Now Kinda Worried About the Under-construction Run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by PJCluck, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. PJCluck

    PJCluck In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2010
    Living Free in NH
    My new (yet unfinished) run is about 18' x 50', with a 6-foot-high 'roof' - all of 2"x4" welded wire fencing. I am making a 4-foot apron of same 2x4 welded wire fencing. Will have a 3-foot strip of hardware cloth around the lower part of the walls. All to be held together by a few thousand loxit rings now en route. I will have large rocks along the apron, along with some small pine tree trunks here and there.

    Question: Is 2x4 welded wire fencing adequate to keep raccoons, fishers, and foxes out?

    Worried in Mass.
  2. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Songster

    Jun 7, 2008
    Scappoose Oregon
    2" x 4" will NOT keep them out. The bigger coons will have issues, but you will be surprised at the size of animal that can squeeze through a 2 x4 opening.
  3. PJCluck

    PJCluck In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2010
    Living Free in NH
    That is very ominous. I am now doubly worried.

    But does anyone have hard and fast experience with any effective predators getting through 2"x4" welded wire fencing? Like murdered chickens, heaven forbid?

    I was told by locals that 2x4 would be good enough for raccoons, foxes and fisher cats.
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Here's the scary part about 2 x 4 wire spacing: chickens, when panicked, will run to a side. They aren't smart enough to get in the MIDDLE of an open space furthest from the fence where the predators show up.

    Raccoons, particularly, will reach through the wire and pull the chicken back through the fence. As much of the chicken as it can get through that space, usually a wing or the head.

    That's why you need hardware cloth.
  5. SilkieTime

    SilkieTime Songster

    Mar 29, 2009
    Joelton Tn.
  6. Tigerjane

    Tigerjane Songster

    Jun 17, 2010
    Pflugerville, TX
    There was a story on here today about a weasel getting through and killing 20 chickens in one night. Certainly, small rodents will get through, even baby possum. Animals can really squish themselves when they're certain a meal is waiting for them!
  7. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Songster

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    There is a 1"x2" welded wire. That is what I used in my pvc hoop run and on the ground around it. No losses yet and they have been in it at night with no other shelter for 2 months now. I have their coop almost finished, but until I do, they sleep in the in a big rubber water trough turned up on it's side.
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Reach-through is not going to be a problem, because the o.p. has said there will be hardwarecloth added to the bottom 3' of the 2x4 wire.

    Now, it is true that weasels and baby raccoons and smaller-gauge possums and such CAN get through 2x4 openings. HOWEVER they are vanishingly rare as DAYTIME predators. If this run is only for daytime use,and the chickens will be locked into a secure coop every evening, personally I think it is fine to use 2x4 wire, and most people would die of old age before any problem came of it. If the popdoor was going to be left open at night, though, or if they sometimes will not be shut in til well after dark, THEN I would suggest a smaller size mesh for sure.

    Good luck, have fun,

  9. MrChicken207

    MrChicken207 Chirping

    Jun 4, 2010
    Caribou, Maine
    If by "roof" you mean that it will be covered by more of the 2x4 welded wire, one way to keep the birds from running to one side or the other when threatened, would be to plant a few shrubs in the middle of the run. Chickens are woodland animals by nature and will seek cover when threatened. some benign shrubbery (I'm thinking Rosa Rugosa, privett, or something similar, NOT arborvitae) would be of great assistance to birds in this case, besides, it will look nice.
  10. PJCluck

    PJCluck In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2010
    Living Free in NH
    Yes, I will have hardware cloth on the sides up 3 feet, so no grabbing. Yes, the roof is 2x4 wire also. And a 4-foot apron. The run is in the woods here so I do not think too many shrubs will thrive inside it.

    It will be for daytime use only, with the pop door being closed and locked at night for the most part. I am also going to do the red-eyes lights on the side of the coop. I am not sure what that will scare but someone here said it's effective. Any thoughts on that?

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