Ideas needed to figure out how to cover top of run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Birdydeb, May 11, 2016.

  1. Birdydeb

    Birdydeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    We are almost there. Chicks should go in coop this weekend. Just final things to do to secure the run area. We bought a second hand walk in coop from a farmer and it is made out of chestnut, very secure except for a few repairs, mainly repairing the windows and covering them with hardware cloth. Tomorrow that should get done if the rain doesn't return. Hubby and I set posts and put up the first round of wire this weekend. It was 6 ft. 19 gauge welded wire fencing. We will put up 4 ft hardware cloth this weekend and bend it at the bottom to create an apron and he has boards to nail along the bottom also. Once this is done I feel pretty confident that the pen is predator resistant. But the top is really making me nuts. I bought a net to go over the top since we have a bad hawk problem but 2 years ago when we bought this property we didn't think things through very well. There is an apple tree inside the pen. At the time our thought was great shade not thinking about how hard it would make it to put a net up. That apple tree is driving me nuts and at this point I would just cut it down if it weren't a heritage apple. :( Anybody else backed themselves into a corner like this? I feel like that blasted apple tree is just gonna become an ambush post. :( Wiil try to put a pic so everyone can see what I mean but I seem to have problems connecting pics so it might end up in next post. Any ideas much appreciated. :)

    Okay not allowing me to upload the photo from my iPad so I don't know how to get a pic up. I uploaded my avatar and other pics and now can't. :(
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    If your just protecting from hawks then why not put bird netting over the apple tree and run? Apple trees need a good trimming so go ahead and do that prior to the netting to make things easy. Late in the season for trimming but hey, better than cutting it down. By trimming/pruning I mean you can lop off any tall main tree tops too.
  3. Birdydeb

    Birdydeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not totally the pic I was wanting but it will do to show what I mean about the apple tree. Also has my "tag team" of Pyrs included. :)
  4. Birdydeb

    Birdydeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    That is an idea. But see how tall that tree is. The pic I finally got up was earlier in the leaves yet. Actually the time it SHOULD have been trimmed. :)
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Maybe try nylon cording run from side to side with 'flash' tape tied on every couple feet. Also, provide places in the run for the flock to 'take cover' under.
  6. micah wotring

    micah wotring Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 6, 2015
    WV boy here!
    Never tried this myself but I have read that if you run a string or ten across the top of your run and tie CDs onto it
    that the CDs wave around in the wind and reflect light at the hawks eyes making them avoid that spot.

    Also If you have a rooster or two they will warn the flock in time (most of the time) to get under cover.

    If you arrange the string right you could be able to walk in the run too.

    I hope you find a good solution
  7. Birdydeb

    Birdydeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    All good suggestions from everyone. At this point, so close to getting the chicks out there finally (too many rain delays) I am tempted to cut that apple tree drastically to make it more manageable and just take my chances on killing it. Haven't had any luck in getting it grafted unless we figure out how to do it ourselves. That seems to be a lost art. :(

    I may be stressing needlessly since my male Pyr has decided that the pen is his new hangout. Just not positive how he will do once chicks get in the pen too. He may be guarding from the outside. If I hadn't witnessed a hawk attack on my neighbor's free range chickens last weekend I wouldn't be stressing so either. Chickens that are free ranged around here seem to disappear quickly. My neighbor across the road seems to have lost his entire flock due to hawks and a middle of the night attack from wandering dogs. I think the dog problem was dealt with by him or I was told so. None of my business. Just too bad.

    Micah, I am in WV too. :)
    1 person likes this.
  8. micah wotring

    micah wotring Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 6, 2015
    WV boy here!

    I am in Aurora
  9. OEF5

    OEF5 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 22, 2016
    The pic isn't super clear, but a thought that I had would be to run welded wire fence all along the top of your run to the branches of the tree, and then on the inside of the run tie the netting to the wire around the tree to form a cone so that nothing can get in, but it's easy to remove to get fruit off of it. Your chickens wouldn't be able to roost in the tree, and no birds would be able to get from the tree to your run.

    Smaller birds are always going to be able to get in through the wire, but that's ok, it's the big predator birds that you want to keep out.

    Hope I explained my idea well enough for you to visualize it.
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I cannot tell from the pic where the run is and which tree is in question.

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