Mesh predator apron being REALLY HARD to do

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Celticdragonfly, May 21, 2019.

  1. Celticdragonfly

    Celticdragonfly Songster

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    So we started out following this video:

    https://carolinacoops.com/predator-apron/#.XN51sI5KiCr

    But everybody here was insisting that the 2x3 mesh was way too big, it would let everything in. I revamped my plans to go to 1x1 mesh. People told me that was too big and would let rats in. I gave up, and ordered .5x.5 mesh.

    And my poor husband Miles spent Sunday afternoon trying to attach it. I bought a good wire cutter for him, as he was hunched over miserably trying to cut all the "fingers", and was pointing out to me just how many MORE of them there were. He was having a very difficult time stapling the stuff to the coop. Partially because the coop is level, but the ground is NOT, so the far north end of the run is up on a bit of a post, which means the bottom of the run and coop is at varying distances from the ground. Partially because he was having a terrible time getting the staplegun up to where it needed to be with the mesh that tight. I was watching him ending up shoving the mesh in towards the run with a foot, having pliers in one hand gripping the mesh and holding it up against the run, and the other hand holding and operating the staplegun.

    I'd been inside the run, as we'd been working on putting pavers in the gap and whitewashing the inside (and by the way whitewash in a paint sprayer does not work well, that's a whole separate problem/rant), and opened the door to step out - and started to slip and nearly hurt myself on the tilted mesh. And apparently broke a little bit of it where it's stapled under the door.

    And then Miles got up to where it was coop instead of run - and discovered that the edge there is a couple inches farther back than the edge of the coop, so.... now the mesh doesn't reach. He was somewhere between incredibly frustrated and close to rage.

    He's willing to try to tackle it some more, although I don't know how soon, I was really trying to use the one clear non-rainy weekend day to get stuff done. I've even suggested that he let me buy the 2x3 mesh TOO, and lay the .5 x .5 mesh underneath it, then use the staplegun to attach the easier 2x3 mesh to the coop and run, and use the sod staples to hold the two together. He didn't think this would work.

    Seriously, how do people manage? Ok, I get that the guy in the video, it looks easy because he's using the not safe enough 2x3 mesh - but for all of you that insisted we needed .5 mesh (some were even advocating .5x.25!), how do you deal with getting that in place and attached?

    I want to get this thing finished and have the city inspector come approve it so I can get that worry off my shoulders. I expect he'd approve it without the apron, but I don't want the chicks out there without it.
     
    Tara Bear and ButtonquailGirl14 like this.
  2. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    Close up photos of what you're trying to do and how you're attaching it?

    For any gaps that didn't get the coverage needed, just cut an extra piece of mesh that's large enough to overlap the gap area by several squares and attach it over the gap.

    As far as how to attach, I wouldn't do it the way the video shows, personally... screws with fender washers are slower but easy to work with and very secure for attaching wire to wood.
     
  3. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

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    I have watched a number of Carolina Coops videos on YouTube. I thought they used 2X4 wire for the predator apron. And the apron went out about 2 feet from the run and coop. They certainly never mentioned anything about using small .5 X .5 hardware mesh. I think the predator apron is supposed to stop larger dogs, raccoons, skunks, etc... from trying to dig into the run enclosure.

    You might want to rethink your choice of using .5 X .5 hardware mesh on the ground as a predator apron. I used to raise rabbits and used .5 X 1 mesh for the cage bottoms. That mesh lasts a long time IF suspended above ground. If that mesh comes in contact with the ground, it quickly rusts, rots, and breaks. It was not meant to have ground contact. I suggest you ask someone about your .5 X .5 mesh because I think it would not last very long on the ground.

    Additionally, the Carolina Coops videos show a number of coops and runs that are not built on level ground. The guy does mention that you can put dirt on top of the predator apron and landscape it in. Even on level ground, he mentions that the predator apron will soon "disappear" into the soil as grass, etc... grows through it. Again, the predator apron is only supposed to stop an animal from digging. You don't have to see the apron at all for it to be doing its job.

