Help settle disagreement with the wife: What to cover TOP of run with.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CT_Todd, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. CT_Todd

    CT_Todd Chirping

    Aug 5, 2010
    Hebron, CT
    So I am in the finishing stages of the run..It is very large (12 x 20 x 16 x 12) since they will not be free ranging. I am using 19 guage hardware cloth (1/2 inch by 1/2 inch) spacing, stapled (with galvanized 1 inch staples..the kind you hammer in) to 2 x 4 studs). I will be burying the cloth down to about 10 or 12 inches and then using old 2 x 6's will skirt the entire circumference at the bottom.

    I've said to myself, I am NOT going to all this trouble of a coop/run etc etc only to feed the wildlife..I am amazed at seeing EVERYDAY how people are losing their chickens to wild animals and I'll be darned if thats going to happen to me.

    So here's the deal...what to COVER The top of the run with..Wife thinks that deer netting across the top (we do have hawks) will be sufficient..But I am paranoid about an animal climbing up the wall, talking out a swiss army knife, cutting the netting and getting in??... [​IMG]
    I'd like to put something a little more substantial up there..

    The 6 chickens will be in the coop at night as well. So if something were to get into the run, they'd STILL have to get through the coop defenses.. The chicken door has 2 sliding bolts locks.

    So deer netting or something that will keep an Apache helicoptor out??

    (ps..the wife usually wins disagreements...)[​IMG]

    Here is the framed run..(have added a lot more cross beams/door since this picture was taken.)

    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  2. txliss

    txliss In the Brooder

    Oct 13, 2008
    I have chicken wire covered by a tarp, BUT I will be upgrading to hardware cloth when I can. Due to Texas heat, we only have a 3 sided coop, so my birds aren't locked in at night. I view the run top as my week link. [​IMG]

    eta: the rest of my run is welded wire 1x2" fencing (8x10' for 3 chickens). There is a second layer of 1x1/2 inch coated wire behind that.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Deer netting will foul an Apache helicopter's top rotor enough to turn full-scale attacks into mere strafing runs.

    Chicken wire over the top of the run would be better, if more pricey. Blackhawk helicopters will bounce off that stuff.

    Hardware cloth would be REALLY expensive but would keep out the Navy Seal team rapelling from any hovering helicopters.

    I use BIRD netting, because I'm cheap. A roll 14 feet wide and 100 feet long is only $19.99 at Lowe's in the garden center. As for its strength, my large rooster was outside the run (the chickens free range now) and was startled by the neighbor starting his gas lawn mower about 10 feet away. He (the rooster) flapped up into the air and over the six foot run fence onto the bird netting. He BOUNCED three separate times, getting more and more panicked with each attempt to clear the netting. His feet were totally tangled in the netting and I had to cut him out of it.

    I just zip-tied the gap back together.
  4. puredelite

    puredelite Songster

    Keep in mind the volume of snow you probably get in CT. I would at least use 2" chicken wire. I also am building a new coop and covered run and am planning on using 2x4" welded wire on sides and on the top. It is much heavier than chicken wire and will last a whole lot longer. Shouldn't be any problem with snow collecting on top of it either. BTW, your coop and run looks great!
  5. ColoradoMike

    ColoradoMike Songster

    Jun 12, 2009
    Northern Colorado
    Raccoons can and will chew through hawk netting and chicken wire. If you want the run to be relatively predator proof, you should use welded wire fencing, hardware cloth or solid roofing material... Structural considerations apply with finer mesh materials and solid roofing as snow loads can be significant in certain locales.

    I used 2x4 welded wire fincing on the sides of my run with hardware cloth around the bottom 2'. The roof of my run is metal corrugated roofing.

    Good luck!
  6. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    Looking at the fact that you seem to have branches over parts of your run and if you have a lot of climbing predators in the area, you might want to think of something a little more sturdy than netting IMO.
  7. bigstack

    bigstack Songster

    Jan 4, 2010
    Texarkana, TX
    Chicken wire is not too costly! it should be a pretty good deterant. I personally have mine open. I know I eventually will regret it but my run is way too big to try to cover. Right now it is 50x60 and plans to double that if not more! The small growing pen is 10x20 and I got a shade/net Tarp from Harbor freight for like $40 to cover it with.

    Great job, Good luck and God Bless!
  8. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    2x4 welded wire
  9. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Do you want marital advice or chicken advice?
  10. BC Gal

    BC Gal In the Brooder

    Aug 8, 2010
    My main coop is under a deciduous tree; I have always had the top open, but after a cat attack on my 2 month old EEs, I put up some bird netting. The problem now is that it fills with leaves and then sags; not sure how to solve the leaf problem, but I noticed your run is under a tree as well, so that might be something you want to consider.

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