Hardware cloth on bottom of run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by fraserfarmette, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. fraserfarmette

    fraserfarmette Hatching

    Jul 19, 2014
    Victoria BC
    Hi guys,
    I will have a three part daytime system for my girls. The first will be the small (we might keep it to 4x8' for five hens. Is that reasonable for what I want it for?) run where the hens will be when their auto door comes up in the a.m. and they wander out. Their food, water, grit will be in there. Then there will be a large 60'x10' run with vegetation and shade that I will let them out in when I get up. And finally I hope to let them loose in my entire yard on occasion.
    I would like to keep the small run in good shape (dream on?). Would putting a layer of 1/2" hardware cloth on the bottom (making the whole area totally predator proof as well) be ok for them? I hoped it would discourage them from scratching. How does this sound?
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    It will be hard on their feet and if nicks their feet can lead to bumblefoot.

    Some people bury or apron out hardware cloth to deter digging predators (google hardware cloth apron coop).
    1 person likes this.
  3. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Free Ranging

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    I don't see any benefit to keep chicks from scratching. They will regardless what, except if you tie their legs. =D=D
    Now tell us what type of predator are in your concerns. There are other options. But if you do want to put the hardware cloth down.. here are my views;; It being on the ground, it will eventually rust, and sharp wires will possibly protrude. Yes, I know you plan to use galvanized type. It will just take a little longer to happen. . If you still need to have it, I suggest that you bury it under , and have sand or whatever covering it 3 or 4 inches. This way if something is trying to dig its way into the run, they will find a barrier. If the hardware cloth is just on the surface, your chickens may , (I did not say will) hurt their feet. .. Sand is good to have for your chicks to dust themselves. Use the coarse type preferably . Also provides drainage when raining. ..
    1 person likes this.
  4. ksandvig

    ksandvig In the Brooder

    Sep 8, 2014
    Lake Stevens Wa
    I was going to put chicken wire down on floor but thought about them scratching & getting cuts so pulled it all up plus when I want to rake run that would of been painful too! Good luck & they will decimate any ground you put them on LOL. I made a 5x16 run yesterday w green grass today therr us no grass left haha granted the whole thing wasnt grass :)
  5. fraserfarmette

    fraserfarmette Hatching

    Jul 19, 2014
    Victoria BC
    Thank you, I appreciate the advice. Since no one said, "yes, best decision ever!" we will not do this and go back to our original plan of an apron around the run (covered by cute little planters!). Our main predators here (according to other chicken lovers in the area) are raccoons, hawks, eagles and minks. And dogs. Oh those darned loose dogs. I hope to not have that problem.
    Six weeks until our chicks arrive!
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You may want to consider hanging some 2 x 2" netting (heavy knotted- think snow load and hang it so it won't bring your fence down with the snow) over the area where they will be hanging out for much of the day. This saves my chickens as it gives them a place to rest and be a bit more off-guard during the day at times.
    My netting is visible on the right, with some 2 x 4's just propped up under it (the thick wet snow that sticks to everything would probably rip where those post are and I take them down when I know we will get snow). Snow will bring down your fencing so I only attach it to fence posts. Even then sometimes it will rip a little bit but not as bad as that very flimsy bird netting that you are supposed to put over fruit trees. I got mine from Mypetchicken.com.

    Oh forgot to mention that we have Bald Eagles and hawks all through the day every day hanging around. And owls. I still get losses sometimes.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015

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