Help me with run fencing, please :)

sherrydeanne

Songster
10 Years
Mar 3, 2009
1,066
4
161
At my computer, where are you?
I found a ton of fencing at Lowes, but want to do this right the first time. They don't have true hardware cloth (near me, anyway) in anything more than 2' x 5' lengths. I know I need a smaller mesh for possible raccoons, but do I need it way below ground? I found a small 1/2" 19G mesh, but it's not galvanized which means it'll rust underground, correct? Can I bury 1' galvanized and then just use the 1/2" to overlap the bottom 18" or so?

I'm doing a big run (10x10 planned now, another 10x12 extension next spring) so $$ is of course a factor, but I'd rather just do it once.

Here are the two I was looking at:

The 1/2 inch: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=92202-000080032-HF30100219&bc=c

and
the galvanized chicken wire: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=92679-000080032-PN20250120&bc=c

My
yard (and the coop) is adjacent to 300 acres of park and bird sanctuary. I've never seen a raccoon but I'm sure they must be there. We have tons of wild turkeys, and I've heard that there are coyotes around although I've never seen them. Am I better off just doing the whole thing in hardware cloth? Can I get away with doing the roof in something less expensive?
 

Timbercrete

In the Brooder
10 Years
Feb 20, 2009
29
1
24
Moorpark, CA
Go find a REAL Hardware Store. Your waisting your time with Lowes or Home Depot. A real Hardware Store will have larger rolls and might even sell it by the foot. What ever you use, it has to be galv.
 

gypsy2621

Songster
11 Years
Jun 29, 2008
3,409
3
201
New Hampshire
Even Galvanized will rust out over time.

Feed stores may have a better selection of wires in better lengths. it may be more expensive at first but if you calculate the cheaper stores 10' pieces you will find it is not a lot of difference.

for our over head wire we used coated wire. I think ( dont hold me to it) its 1/2" by 1". The reason I went with the coated is it affords a little longer protection against the elements.
I paid $100,00 for 50' roll.
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,018
13,996
727
Southeast Louisiana
I found 25' lengths at the Lowe's here, but I have seen stuff on the Lowe's website that the local Lowe's does not have in stock. I'm sure it varies store to store. I found this Lowe's to have a pretty good selection and they have recommended other places I could possibly find what I was looking for when they did not have it. Definitely check out hardware stores and feed stores in your area. And ask them where you can get it if they don't have it. You might get a PITA, but most seem willing to help me out.

I would not use anything larger than a 2" x 2" welded wire mesh or hardware cloth to stop the digging. You don't have to bury it straight down. If you place it horizontal, attach it to the bottom of the fence or coop, and bury it a couple of inches deep, the predator will go right next to the fence, start digging and not realize he has to back up to get around the wire. In my rocky soil, that's a lot easier than burying it straight down. And if you paint galvanized wire (either epoxy or enamel) it will last a lot longer than plain galvanized. People recommend painting it with a roller as the easiest. I would not use anything not galvanized or painted.

A lot of people use chicken wire for the covering and some use bird netting. I think that is more to try to discourage hawks and to keep the chickens in rather than raccoons out as a raccoon can get through chicken wire pretty easily. I'm leaving mine open as the chcikens will be locked in the coop at night and I figure nighttime is the most dangerous. I may regret it, but I'll bear the responsibility for my own decision and may change it based on what happens.

With that big park next to you, I'd imagine you have raccoons, coyotes, foxes, members of the weasel family, possums, owls, rats, mice, snakes, hawks, house cats and dogs, (either feral or someone's pets) and possibly bobcats. You'd be surprised what can live in an urban area, let alone what sounds like the nice setting you have. You certainly have the potential for predators. Not all will find your chickens and eggs, but odds are some of them will if you don't stop them.

I don't intend to tell you what you have to do to predator proof your set-up, only offer suggestions and some of my thoughts. What you do depends on your management philosophy and how much risk you are willing to take. My philosophy is to do a decent job on the run but make the coop Fort Knox as I perceive my biggest threats to be from dusk til dawn. Many people on this site will disagree with me.
 

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