Need a workaround alternative to a hardware cloth apron

jonalisa

Codswallop!
6 Years
May 28, 2013
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We changed our plans, sold our small coop, bought a 10 x 10 shed and will be changing the location to the edge of the yard. This means moving our run, too.
The 12' by 16' run we built will now be in an area at the edge of the woods (and attached to the shed). Unfortunately, there are lots of roots and stumps that now make it impossible for us to dig a trench for the hardware cloth apron.

So our predicament is, How can we secure the coop without a hardware cloth apron?

Options considered::
  • Screwing hardware cloth across the bottom (as a full floor on the pen) and then adding about 6" of loam inside the pen to cover the hardware cloth floor. Not sure how easy that would be, how it would work or how comfortable it would be for the chickens.
  • Another option- Add an external apron by screwing it to the 2x4 (on the inside of the pen from under the 2x4) and running the hardware cloth out and away from the pen about 2ft, 3ft or more - then adding loam to cover or something else like cinderblocks?. This would be similar concept to the original apron but it would be above ground.

The only thing I can think of is having and apron but making up for the lack of depth by making it very wide...

Great minds on here, so I am hoping to get some ideas. We are on a budget but keeping the chickens safe is the priority. We want to have confidence that when they are in that run, that they are completely safe.

Thanks in advance for your ideas and opinions!


Here is the run in its current location...soon to be moved and completed with roof and door..

Here's where it is going, to the left of this shed.
 
Last edited:

Pyxis

Hatchi Wan Kenobi
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You can do an above ground apron! A lot of people do. As long as it's secured down so nothing can lift it up and slide under, it will work fine.
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
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You can do an above ground apron! A lot of people do. As long as it's secured down so nothing can lift it up and slide under, it will work fine.
That's exactly what we did because our ground is so hard that digging around a 6'x8' coop plus the run would be nigh on to impossible. So the hardware cloth starts two feet up the run, comes down, folds out where the run meets the ground, then extends all the way around the whole setup by about a foot. Haven't covered it yet, but have a huge collection of flat red rocks that will go on top of the hardware cloth. We secured it to the ground with those staple thingies usually used to hold down landscape fabric. I guess they're about 4 inches long. But we're not counting on that for a final solution, hence the rock over top of the stapled down hardware cloth. We also brought it up about 6 inches up the coop walls all the way around and then formed the apron. The excess that we trimmed off that section was used to cover the chicken tunnel and the people door.
 

bugflipper

Songster
9 Years
Apr 9, 2010
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I always just run a tiller along the edges, rake the dirt back, lay the wire and cover it back up. Tillers will cut up the normal 2" diameter or so roots and 5-6" rocks will be churned up as well so it takes most of the manual work out of it. I'm assuming that places rent them if you don't own one or know someone that will bring one over and spend 10 minutes cutting it up for you. Tillers only dig 6-8" so you are going with the horizontal method, just putting it under ground so the mower doesn't grab ahold of the wire and create a big problem.
 

jonalisa

Codswallop!
6 Years
May 28, 2013
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Well, it's a relief to know it will still be viable protection at the surface. I do own a tiller and will try that first, although the roots are probably going to be too much, but it is worth the attempt. Staking it down is a great idea too. No grass grows there, so the mower isn't an issue - but you are right, it will at least be more covered. Really appreciate the input.
 

sunflour

Flock Master
7 Years
Jan 10, 2013
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My coop /run is much smaller than yours, but we had the same problem along with an extreme slope to deal with. Digging trenches in Georgia clay is out of the question. We used commercial grade hardware cloth, used a portable air compressor with staple gun to attach it to the wood foundation. Topped with soil, tampered it in. Surrounded with stones and placed 25 pound cement stones from Home Depot over the outside 1/2 of the wire. Finished with chipped pine bark. I figured a digger would have to move 50# and then dig and find wire. We have fox, coyotes, dogs, raccons and thus far only a mole has shown effort in digging and stays above the wire surround. Pics of wire and finished surround.




 

Flachickman

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 14, 2014
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When I built my coop. I attached 1/2 hardware cloth to the bottom of the coop and laid down about 6 inches of hay all around the floor. It has been 3 1/2 months and it hasn't needed changing yet. No odor, Of course I only had 4 chickens , and now because 2 turned out to be roosters, I have 2.
 

sunflour

Flock Master
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Jan 10, 2013
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When I built my coop. I attached 1/2 hardware cloth to the bottom of the coop and laid down about 6 inches of hay all around the floor. It has been 3 1/2 months and it hasn't needed changing yet. No odor, Of course I only had 4 chickens , and now because 2 turned out to be roosters, I have 2.
I am so sorry you drew 50% roosters. That was my fear last year when I go mine.
 

jonalisa

Codswallop!
6 Years
May 28, 2013
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Wow, that cement stone and pavers are a great idea and it looks really nice!
 
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