need ideas for run fencing material

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by shend, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. shend

    shend Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2010
    west michigan
    Getting my first chicks this spring. Now on the the run.

    I know this will be my largest costs so I want to do it right. I'm planning on about 12 x 12 with one side being the coop and shed walls. I need some ideas on material, etc.
  2. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Well how secure you need it to be depends on a lot of things. How much predator pressure are you dealing with in the daytime (it's considerably lower in my backyard than in an empty field across town, for example) so basically where do you live?

    Also, will they be locked into the secure coop at dusk? Or does the run need to be fort knox for overnight protection as well?

    Mine is built of cattle panels, with welded wire on top of that to make the holes smaller, and a 1ft welded wire dig-prevention skirt all around. It's fairly secure from foxes, dogs, raccoons, possums and skunks. However, if there were minks or other critters they can get in MUCH smaller holes (1/2" I think I read) it would not keep them out ---- that would factor into your fencing requirements.
    I've dispatched 10 raccoons and 2 foxes in less than 4 months, and lost 6 free ranged roosters to dogs. It's a tough world out there where they live now.
  3. forgeblast

    forgeblast New Egg

    Feb 28, 2010
    I have wire cloth(hardware cloth) on the bottom 3 feet of it, it is also bent like an L and comes out into the yard for about 8-12 inches, this keeps anything from diggin around it. then we just used chicken wire to do the rest.
  4. suburbanhomesteader

    suburbanhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use 2x4 welded wire panels (5'x16' from Tractor Supply) set up ala a hoop greenhouse. Never had a predator problem since I put in the "chunnel".
  5. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    You can use just about anything to keep chickens in. The question is what do you want to keep out?

    I've lost chickens to raccoons, opossum, fox & hawk.

    If you have hawks you will need a lid - or net over the top to make them secure.

    Coons will climb a fence like you climb stairs so it wont stop them either - but they only come out after dark so the hens should be locked up by then.

    Opossum dig - at least mine tried to & couldn't get in.

    My friend the fox grabs them in broad daylight while they free range. Fox is a digger too though.

    Most people will build an enclosed run if they are worried about it at all - either burying some wire around or using the L method. I use that one myself.
  6. Patricia Jane

    Patricia Jane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 28, 2010
    Petaluma CA
    I suggest using hardware cloth (can be alittle exspenive but worth it) for the fencing and chicken wire buried into the ground. I wouldn't suggest using chicken wire for fencing. Predators can reach through the holes and grab your chickens.
  7. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    Lots to think about in the other replies. The "gold standard" is 1/2" hardware cloth. It's small enough to keep out small predators and to prevent grabby predator hands (ie raccoons) from reaching in and grabbing chickens. It also keeps chicken parts safely inside the run where clever predators can't grab them and pull them through the fence. And it's strong enough that you generally don't have to worry about predators tearing it apart and getting in to your birds (which is the big problem with chicken wire...just about any predator can just pull it apart). That said, while it is desirable for the above reasons, it is also very expensive and few people can afford to spend the money to construct the entire run of hardware cloth (especially one as big as the one you're planning). A lot of people will compromise. They will pick a less expensive fencing with larger openings and cover the bottom 2-3 feet with the hardware cloth since this is about the level of most daytime predators. We used 2x4 welded wire fencing for economy and covered the bottom 2 feet with chicken wire and a 1 foot chicken wire skirt covered with several inches of dirt to discourage digging. The chicken wire is less durable than the hardware cloth, but since we live in town in backyard fenced with chain link and have two large dogs that frequently go into the yard it is most likely adequate for the few day time predators we would encounter. At night, our girls are shut in a rock-solid coop that I'm pretty sure only a bear could break into without opposable thumbs.
  8. chickfan

    chickfan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2009
    Leander, TX
    I guess it is "legal" to post this..I hope. I got a very good price on hardware cloth from Amazon. Check it out.
  9. imthedude

    imthedude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2010
    2x4's, chicken wire (1" opening), and OSB are what make my run.
  10. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    2 x 4 welded wire, set in cement. See "My BYC Page' Add a run of hardware cloth all around the perimeter 24" tall. Keeps out weasels and keep the chooks from poking their heads out to nibble grass. (Coons will decapitate one if they see it doing that.) Since it is such a small run, do cover the top with chicken wire. Electrify the run with minimum 4 courses of hot wire. If not electrified, then do the 2x4 welded wire all across the top too. Will keep out coons and even maybe cougars.


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