I HATE digging trenches for wire!!!!!!!!! HELP!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Solsken Farm, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. I am finally trying to finish our pen. I am digging the trench around it today. There is granite, huge rocks, and I am getting blisters. Is there some type of edging tool or something I could use? How do you all do this? I tried paying my kids 5 bucks. They were thrilled and began excitedly for about 2 minutes, then said they didn't need the money and quit.[​IMG] I don't blame them. I have another 16 feet or so to go. Any suggestions? There must be a better way!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2008
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    In the almost 35 years I've had my chickens I've never buried a wire around the bottom. I line the bottom edge of the run with railroad ties. It's worked ok for me.
  3. chicken_angler

    chicken_angler Coop Constructist

    Jun 23, 2008
    a house
    We had 300 hundred feet to trench electric so we borrowed a trencher from a construction site my uncle works at.it went pretty quick and it was fun! Since you dont have too much further to trench, I wouldnt bother getting a trencher. Maybe there is some sort of digging machine I dont know of that will do the job.
  4. i'm going to be doing this soon for our new pen. i have seen some folks attach the hardware cloth to the pen or coop edge, then bend it out horizontal, and then put pavers on top of that. If you are finding a lot of large rocks when you dig, perhaps you can place those on top of the hardware cloth.

    Hoping someone comes along who has actually tried this, as i don't relish digging trenches myself.
  5. dixygirl

    dixygirl Songster

    May 14, 2008
    You really want animals to find that they cant dig a tunnel under the fence. You can use pavers, boards, cement or wire as a barrier. From what you are saying your ground is already a very rocky barrier that most predators will have a hard time getting through. It is not as if there is anything magical about wire in the ground. It is just a digging barrier of whatever form that you seek. In gardening, we use shale or gravel mixed in the soil to keep digging moles, voles etc out of bulb beds. So gravel, shale or granite mixed in the soil are other proven barriers against diggers. If you want to fortify it more, you could just scrape off the top few inches of soil, replace it with some powder cement and moisten. The thin cement would also make a very dig resistant barrier and is much easier and cheaper.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2008
  6. I have had the best luck with laying a 1 foot wide layer of wire (heavy-gauge chicken wire will work, but I normally use a 2x4 welded wire product) FLAT ON THE GROUND around the outside of the coop, and hog-ring it to the wire sides of the run. This one-foot horizontal barrier has kept out dogs, coons, squirrels, cats, and even one love-struck rooster. It's SOOO much easier than trenching!
  7. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    This is why we had my father in law dig the trench! [​IMG]

    If you use a pickaxe, it goes pretty quickly. And that is saying a lot seeing as our ground is extremely hard and full of rocks the size of my fist.

    DENALI Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Take a rototiller and go around the outside of your pen digging a couple inches down then rake the dirt away and lay down chicken wire or hardware cloth and attach it to the bottom of your existing fence. The back sill over it and your set. Predators always dig at the fence and never more than a few inches away from the fence. So with this method they will dig down an inch or two and hit the chicken wire giving up.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2008
  9. risurocket

    risurocket Songster

    Jul 5, 2008
    I totally hate digging trenches too. I discovered I was digging our trench in soil that was pretty much a mix of gravel and cement and I was digging it along side an already poured, sunken cement wall. So then I have the trench almost dug and come up against tarps that have been laid under the dirt. [​IMG]
    And finally, I am told after I have at least my entire trench dug down 6 inches (all the further I can go down) that we don't need to dig one anyway because of that cement wall. We can just attach our fencing to a frame and screw that into the cement. So what the heck was I doing all that digging for!? [​IMG]
    Wish I would have known sooner. All the ideas mentioned above are really good to know too!
  10. OOooh! Lots of great ideas. I love the rototiller idea, but ours is so huge I can't move it![​IMG]I love the railroad tie idea, but I don't want to spend more money. The cement is possible, but I don't want something permanent as I always change my mind about where things go. I think laying the wire in an L around will work. I just dug 75% around and could get down about 6" at least. I found an old heavy pitchfork thing with 4 tines. That worked really well to soften the soil. I have no pick axe. That would have been helpful. I have one more 12' section to go, and I think it is softer stuff.

    This area is tricky as there is solid granite and then deep soil, so a hit or miss varmit could luck out, so the perimeter flat should solve that.

    What is a hog ring? LOL

    BTW, I still hate doing this chore. Painting the door was sooooo much more fun![​IMG]

    Thanks everyone.

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