might get in the way of weed eating. I won’t say adding pavers is wrong or will hurt the chickens or your security as long as you can keep the weeds and grass down to prevent critters like mice from nesting in there. Mice will attract snakes and other things that eat mice. How hard are you willing to work to keep that area clean from out-of-control growth? Will the pavers interfere with that?
     
  5. thegoldengirls1

    thegoldengirls1 Just Hatched

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    Okay. I picked an area in my yard that is under a huge oak tree and no grass grows there so I won't have any issues with keeping grass/weeds away lol It's fairly loose dirt and the topsoil is mainly decomposed leaf material and sticks from the oak tree. When you say connection techniques...do you mean how I connect the wire under the ground? I've been weaving it together with galvanized wire but I was also considering switching to the clips to save time.
     
  6. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    I went with the hardware cloth outside the entire run (2 ft), held down with landscaping staples. Grass is now growing up through the wire. You want the barrier outside because many predators will come right up to the edge and start digging there.

    I didn't put any wire inside the run because mine love to dig to china...and I've had two completely rip off toenails with copious blood as a result (not in the run, on a patio table). I'd rather not risk anything that could hurt their feet.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    No, I’m talking about how well the wire is connected to the run itself. It doesn’t matter how strong the wire itself is if the critter can pull it loose form the run framing. Also if it is a separate piece of wire either buried or forming an apron, how well is that connected to the bottom your run. Do you leave holes big enough that a predator could get through? Some people weave wire, I’ve used J-clips and hog rings. There are always different ways to do these things.
     
  8. thegoldengirls1

    thegoldengirls1 Just Hatched

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    That looks great!
     
  9. thegoldengirls1

    thegoldengirls1 Just Hatched

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    Okay, I connected it to the run with 1 1/4" screws and washers into 2X4s. I overlapped the wire under 2 feet down and 1 foot in the run and then wove it together with galvanized wire. I'm going to try to attach a picture of the run for everyone so they can see what I ended up with just in case their is anything else I need to do. I also added a swing and a perch inside.[​IMG]
     

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