Hardware cloth down or out?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by joletabey, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. joletabey

    joletabey SDWD!!!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    western NC
    If this has been covered, someone please point me to the old thread? MPC has wire with a bend "line"so you can bend it OUT and away from the coop, on top of the ground, for 12 inches instead of having to dig down... I live on a mountainside and it seems there are rocks every three inches, so digging a big run 12" down in going to be LOTS of work. Has anyone tried the twelve inch out on the ground thing? Does it work as well?
    Thanks for the comments/advice in advance.
  2. chickenwhisperer123

    chickenwhisperer123 Whispers Loudly

    Mar 7, 2009
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Alot of people have wire going out from the run.
    I assume it would work just fine, or people wouldnt be doing it.

    Good Luck!
  3. spook

    spook Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    North Central Florida
    I don't have it on my yard, yet when I built the tractor, using plastic mesh with boards holding it down and in place, so far so good and I live in a high preditor traffic area.
    They think I run a drive through! lol, JK, almost.
    The wire you use away from the bottom of the fence does not have to be hardware cloth. I would think that 1" poultry wire would be ample. Use rocks to make "stone wall" on the wire and I'd think it would be pretty along with secure.
    Good luck and please show pictures when you get it done!!!
  4. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Songster

    We used 48 inch wide hardware cloth, bent at about the middle (no bend line but it wasn't difficult to do) and then laid it flat in a shallow trench (4 inches, maybe?) dug on the outside of our run. We covered that with dirt. You can staple it down with landscape staples too, if you need to, though our clay soil packs down like cement and that wasn't necessary. When animals try to dig under something, they dig right at the fence, and will encounter that hardware cloth and can't get thru. Fortunately, they don't figure out that they can back up a couple feet and dig there.
    I've seen that hardware cloth with an "apron" that bends out, but that wouldn't allow you to decide how far up, and how far out you want to go. Also, because our run is on a slope, it would have been difficult to use something that required everything to be square. It's also expensive.
    I learned all of this from this site, don't know the exact threads, but it's worked out very well. Wear gloves with that stuff, though!
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
  5. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    From what I've read, out is actually better than down. They don't figure out they can back up and dig, but some animals will dig down pretty deep. We have one dog that digs 3' deep holes regularly.
  6. Scott

    Scott Ozark Bantams

    Apr 11, 2007
    Southeast Missouri
    My pens are surrounded by hardware cloth and topped with livestock fencing. The hardware cloth is buried straight down, not bent out. It is buried at depths or 6 to 12 inches (ground isnt level). Bent out seems a bit untidy to me, but presumably works very well. I've had the pens built for over two years now and nothing has ever dug in. It's right next to the woods, but nothing has dug in. I think buried straight down a few inches is actually sufficient, but it could be a matter of what predators you have locally. I don't think most predators (coons, possums, etc.) have the sense to dig down under a fence. I suppose you should do what works best for you, keeps the birds safe, and gives you peace of mind.


  7. joletabey

    joletabey SDWD!!!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    western NC
    Hey, thanks all! If I did landscape block around the outside in order to hold in dirt inside the run , then I could put wire down on the floor of the run? How deeply would I bury it? Heck, I might do both. . . .How far down would the chickens themselves scratch?
    Another odd question. Has anyone every gotten an old tire and filled with DE to make a dirt bath?
  8. sillybirds

    sillybirds Songster

    Aug 5, 2008
    For my wire apron, I didn't bend the wire out. I just laid another strip of fencing on the ground and connected it with hog rings to the base of the run fence .

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