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Has ANYONE ever had a raccoon actually DIG under the run to get in?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Carolyn252, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    I'm trying to find out how far down the raccoons can dig, and how far out from the run they will attempt when they can't get through up close? Our run's walls will be galvanized welded wire hardware cloth fencing material. From all I've been reading on these forums, we can foil any digging predators (such as raccoons and possoms; we don't have bears or cougars) by either of three types of physical barriers. (I don't want to use electric fencing.)
    Method # 1: continue the run's walls straight down, buried deep into the earth vertically, or
    Method # 2: continue the run's walls straight down, buried deep into the earth vertically, and then form an apron deep underground by bending the material to now go horizontally out, away from the run, or
    Method # 3: same as method # 2, but form the apron at ground level, and cover the horizontal apron with heavy stuff such as cinderblocks, or boulders, etc.

    I'd like to hear from people who've actually had raccoons attempt and/or succeed via digging/burrowing/tunneling. My questions are:
    How far down is the maximum they'll dig, so I'll know the minimum depth of the wire cloth for method # 1;
    How far out is the maximum they'll attempt to start tunneling so I'll know the minimum size of the horizontal apron for methods # 2 and 3.

  2. broomgal

    broomgal In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2009
    Sand Springs, Oklahoma
    What great questions!! I am anxiously awaiting replies from the experts on this as well.
  3. ducks4you

    ducks4you Songster

    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    My neighbor, who USED to have chickens warned me to construct my new run with hardware cloth. He said to bend it so that about 1 ft runs vertically along the inside of the run (attached to your fencing,) and the the other half-AT LEAST 12 inches-bends runs horizontally. You bury the horizontal part 4 inches deep, then cover and plant something, ANTHING!!--dandelions? to keep it covered.

    I guarantee that a predator will try to dig underneath. Ron, my neighbor, says that when they hit the wire they won't consider digging further back and tunneling under from a new spot.

    I tried to keep a free dog inside my 10 x 10 dog enclosure, and he managed to dig himself out of it---he had this weird desire to constantly be "on the run."[​IMG]

    Did somebody say keeping chickens was easy?!?!?

    (I see that person running away from me now.............)
  4. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    Another good deterent is reasonably sized rocks. We actually have chickenwire buried under rocks and rocks wrapped in chickenwire in some spots and no predators have dared to bother with that set up.
  5. jonathansenn

    jonathansenn Songster

    Mar 16, 2009
    East Dublin, GA
    Never had a problem with possums or racoons digging backwards. Like you said, they give up once they hit the fence. the ones around here go for the easy targets like trash cans and whatever food the dog didn't eat for supper. I have heard of a 'coon pulling a small chicken through chicken wire, but not hardware cloth. the only problems I have had is with snakes and chihuahua [​IMG] killed the snake....wife wouldn't let me at the chihuahua [​IMG] (just kidding!)
  6. azelgin

    azelgin Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    I'm only posting on here so I can keep track of this thread. Wondering too, if anyone on here, has had first hand experience.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  7. Lady Henevere

    Lady Henevere Songster

    Mar 30, 2009
    Los Angeles County
    I would love to know this too. We have a lot of raccoons here, and our chicken run will have the ground-level apron you mentioned (#3 on your list). I'm not sure if I need to put something underground as well. I'm also not sure whether it even matters, since the chickens are going to be locked in the coop at night rather than out in the run. (Perhaps I don't need to worry much about nocturnal predators?) Anyone know? Thanks much.

  8. kent e

    kent e In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2009
    Bumping, I've got the same question.
  9. nursemeh

    nursemeh Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    Conroe, Texas
    We were planning on burying our hardware cloth fencing 18 inches- until we started hitting roots,roots, roots. I think now we will use the horizontal methods described with the fencing.

    I was planning to surround the perimeter base of the fencing with cinderblocks perhaps to deter digging.

    I would also be very interested in what the experts have to say.

    My concerns are with coons and stray dogs.
  10. azelgin

    azelgin Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ

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