Please comment on my fence plans

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CarolynF, May 12, 2011.

  1. CarolynF

    CarolynF Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Folks,
    I've been reading LOTS of the posts regarding fencing for my chicken run and I think I have a plan but REALLY want you to review it and tell me if I'm making any important mistakes, okay?

    For the small coop raised 3' off the ground I'll staple 1/2" hardware cloth to the 4x4 legs. I'll add a skirt of 1" chicken wire that will extend 2' on the ground around it all. Should I secure it with hooks like those used for landscape cloth?

    The run will be a separate unit that I'll attach to one side of the coop most of the time. It's 6 feet tall.
    I'll do the same 2' skirt (just not where I attach it to the coop).
    Then comes 2' high 1/2" hardware cloth.
    Above that I'll put 4' of 1" chicken wire (same mtl as the skirt).
    The top will also be covered with the same chicken wire.

    The coop and run will be alongside a 6' wooden fence, there will be a gap of only 2-3 inches between them. I don't think a racoon will fit in there so I won't be putting a skirt there. A rat could obviously get back there, will that be a problem? We rarely see a rat, but I'm sure they must be around. I know we have racoons, we see them often. Possums too, and red hawks.

    Do I need to do more / better / different?

    Thanks so much for all your good advice! I'm like a kid at Christmas & can't wait to get this ready!

    Carolyn
     
  2. dbounds10

    dbounds10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The thing to remember with coons is they dont need to get in, if a chicken is close to that gap, they can reach in and grab them. I would try to cover any and all gaps. Otherwise sounds good to me. Here is a pic of mine for your reference.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Player Hater

    Player Hater Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok, i think you want security criticism

    it sounds pretty good to me

    if you still have doubts, and you aren't planning to move the coop any time soon, BURY the skirt
     
  4. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Hi, I new too and was told by a friend that Large Owls will go right through chicken wire to grab chicks so to cover my runs I'm using a stong plastic netting I got from Lowe's. A review on the site said it works great as farm fence, tough enough to keep out big dogs and cattle in and it's not expensive. Good Luck with your chicken adventure.
     
  5. CarolynF

    CarolynF Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You guys are quick -- thank you.

    The thing to remember with coons is they dont need to get in, if a chicken is close to that gap, they can reach in and grab them. I would try to cover any and all gaps.

    dbounds10 -- what a great setup, wish I had that much space. The side of the run that's alongside the fence will have 1/2" wire + chicken wire, just not a skirt. I probably wasn't clear enough.

    Player Hater: I'd love to bury the skirt, but our ground is like a rock below 6". I have to use a pick to plant tulip bulbs! Really!

    fried green eggs: I haven't heard or seen any owls in this area, but I'll definitely give that some thought, thanks.


    Carolyn​
     
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Plastic netting? Strong enough to contain big dogs and cattle? I'm skeptical of those claims. To begin with, anything with teeth can chew through plastic. Chicken wire doesn't provide much security, but it's better than the plastic netting I'm familiar with. Both will keep out hawks, but you still have the "reach through" issue to consider. That's actually not much of a problem with something to cover the top of a pen for chickens, though. Chickens don't fly up and flutter at the top of the pen the way doves can.

    Plastic degrades over time in the sun, so that's also something to watch out for.
     
  7. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It depends on your theory of how you'll be using this pen. If you plan to lock your chickens inside a secure coop at night, and rely on the security of the pen only for daytime predators, that's one thing. If you intend to leave the pop door open sometimes at night, that's another thing.

    Chicken wire doesn't provide much security from predators. It will keep out raptors, but not anything else. If you have serious digging predators in the daytime (like big dogs roaming around), I'm afraid a chicken wire skirt isn't going to provide much of a deterrence. If you replace the chicken wire with hardware cloth, then you'll be significantly increasing the security of your run from dig ins.

    A hardware cloth apron laid flat on the ground and secured with landscaping staples does as good a job (or better) than wire that's buried, in my opinion.

    I would try to redesign the run so that there isn't that 2-3 inch gap between the run and the fence that you can't secure. It will be a vulnerable point, otherwise.

