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Hardware cloth on bottom of run vs. digging deep

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickjoy11, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. chickjoy11

    chickjoy11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2017
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    Hi - have any of you ever covered the bottom of your run with hardware cloth? I have a small run, under my coop, which I just repainted and is ready to go upright again. I used chicken wire in this way the last time, but it rusted out. It should not have been good for predators anyway. I never had any predators dig under the run except for chipmunks, although there are at least raccoons and opossum around. I use sand in the run, and the chickens love it! I really appreciate the easy cleaning. Hardware cloth should be more durable over time, but I won't be able to turn the coop on its side in the future as an addition is going on. Please let me know if you have ever used wire in this way!
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Eastern Shore, MD
    I have wire under my brooder run because I had rats building a tunnel village under it and I wanted to keep them out. Around my main run, I have chicken wire skirt but I don't have wire actually in the run. How big is your coop/run? It sounds very small.
     
  3. chickjoy11

    chickjoy11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2017
    St. Louis area
    It's 2 by 6, so yes very small. How long has the hardware cloth been in place?
     
  4. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    The rats came in the 15-16 winter so that is when I put it down, probably February 2016.

    I can see why you like turning it on its side to clean. I have a small one like that inside of my main run (which is about 750 sq ft) that I use for chicks and it can be hard to reach into the back of the run under the coop. Are you building an addition or buying one of the prefab ones? In either case, you might consider making it detachable, and then put the main coop part onto wheels to just move it out of the way to clean out the run parts. If you are worried about digging predators and that is why you are asking about the wire, you can use the 12x12 pavers all the way around and then if you want to make it look pretty some small potted plants or other decorations on the pavers should look nice and you can just move things out of the way easily for cleaning. I am just throwing ideas out there for you :)
     
  5. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Eastern Shore, MD
    Oh or another idea... if the coop is always to be set in the same place, outline where it is and then move it out of the way. You can then staple down the wire (dig down a couple inches or not, that is up to you) and then move the coop back into place. Then there is a skirt but it is not attached to the coop so you can still flip it or move it for cleaning, if you make the attachment detachable.
     
  6. chickjoy11

    chickjoy11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2017
    St. Louis area
    Thanks for some great ideas!!! I have a couple more questions...are you saying that I don't need a wire skirt if I use the square foot pavers? And how do I staple wire down for a skirt so that I could just set the coop in the middle of it? I'm not very skilled at carpentry or in figuring out new construction. I learned a lot with the original coop and it's held up well for 7 years.

    I actually turned the coop on its side because I wanted to scrub it well for 6 week old chicks, after moving out the old hens. Also the roof had rotted in places and I needed to get it off. Guess I didn't do so well on that part! Lol.

    I have been thinking about how to attach the addition, and still keep it detachable, and still have a secure coop. e.g. Do I wrap the hardware cloth around the entire thing or singly and do something like a patch over the gap, however small?

    I'm not sure about the wheels. I don't know how to attach them to my moveable coop! I do think that I am going to put in a large people door to clean. I will still be on my knees to clean but at least my shoulders will fit through.
     
  7. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    For stapling down the cloth, use garden staples like they sell for putting down the weed barrier. I bought a whole bunch of them on ebay very cheap but you probably won't need as many as I do.

    For your addition, I was assuming it would attach to your narrow end and just continue the length. That is, you would go from 2 x 6 to 2 x 12 or whatever length you're doing. In that case you could have them hook together using regular latches or security hook and eye latches. I would do 2 on each side, assuming the sides are 2 to 2 1/2 feet tall. I think that would be enough to deter a raccoon from being able to pull the two halves apart.
     
  8. chickjoy11

    chickjoy11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2017
    St. Louis area
    Thank you!
     
  9. Flock In Texas

    Flock In Texas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rather than seal my bottom(I have a tractor), I put a skirt on it and I shut the trap door access to underneath at night. Even if predators get underneath, they still can't get inside the coop with the trap door shut 2 feet above.
     
    1 person likes this.

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