    I believe the .5 X .5 mesh is what Carolina Coops use for the chicken runs in the videos I have seen. But all that mesh is above ground. They use some kind of black coated .5 X .5 mesh which reduces the glare and allows you to see the chickens in the run better than with the standard shiny metal mesh. I thought that was interesting. We don't have any black coat mesh around where I live, but I have been thinking about spray painting the mesh with black paint to see if it improves visibility into the run.

    It sounds like you are putting a lot of time and effort into this project, and I hope your efforts outweigh you current frustrations. Chickens are supposed to be fun, right? Take care.
     
  4. Ponte

    Ponte Chirping

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    Regarding cutting the hc.
    Don’t use wire cutters, go to a flea market and buy a used drill snip.
    I have a set of roto-snips (attaches to drill) which cuts hc with eases.
    A four foot cut takes 15-20 seconds. I have used it to build my daughter’s rabbit hutch and the chicken aviary.
     
  5. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

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    One more thing, I saw a YouTube video where the guy had used a staplegun to put his wire mesh up in the run. A predator, I think it was a raccoon, was able to pull on the mesh and pull the staplegun staples out. Anyway, he ended up having to buy hammer in staples to reinforce the mesh. The staples you have to hammer in are a lot heavier, and evidently much more secure.

    I am in the process of building my first chicken coop and run, and have been watching YouTube videos for weeks. You can learn a lot from other people and fortunately most of them are also more than willing to tell you their mistakes to avoid. Lots of good info here too on BYC.
     
  6. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

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    The easiest way to cut cut mesh is with an angle grinder.
    A very important tip. Cut mesh away from the coop and run! It doesn't matter how careful you are you are bound to drop tiny pieces of metal on the ground and these may be ingested by a chicken.
    Bend the skirting mesh at 90 degrees so that 6 inches or so can be attached to the existing fence leaving the rest lying flat on the floor outside the coop.
    Use zip ties to attach the bent up part to the existing fence; a zip tie every six inches.
     
  7. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

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    I had never heard of that drill snip but found it here on Amazon.com. Looks interesting.

    I have lots of Ryobi 18v tools and had been looking at their 18-volt One+ 18-Gauge Offset Shear which cuts wire mesh.

    But I agree, you reach an age where power tools are more appreciated and just easier on the body/hands.
     
  8. Celticdragonfly

    Celticdragonfly Songster

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    *screams in frustration and bashes head on desk*

    I *was* gonna use the 2x3 stuff - but people told me I was wrong....that I'd get rats going in...

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...deo-on-predator-aprons-is-this-right.1309929/

    Okay, I think I need to go hold a baby chick for a few and try to remember why I got into this.
     
  9. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

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    That is one of the videos I watched too. Maybe they did use 2X3 wire. I can get 2X4 wire locally, so maybe I remembered that video wrong. At any rate, even the 2X3 is much larger and stronger than the .5 X .5 mesh. I don't remember Carolina Coops ever mentioning anything about rats. The predator apron they put down was for larger animals.

    If you have a rat problem, I would think some bait and rat traps would control them. As far as mice go, have you seen the pictures of chickens eating a whole mouse? Yum, yum!

    Yeah, holding baby chicks is good therapy. I did not mean to get you all frustrated. Only attempted to pass on info I have been leaning from YouTube, etc... as I am currently building my first coop and run and have many of the same questions and concerns that you have raised. The only predators I am concerned about are larger animals. But people live in different surroundings and have different predator concerns.
     
  10. trumpeting_angel

    trumpeting_angel Crowing

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    It’s upsetting when you seek information and then discover multiple, differing opinions, and infuriating when you follow advice and use up money and DH’s goodwill.

    (I was trying to figure out where to plant my asparagus bed, and learned I should water them frequently, because it used to grow in swamps (1), and (2) make sure the soil is well-drained, otherwise the roots will rot.)

    There’s a LOT of conflicting information on BYC. I find it takes more reading to decide whose opinions are the ones to follow. Ditto YouTube, and most other sources online!
     

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