    With chicken wire on part of your run, you will not have security from raccoons out at night, or the occasional raccoon that comes out in the daytime.

    As I understand what you're planning to do, it's to make the run moveable? Is that right? If you do that, you necessarily are making the run less secure than a permanent, stationary one. There's nothing inherently wrong with that as long as you understand the risks, and you can manage risk by locking your chickens inside the coop every night.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2011
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Staple would need to be either hammer-in galvanized fence staples (warning, it requires much care to get them snugly into hardwarecloth without breaking the wires) or 1" pneumatically-driven galvanized staples... just "staplegun staples", no matter how heavy duty they may seem, are radically insufficient to deter predators.

    I'll add a skirt of 1" chicken wire that will extend 2' on the ground around it all. Should I secure it with hooks like those used for landscape cloth?

    Chickenwire is not the ideal apron material but it is not nearly so useless for an apron as it is for run fencing, so if that's the way it has to be for now, it's worthwhile. However if you could stand to go for 1x1 or 1x2 or even 2x4" mesh welded wire fencing, that would be better (more durable and more predatorproof).

    You need to attach the one edge of the apron VERY SECURELY to the foot of the run fence; the opposite (free) edge should be bent down slightly so it's not sticking up too egregiously. Then you can either use a buncha those wire things you're talking about (real, or homemade out of galvanized wire), or some number of heavy rocks or cinderblocks or pavers or concrete rubble (doesn't have to cover the whole apron if you don't want, just enough to make it stay put), or tip some gravel or mulch or dirt over the whole thing, or even roll back the sod and put the apron down and then replace the sod over it (if you like extra work LOL).

    The run will be a separate unit that I'll attach to one side of the coop most of the time. It's 6 feet tall. I'll do the same 2' skirt (just not where I attach it to the coop). Then comes 2' high 1/2" hardware cloth. Above that I'll put 4' of 1" chicken wire (same mtl as the skirt).
    The top will also be covered with the same chicken wire.

    Two thinks to make sure you've considered. 1) the run will be hard to move with a 2' skirt unless you make it so it can flip up for travel, then flip down and put some tentpegs or cinderblocks to hold it down when you park the run. I would really, really recommend welded wire mesh (can be as large as 2x4") for this rather than chickenwire. 2) putting hardwarecloth on the bottom 2' of a *chickenwire* run is like putting a huge $50 case-hardened boltcutter-proof padlock on a string of baler twine. The hardwarecloth is doing very little good, as predators will simply reach up and rip the chickenwire apart to enter. I would HIGHLY recommend using welded wire, no larger than 2x4" holes, instead of your chickenwire if you are concerned about predatorproofing.

    A rat could obviously get back there, will that be a problem?

    Not really... I mean, rats can get pretty much anywhere they want, it is AWFULLY hard to keep them out, so there is not really anything you can do about it [​IMG] If you know there are rats around, you might wish to keep the feeder indoors instead of out in the run, and keep an eye out for anything suggesting that rats have discovered the buffet (just b/c rats can get *expensive* to feed and you don't really want to be ranching up more and more of them). Probably it will be fine, I mean, just keep an eye out.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  9. CarolynF

    CarolynF Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Again, thank you all.

    Here are my changes so far.

    1. NO chicken wire anywhere, because the wire is too light (only 20 gauge).
    (side note: my husband really doesn't believe a raccoon can break thru, but I'm taking your word for it.
    He wants to devise some clever test if he can get his hands on some wire without buying a 20' roll.)

    2. Instead of stapling the hardware cloth to the posts I've screwed a piece of 1x4 wood on top. The wire is sandwiched between the 4x4 post and the 1x4 wood. No loose ends poking out to scratch anyone.

    3. I can't eliminate the gap between the fence and the coop+run, but I can reduce it some. I know a raccoon can't fit between the fence & the 4x4 post that is the corner of the coop, but the corner of the run isn't as solid. We'll have to work on that so nobody sneeks in there. Probably attach the upright post that is the corner of the run directly to the fence with screws. The other side of the fence is a paved road, so the raccoons won't be digging under the fence from there.

    Ok, lunch break is over, back to work for me!

    Thanks again everyone!
     

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