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Help ! Creeped out by talk of predators...Is my run too big ?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JoeOxfordCT, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    Hi All,

    First post [​IMG] ......I have just finished building a lovely new 8'x8' coop for my 9 Rhode Island Reds that I got as chicks in late August. This morning I rented a powered post hole digger and set approx. 20 cedar fence posts 6' tall in a rough circle around my coop. It is approx. 150' around the posts....

    Originally I was going to use 7' heavy duty deer netting as my fencing material. However in working with it today I became a little nervous about critters maybe chewing through to get at my girls....so I returned the remaining deer fencing and purchased 3 rolls of 5' metal fencing with holes 2"x3"....I literally had just paid and was pushing my cart out the door at Home Depot and I ran into one of my neighbors and struck up a conversation with him regarding fencing for chickens. He told me that the holes in the new fencing I had just purchase were too large to keep out weasels. I was not aware that weasels hunted during the day. So back in I went and instead purchased rolls of 2' chickenwire that I will lay on the ground flat from the posts out....then I have rolls of 4' chicken wire that I will put on the posts themselves. Then I will run another row of 2' chicken wire on top of that so that the sides of my fence will be approx. 6'. I also plan to string fishing line from the tops of my fence posts in a grid to discourage hawks.....Will this be enough ??? I have wanted to make the run large enough so my girls wouldn't turn it into a dust bowl however now I'm paranoid that's it's too big to be made safe from daytime predators ????? The coop itself is plenty secure for the nights....

    Your thoughts ???

    Thanks,

    Joe
    Oxford, CT.
     
  2. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

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    I really, really hate to tell you this, but you should have bought hardware cloth instead of chicken wire. Chicken wire will not keep predators out. It's too thin, and the holes too big. They can stick their cute little heads out and racoons or other things, like dogs, can grab them thru the wire. Maybe you can just do the bottom half of the run. Nice size run, tho.
     
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    Chicken wire is made to keep chickens in. It won't keep predators out.

    You need a small welded wire. I would also suggest lining the lower 2 or 3 feet with something like hardware cloth and bury it at least 6 inches in the ground to prevent digging through. Cover the run with more small wire. Check all the seams. If you have a lot of predators in your area you might consider using an electric fence perimeter starting at 6inch from the ground.

    You can make your run as large as you want. Just make it as safe as you can.
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I think your run is fine. The important part is your coop. Secure that and lock them up every night and they will be fine. My birds don't even have a run but I do accept it when I get a day predator loss. I thought weasels were nite only too?
     
  5. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    Well I can return the chickenwire no problem [​IMG] it's still in the back of my truck .....and the run is just supposed to be secure enough for daytime predators....the coop is where they are locked in at night.

    So the garden fencing that 60'' high with holes 2''x3'' won't work either ??? [​IMG]

    I'm cringing at the cost of running hardware cloth 6' high around the entire 150'....:mad:
    But if that's what it takes.....I already lost one bird last week when they were free ranging in my yard....I have no idea what got it.....wife was home at the time too....now down to 9 and they won't be old enough to lay until late winter....

    Thanks for the replies ! [​IMG]
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Well, what will work depends on what kind of predators you have. I think 2x3 is fine.
     
  7. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    IMHO You have a good set up. Use the 2x3 wire and and cover with chicken wire. Dogs will be detered by the heavy wire and not much will get through it. Some hardware cloth 1/2" around the bottom will protect paws and heads from coming through. depending on your soil and predator type you may want to make the run dig proof. lock-em in at night and you should be OK. Good Luck
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2007
  8. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I agree with the TxChicknRanchers, but I would put the chicken wire on the inside of the run and the 2x3 wire on the outside. That way it is harder for the chicken wire to be pulled off the posts.
     
  9. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Sorry did not mean to infer cover the 2x3 with chicken wire, I meant to cover the top with chicken wire. Did not make it clear. thanks carla

    RCG
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2007
  10. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    My run is half chain link and the other side is 2x4 welded wire. I also have garden netting covering the top of the run and it comes down over the sides a little. I think you will be fine with the materials you bought. Like a few others said I would put the chicken wire on first then the 2x3 wire over top of it. Good Luck
     

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