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Planning a run: Horses on one side, chickens on the other. What kind of wire?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bluebirdlane, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. bluebirdlane

    bluebirdlane In the Brooder

    Jan 24, 2016
    Southern Ontario, Canada
    I'm planning an outdoor run under the cover of my horses' run-in shed. It'll be 24' long, 5' wide, 10' high.

    I was going to use 2" x 4" Redbrand no-climb horse fence for the bottom 4' plus for a 2' apron underground. Behind that I'll put 1/2" 19 gauge hardware cloth for at least the bottom 3'. My question is above that: should I go hardware cloth all the way to the ceiling, Redbrand all the way to the ceiling, or both all the way to the ceiling?

    Would hardware cloth alone above the bottom 4' stand up to horses? Would Redbrand alone above the bottom 3' be predator proof enough?.... the run will be for daytime use only in a barn that usually has people and dog coming and going, but can also be quiet for a few hours if people and dog go into house.

    Thanks for any advice / experience. If we go ahead it will be started early next week so I need to know what materials to pick up.

  2. jennyf

    jennyf Songster

    Apr 24, 2016
    So I haven't had chickens and horses both at the same time, but have had both separately and think I know the fence you're talking about. I'd definitely not use the hardware cloth only up top for a horse--unless you plan on a hot wire (and even then) I think a good shove or head scratch would put a horse through it or leave a big bow.

    Will they be locked up in a coop at night? That would give you a little more leeway in terms of not needing to hardware cloth the whole thing. Plus it would take a pretty nervy predator to traipse through your occupied horse pen to harass or eat chickens. And when you say ceiling, do you mean the ceiling of the barn/shed or the ceiling of the run?
  3. bluebirdlane

    bluebirdlane In the Brooder

    Jan 24, 2016
    Southern Ontario, Canada
    Good advice, thanks. I wasn't sure but I was worried the hardware cloth only wouldn't stand up to a horse.

    Yes the chickens will be locked in their coop in my barn at night. Their pen is fully lined with 1/2" hardware cloth and the floor is concrete so I think and hope it is secure.

    The ceiling is of the run-in shed. I have an existing 24 foot X 32 foot 3-sided south facing run-in shed for the horses, with a 10 foot ceiling. I'm going to partition off 5 feet on one side for the chickens use. They'll be outside and get the sun that comes in on the south side, but be out of high winds and have a roof over their heads. I think it will be nice.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    There are different philosophies as to how secure your run needs to be. Some people want it as secure as a coop, totally predator proof. A lot of us, including me, use a different philosophy. I made my run pretty predator resistant but not predator proof. Mine is 2x4 welded wire with chicken wire around the bottom 18” or so, not hardware cloth. And it has an apron, some hardware cloth and some 2x4 wire, depending in what I had left over. It’s possible climbing critters can get in but it will pretty much stop any predator of reasonable size. I lock mine up securely at night but let them out during the day. I also have a large area in electric netting they normally range in. Flying critters could be a problem but they haven’t been for me.

    I’d certainly use the 2x4 wire to stand up to the horses. They are going to scratch themselves. But your connections are just as critical. It doesn’t matter how strong the wire is if your connections work loose. Make sure what you are attaching to is sturdy and that what you use to make those connections are stout. When I’m attaching to a flat surface I generally use a furring strip at least ¾” thick to cover the edge of the wire, drill pilot holes to keep the wood from splitting, and use screws with fender washers to attach it firmly. There are different ways to attach it, just make sure your connections are stout. Horses are strong.

    What you describe sounds like it should work great. Good luck!
    1 person likes this.

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