How wide does the "skirt" of hardware cloth have to be?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by clarkechick, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. clarkechick

    clarkechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I dont want to bury my run, as I want to move my coop occasionally. How wide should the "skirt" of hardware cloth be around the run to keep predators from diggin? I plan on 9-12" assuming that they wont start digging farther away from the coop than that since the don't understand the concept of tunneling.
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Well, 9-12" width is better than nothing but you'd want at least 2' to be really fairly sure of stopping most/all comers. In some cases you need even wider, e.g. those with "professional foxes" around who've perfected the art of making a living outta peoples' henhouses... but fortunately that doesn't apply to very many people.

    It's not so much that predators don't understand "the concept of tunnelling" as it is that they tend not to back up and try further away if they're thwarted close to the fence. But they won't always start, or stay, RIGHT AGAINST the fence, hence the value of a somewhat wider apron than you suggest. In particular you want the apron to be either REALLY well secured to the ground, or the edge buried/inconspicous/etc... you do NOT want them to get the idea that it is moveable or has a flappy edge right next to them...

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. clarkechick

    clarkechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2011
    Thanks Pat-
    On top of all of this, my chickens will be locked up tight in a quite well constructed coop at night. I'm just taking the extra precation of the apron so that IF any predators sneak around in the day time OR I don't make it home right at dusk to lock them in. I appreciate the feedback and totally understand that when it comes to predator protection - more is better. I just have to draw the line somewhere! I plan to secure the 1/2" hardware cloth to the frame with large washers and screws... a technique I've seen on many other runs.
     
  4. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    X2 with Pat. Something to make occational moving easier is simply lift the skirt and tie it to the side of the run so it doesn't drap so much. Also you will need to lift it because the grass grows thru it (nice to mow over but tough to push)
     

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