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Newbie & Building My 1st Run

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by zookeypr12, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. zookeypr12

    zookeypr12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2008
    Hi everyone,

    I am readying a 8x8 shed to house about 6 hens. We are doing well with that so far but I am concerned about our run.

    I will not be able to allow free range as I am on the water and have no fence across the water part of my property and other animals can get in from there also.

    I have read enough "horror" stories on this board about losing chickens to different predators to know I just want to build the safest run I can the first time and not have any of my own horror stories.

    I do live on a river and we have ospry that nest in the high tension wire towers. we also have our fair share of skunks and racoons.

    the area we have for the chickens outside the coop is about 4wx 16 long.

    What I feel like I need to do is frame it out (I want o be able to stand upright in the run 6') and surround the whole thing in 1/2 hardwire and maybe screen cloth in areas if need be............and put a door on it.

    We also have mounted a motion light .

    has anyone enclosed the whole run...even the floor?

    can I just put a thick layer of sand on top of the floor part?


    thanks
    ~k
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    Sand on the floor part is wonderful.

    I would be certain to enclose the top and bury the outside wire 1 foot to 8 inches below ground level.
     
  3. zookeypr12

    zookeypr12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2008
    I am definitely going to have the top covered but if I do the floor in hard wire also and then put a thick layer of sand on that...do I still have to sink it 1-8 inches?

    thanks~k
     
  4. mudman

    mudman Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:No, just make sure there are no weak spots in your seams. Burying is to prevent predators from digging under but your floor will prevent them from entering.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2008
  5. zookeypr12

    zookeypr12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 24, 2008
    Thanks mudman,

    thats what I needed to know [​IMG]

    ~k
     
  6. denasfarm

    denasfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sweet Home Alabama!!
    My 1" wire was at least 1 foot in the ground on 3 sides with the barn (SOLID Wood in the ground, used to hold horses) on the fourth and dogs still got in my outer and inner coop. Guess it should have been cemented too.
    If something big wants in really bad seems they will find a way.
    I am looking into some of that camo net military stuff to go over the top now but it seems to be costly. I want mine tight before I put more birds out there again!

    Dena
     
  7. mudman

    mudman Out Of The Brooder

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    Not sure what kinda soil/water table you might have, but I would make sure that there is proper drainage under your entire setup. I know all the rivers that I frequent have the potential for problems to arise...
     
  8. mudman

    mudman Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:If you don't need much strength, try "tree netting". The stuff we used is about 1/2" poly mesh and keeps the birds in and raptors out. Available in 7x100 as deer netting or 28x28(?) as tree netting for about $25.
     
  9. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DH and I just finished building our chicken run. We used 2 x 4's, 1 x 3's, 1" x 1/2" hardware wire (sides and bottom) and 1" x 2" hardware wire (for the top).

    In addition to being fully sided with the 1" x 1/2" hardware wire, we're completely lining the bottom with the same wire. We'll dig down about 6" so the girls will still be able to scratch and dig their dust bath "pits".

    We have the standard predators... mountain lions, bobcats, raccoons, possums, skunks, hawks, etc., and wanted to make sure that nothing would be able to get in. Even with all our precautions I still worry!

    Our run is only about 5' tall, but two of the roof sections are on hinges and lift up (and lock down securely) to allow enough room for me to easily access the area. DH calls the run "Fort Knox"... we'll see!
     
  10. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another very good product to suppliment the smaller wire is cattle panels, 52" tall by 16' long it has 4"x4" squares and is about 3/16" wire welded at the seams. Even if a Bobcat or larger animal breaches your wire or tears it loose the panels will usually stop them. I install the inner wire with hog rings for security.
     

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