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Hardware Cloth or Electric Fence?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by fischerzacdc, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. fischerzacdc

    fischerzacdc Hatching

    Jun 20, 2011
    Recently, I built my family our first chicken coop, and we rushed out and got 6 of the cutest little baby chicks!

    Here's a picture of the coop:[​IMG]

    However, the area that I live in is chock full of raccoons...as in I could walk out into my yard at any hour of the night and see at least 4 of them sitting on my deck or finding a new way to break into my trash cans.

    What I was wondering is which method would be most effective (cost is not a problem), for keeping raccoons out of my chicks! I put them up into their coop at night (learned the hard way that they can't sleep in the run [​IMG], ), and I ran two layers of chicken wire around the entire run, but I know this will eventually be breached by the coons. Today, I am finishing the transformation of "Coop" to "Fort Knox", and I was curious as to what would be the best method of keeping out predators, but particularly raccoons. It seems that a lot of people prefer the electric fencing, and since my coop is rather small, it would be easier to do, but what about digging? Will a racoon dig underneath the electric fencing and break into my run? If I bury hardware cloth 8 inches deep around my run, surely they can't dig through that, but being raccoons, they'd probably end up finding a way in.

    I may, in the long run, end up doing both, but for now, which method should let me, and my chicks, sleep a little more soundly at night?

    Thank youu [​IMG]

  2. mjuenem

    mjuenem Chirping

    Aug 8, 2010
    Putnam Co.
    I would get a couple strong friends and tip that baby over on it's side. Get some more chicken wire and staple it to the bottom letting it extend on all sides about 2 feet. Then I would run a electric fence wire about 6 inches (up and back from the fence wall) around the bottom of the run and coop. What is blocking the eves? Make sure the coons can't get in around the roof, vents, etc.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I suggest you put an apron around it to stop the digging. Lay around 18" tp 24" of wire horizontal around the outside of the run and attach it to the bottom of the wire. You can leave it laying on top of the ground and hold it down with rocks or something like that, or you can skim off the sod, say about 2", and put that back on top. The idea is that the digging predator, raccoon, dog, coyote, whatever, goes up to the fence, starts digging, hits the wire, then does not know enough to back up and start digging again. If you want to try to stop everything, you can use hardwire cloth for the apron. I used 2" x 4" welded wire. That will stop practically anything. I think the apron is more effective than just burying it straight down and is a whole lot easier to install.

    I suggest you use hardware cloth instead of an electric wire. Power can go out; electricity can fail.
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Songster

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I agree with RR. I have one coop with hot wire & I'm always wondering at night if I plugged it in or if its working. My ot[​IMG]her coops all have aprons. Here's how I installed mine.
  5. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    Mine is covered in hardware cloth. I wouldn't trust chicken wire even on the upper part. It is very flimsy. Most of the new people who come here to post in the predator section found out the hard way how useless it is.
  6. mjuenem

    mjuenem Chirping

    Aug 8, 2010
    Putnam Co.
    Quote:I mounted my fencer where I can see the flashing LED from the bedroom window. Piece of mind!
  7. m_shuman

    m_shuman Songster

    Apr 22, 2011
    Springfield, GA
    I would cover the whole thing in hardware cloth and also bury the HWC 12" into the ground. We use 1/4" by 1/4" on our run.

  8. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Songster

    Sep 7, 2010
    If the run is going to be in the same place always then burried fencing will work, but it is going to need to be more heavy duty as posted above.

    Advantage of electric is it sends preditors high tailing where they would other wise spend hours hanging about trying to break or chew trough an unenergized fence or enclosure.

    I have found a hot wire strung about six inches out from the sides of the enclosure 3 inches up from the botom and a second hot wire 12 inches or so up works well. If you are worried about the power going out there are chargers with battery back up and solar units too, but watch, many cheeper solar units lack punch. An option for low cost power backup is use a 12 volt fencer unit with battery then add a plug in trickel charger in to keep it topped up.

    I went with a couple 12 volt units for bee yard and bird tractor, using a big car batter on each and 10-15 watts of solar to keep them charged.

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