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making the run cheaper...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by joerbaum, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. joerbaum

    joerbaum Hatching

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    Jun 11, 2010
    I'm trying to think of ways to cut costs - I have most of my coop and run done, but haven't put up the hardware cloth yet and want to see if I can get by without it. Anybody know how long a raccoon's arm is? I'm asking because...

    I have welded wire livestock fence (2x4) surrounding the entire run, and was wondering if I could get away with putting chicken wire on the inside of the pine 2x4's that the welded wire is attached to. That would the welded wire to keep stuff out, then a gap of 1.5 inches before the poultry netting. What are the chances something could reach through that and still get the chickens? They will be put in a secure coop each night and let out in the morning - I'm just talking about during the day while I'm at work. In my mind a chicken would have to be pretty dumb to be standing right there next to the fence to get grabbed - can somebody with experience tell me how likely that is?

    Also - my coop is around 120 sq feet and the run is 144 sq feet - how many chickens can I have at max capacity (all heavy breeds)?

    Thanks.
     
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Chickens, unfortunately, ARE dumb. When frightened, they do NOT run to the middle of a yard far away from fencing. They run TO a corner, usually, right up against the fence. If your predators are raccoons (and those are most likely the worst, next to loose dogs), they often hunt together or in pairs. One will spook the chickens and the other will go to that corner and reach in for the chickens.

    Trust me. They'll pull chicken parts right through the fence. You need hardware cloth at least 2 feet up your fence. It doesn't HAVE to be the whole height of the fence.
     
  3. emys

    emys Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    If you have raccoons, use 2 feet of hardware cloth around the bottom of the entire run including the door. If you use chicken wire, not only will they be dumb enough to stand by the fence, they will stick their heads out and make it easier to have them bitten off!
     
  4. robk0220

    robk0220 Chirping

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    Mar 12, 2010
    Wapwallopen, PA.
    Quote:We have a 10 x 12 coop (roughly translates to 120 sq ft). Up until 2 days ago, we had 41 chickens in there... we just seperated the soon to be arctic explorers from the "staying" flock of buff orps and faverolles, and they were all doing just fine. Our run is now about 75 ft x 50ft for 26 keeper chickens.
     
  5. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Songster

    Jul 3, 2009
    The rule of thumb is 4 square foot per bird (large fowl) inside the coop. Therefore you can have about 30 full grown birds in there. The rule for the run is 10 square feet per bird. Your run allows you to have 14.4 birds (or 15!). Unfortunately (or fortunately as a run is easier to add onto) you are limited by your run, not your coop. If your birds free range when you are at home you could probably have more. You could also just try like 20 and see how it goes. Our coop is the same size as yours and we are finishing the run this weekend. We made it 300sq feet to accomodate the max # of birds in there. We have been very slow in getting the run done so they have been cooped up in there without going outside for a month now. I can not IMAGINE 30 birds in there. I seriously hope this thing gets easier to clean once they are outside more.

    I don't know why the previous poster has a 3,750 sq. foot run. That is a LOT of hardware cloth. [​IMG] As for the chicken wire question I guess it depends on the predators in your area etc. We wanted to make ours super secure in case we didn't get home on time. We used hardware cloth and an apron. We have not had the birds outside yet and although we have MANY predators I don't know how our run will hold up so I will defer to the experts here and say that depending on your loss tolerance (and your budget) you could use chicken wire until the money starts rolling in again. Good luck!
     
  6. robk0220

    robk0220 Chirping

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    Mar 12, 2010
    Wapwallopen, PA.
    Quote:Because, we can. [​IMG]
     
  7. joerbaum

    joerbaum Hatching

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    Jun 11, 2010
    So even with the welded wire, then a 1.5 inch gap, then chicken wire - they will still be able to reach through that and get at the chickens?
     
  8. robk0220

    robk0220 Chirping

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    Mar 12, 2010
    Wapwallopen, PA.
    If I am understanding what you want to do, is like this:


    outside of run

    ____________________________________________________________ 2 x 4 welded wire (make sure it is at least 4ft tall)

    1.5" space

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - chicken wire


    inside of run

    This is what it would look like if you were looking down from the top, correct?
     
  9. emys

    emys Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Honestly, yes. It's because your chickens will panic and stick their heads through the chicken wire eliminating the 1.5 inch gap. If you make a gap inside the run, it needs to be more than the length of a full grown chicken neck plus the longest reach of a raccoon. It's probably not practical.

    You might be able to create a gap that is longer than the average raccoon arm (no idea how long that is) and double up the chicken wire in such a way that they can no longer get their head's out. It's double the cost in chicken wire, and a whole lot less run space, but it could work until you can get the hardware cloth.
     
  10. Zahboo

    Zahboo Simply Stated

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    Feb 3, 2009
    Hope Mills, NC
    1.5" isn't much. If it was like 4" or so then maybe not.


    Making a run cheaper unless using recycled and free materials equals less secure.
     

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