Need a cheap, durable run to withstand NH winters and keep out foxes and hawks and dogs!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DownwardDog, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. DownwardDog

    DownwardDog Songster

    We spent A LOT of $$$ building our coop. Next up is our run. Our girls (10 layers, with 12 roasters coming next spring) free range all day since I'm home most of it, but we need a run for whenever we're away for weekends, etc. We were going to go with hardware cloth and chicken wire over the top, with a partial roof so the girls have an area that won't get snowed in. It's going to be roughly 12x20 feet, so now we're looking for more economic solutions than strictly using hardware cloth. I tought of electric but with our snow, it turns out you can't go that route. Any suggestions???
  2. jetdog

    jetdog Songster

    Jun 18, 2013
    You could check craigslist for dog run panels very strong and easy to bolt together I've seen some on there for cheap money run hardware cloth around the bottom with an apron on the ground and chicken wire on top.
  3. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    What I did for my run was to fence with 2 x 3 fencing and add a layer of chicken wire on the inside, bottom 24 inches. The fencing is inexpensive and quite durable. The chicken wire keeps the chickens from sticking their heads through the fence and a predator from reaching through.

    The fence is 6 feet tall, made of two rows of 4 foot wide fencing. The bottom 24 inches is used as an apron, extending out along the surface of the ground to prevent digging.

  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    You can still use electric.
    You just have to run more wires, and use cut off switches so the lower wires can be turned off when snow reaches tehm
  5. yogifink

    yogifink Songster

    May 16, 2013
    Pinebluff, nc
    My Coop
    You could go with a few feet of hardware cloth along the bottom up the sides and then chicken wire for the rest of the height, so that there is 3-4 feet of hardware cloth up the walls and then 4-5 feet of chicken wire to the top of the run (if your run is 8 feet). Or, if you would like to make it look cleaner, use welded wire fence around the whole thing with a single row of hardware cloth around the base to help predator proof.

    On the top of the coop, I would go with avery netting instead of chicken wire which you could get enough for your run at lowes for like $15.

    To help predator proof, go with a hardware cloth apron around the parameter. Electric fencing is nice to have, but can get kind of pricey
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Excellent Idea! or 2x4 fencing, I haven't seen the 2x3 around here.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You don't happen to have a pic of exactly how this is set up do you?
    I've never done electric wire, so seeing it would really help.
  8. rawheid

    rawheid In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2013
    I would love to see pictures too. thanks
  9. DownwardDog

    DownwardDog Songster

    Thanks so much, everyone! I'm going to let my husband read through all the replies and see what might work best for us. Again, thanks for throwing out all these ideas -- MUCH appreciated!!!!

    Bear Brook Farm: I've never used an electric fence -- do some lines just pulse current and others are steady current? Is there a way to control the amount of current? I'd prefer steady current but not at rate that would kill a clumsy chicken, but that may not be possible to do.

  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You want the pulse because it's safer, steady current can kill your dog or cat or chickens.

    You want it to be HOT, buy the strongest charger you can afford, learn the ratings of the various chargers before you buy, get a good tester so you know the voltage you are carrying and test often. Understand how to properly ground it. I found it complicated and still don't understand enough to buy yet....I read many stories of people buying too small of a charger and having to buy another. A good charger can be a couple hundred bucks, solar is more, so not necessarily less expensive than hardware cloth.

    There's lots of good threads here about electric fencing and at there are even better threads.
    advanced search>titles only> electric fence

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