Making the Run predator proof

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kristen2678, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. kristen2678

    kristen2678 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2009
    North Berwick Maine
    I currently have a coop with attached run. It's solid - A frame style with hardware cloth. We've used it for years with no problems. I lock the door to the coop each night. This spring we are building a new coop but I'd still like to use this one for a grow out or project pen. I'd love to move it to part of the property that is a little inconvenient to get to, but that can be seen from the house. If I add a skirt of hardware cloth to the perimeter of the run, would that keep fox and such from digging under? I'm trying to avoid going out there every night to lock them up.

    Attach a 6 or 12 inch flap of hardware cloth and stake it down? Bury it ? How much and how deep? My other thought was to build a "floor" of hardware cloth, then put dirt over top and grow grass over it before the birds are out there. They'd probably dig down to the hardware cloth in no time. I'd hate for them to hurt their feet.

    Suggestions are welcome!

  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I'd go with the 12" width and make sure it's very securely attached at the base, so it can't be pulled away. You don't need to bury it, but you do need to make sure it's securely on the ground. You don't want them to get under it. The biggest danger is if it has ripples that they'll notice and go under. You can stake it down, have a few heavy rocks in strategic places or bury it lightly with soil or gravel.
  3. kristen2678

    kristen2678 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2009
    North Berwick Maine
    Thanks. I think a 12 inch apron secured to the bottom of the run and staked down is the way to go....
  4. P-Funk

    P-Funk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2011
    Nothing bigger than a squirrel has ever made it into this one. It's 2x4 wire and only buried a few inches. Good luck! P
  5. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I made my apron/skirt about 18" wide and burried it about 8 inches underground. I wanted the edges to be covered and there to be dirt on top of the skirt/apron. Once the grass grows back over it, I think it will be fine. My theory is that an animal trying to dig in will dig at the base of the wall and will hit the wire and give up.
  6. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

    Jun 3, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    We made our skirt from 1x1 hardware cloth - about 10 inches wide. After we attached it to the run, we put sod on top of it. Worked great!
  7. ericz

    ericz Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 16, 2011
    media pa
    this is something i was going to post a question about today. i'm almost finished with the new coop, and next weekend will be devoted to securing the run. i have a roughly 4x8 coop on stilts, with about 2.5' of headroom underneath. i will also connect the coop to a run i already built and enclosed with chicken wire (top is enclosed too).

    for underneath the coop, i was thinking of hardware cloth or welded wire, with one section hinged for access, and the rest nailed or stapled to the wood. for both the separate run and also underneath the coop, i was going to use a 12" apron of hardware cloth or welded wire, and weight it down with boards or stones until the grass will grow through it next spring.

    i will have an automatic door opener, so the birds will be outside in their runs every day, then they will be secure in the coop at night, so my main worry is about keeping diurnal or crepuscular predators out of the run. with that in mind, will an un-buried apron of hardware cloth or welded wire be sufficient? do you all have any recommendation for size or gauge of wire?
  8. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2011
    Rison, Arkansas
    You could also buy bags of pre-mix concrete and mix it. Dig a hole around the outside of the fencing and pour it in the hole.
  9. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    I put 2x4 welded wire around my run and then a 1/2" hardware cloth up the sides for about 2' so that the babies wouldn't get pulled through by anything. I then also put an apron around my run of about 12" that I just aproned out and overlapped at the corners. Then I backfilled over the apron with soil and after a few heavy showers it's formed a good solid dirt flooring. I put rocks over top of the soil, but that's because I didn't have another place to use the rocks. No one has tried to get under there yet.

    Here's some pics taken at various stages of building.

  10. ericz

    ericz Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 16, 2011
    media pa
    Quote:that's kind of what i was thinking... not really digging a hole and burying the wire, but more like covering it up with something heavy. but what was the apron made of? 1/2" hardware cloth, or 2x4 welded wire?

    (it's nice to see posts from VA. makes me a bit less home-sick)
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011

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