1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Help with enclosure, please

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Kimberlina, May 30, 2008.

  1. Kimberlina

    Kimberlina Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    22
    May 30, 2008
    Hi- totally new here and having trouble hitting on the right search words to answer my question.

    A friend and I have 26 babies coming soon, and the brooder is ready, but we need some help with the coop, but we are unable to dig down to put the fencing underground to protect the chicks from predators. It is far too rocky- both large and small rocks all over the place.

    So we thought instead, we might cover the whole ground area of the enclosure with chicken wire, and stake the chicken wire down with those "u" shaped stakes so it doesn't stick up anywhere and become a hazard for people or chicks.

    I think this will work because it is basically the way a tractor is done, only it will be permanent. Will this be adequate to protect the chickens?

    Thanks!!!
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2008
  2. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Kimberlina,

    I would think that putting a 12" wire skirt around the perimeter would be fine to protect your chickens. It's nice for them to be able to scratch in the dirty, rocks and all. [​IMG]
    Those rocks will also make it hard for predators to dig under and into the run.

    Carla
     
  3. Dilly

    Dilly Cooped Up

    483
    1
    141
    Apr 15, 2008
    I would not do the entire inside. I would opt to bury treated 2x12 or as large as you can, and then attach wire out a foot then cover with dirt.

    In the long run allot less material and a much safer deterant than just chicken wire. many things will not miss a beat digging through that.
     
  4. TeaLady

    TeaLady Out Of The Brooder

    95
    2
    31
    May 9, 2008
    Issaquah
    I'm happy to see this post because I have a similar problem. Our run will be over the drain field. We aren't sure how deep the pipes are buried (the septic tank is actually at ground level, so we have reason to fear the pipes are close to ground level too). So we dare not dig at all

    We were looking at putting wire under the whole run. Hideously expensive, and it would make it hard to rake out the run. Do you folks think 12" flat along the ground on either side would be sufficient if I pile some dirt up over it?

    We currently have 14 chicks, but we are building to allow for more. Just on the off chance that I keep enjoying them as much as I have so far.
     
  5. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Usually predators attempt to tear apart the fencing, or dig right at the spot where the fence meets the ground. If the run is stationary, eventually some greenery will grow up through the wire skirt, and hide it even more.
    A skirt extending 12" out should be fine. [​IMG]

    Carla
     
  6. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Yep - rather than dig down int the rocks, extend the skirt of fencing and then bury it, or just stake it down and let the weeds grow up through it to secure it, depending on how fond of weeds you are...
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    78
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Ooooooo. Eeep. I'd be *awfully* careful about putting a chicken run on a leachfield [​IMG] As in, I would not do it unless I had cash stashed away to replace the leachfield if it failed and was entirely prepared to spend it.

    It's pretty important, for the proper functioning of your septic system, not to do any of the following things to your leach field: compact it, devegetate it, or put a buncha extra nutrients on top of it.

    Guess what all things your chickens will be doing in their run [​IMG]

    There *has* to be *somewhere* else the run can go... I hope?


    Pat
     
  8. TeaLady

    TeaLady Out Of The Brooder

    95
    2
    31
    May 9, 2008
    Issaquah
    Pat, thank you, thank you. Hmmm. I'll have to talk to Himself about alternatives. The drain field is about the only level spot we have other than part of the driveway and a smallish front yard (that he really wants to have looking like a front yard). A north-facing slope behind the house might work, though.

    I've been eyeing that drain field for raised beds for a kitchen garden. Do you think that would be OK there? It has very little vegetation growing on it other than some saplings [​IMG] that really need to be cut down. Don't know why the blackberries haven't taken it over like they do everything else.
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    78
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Enh, you don't need level unless you're intending to use a tractor not a fixed coop. Sloped is fine. Just make sure the run is sloped *away* from the coop [​IMG]

    I've been eyeing that drain field for raised beds for a kitchen garden. Do you think that would be OK there? It has very little vegetation growing on it other than some saplings [​IMG] that really need to be cut down. Don't know why the blackberries haven't taken it over like they do everything else.

    Uh. No, sorry I really would not do that either. It's important not to cover over the leachfield -- if sufficient air does not get down into the soil, the Natural Processes of Your Septic System will not work properly and you will be in trouble. Raised beds would 'smother' the ground beneath them. If you absolutely HAVE to grow veggies there (like it's the only sunlight your property gets and you're dead set on growing veggies) then a *small number* of containers set on top of the ground over the leachfield would probably be ok.

    And btw, by all means cut down the saplings *now* before their roots clog or bust your leachfield tiles/pipes. If nothing else is growing there, seed in some grass or white clover or something like that.

    Just trying to help avoid potentially-expensive adventures,

    Pat​
     
  10. TeaLady

    TeaLady Out Of The Brooder

    95
    2
    31
    May 9, 2008
    Issaquah
    Words cannot express how grateful I am for your advice!

    I took a walk around just now and I think we might want to build a new woodshed in the back yard instead of a coop... because the woodshed we have is big & sturdy and has solid walls on 2 sides already. And there is room for a run around two sides + some, if we move stuff that needs moved anyway. (That location was my 1st choice for the chickens BTW.) I'll probably need to add an ark, but that is already something I know I'll want.

    The new woodshed would be closer to the door we bring wood through that way. And THAT means we won't need to stage wood on the back porch, so we can use it for living space, which should make Himself happy!

    As to those darn saplings, I've been after Himself to take them out for a couple of years now. He looks at them and agrees with me...[​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by