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please explain wiring under runs/pens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by greenpixies, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. greenpixies

    greenpixies Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2011
    Natchitoches, LA
    [​IMG]:Hi!

    I am converting a 10 x 10 x 6 feet tall outdoor dog kennel into our chicken pen. The coop will sit inside the kennel yard. It has 4 chainlink panels that are assembled together. I keep reading about using hardware cloth or chicken wire to wire underneath runs/pens. But I can't seem to find more specific instructions. I originally assumed that I would be wiring the entire bottom, so it would have a chicken wire floor on top of dirt. But I've read that the chickens can injure their beaks and aren't as happy as it's harder to scratch and dig for bugs, etc.
    It sounds like many of you start the wire 2 feet up from the ground and wrap it round some way to thwart digging predators, I just don't quite understand how this is done so that it does not cover the entire run/pen floor.

    All of your suggestions are mightily appreciated before I go out in to that killer heat and misquitoes to do the wrapping.

    Chicken love to all!
     
  2. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's called an apron it will deter predators from digging in. Here's how I did mine.[​IMG]
     
  3. colebarnhart

    colebarnhart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Some people don't do it at all, but in the coop section I saw lots of people who did and I myself just put down chicken wire that was wrapped around the bottom of the 2x4s around the run area and then put down some junk plastic lattis I had and no longer wanted, then put down some sand and then tree bark chips, and as the above poster has a skirt of wire around the coop/run as an additional deterant from digging predators. In the pic below you can kind of see what I'm talking about with the layered floor & ground cover.

    I then had to put up .5" x .5" hardware cloth due to coons/possiums reaching thru the chicken wire and killing 3.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  4. Krissy7

    Krissy7 Out Of The Brooder

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    My friend has pot an under groud wire system all around the chook pen to prevent her (137) animals from getting in mainly her dog. It is an eltric wire but will not harm the chooks and ducks as they arent going to dig a massive hole [​IMG]
     
  5. ctbagley

    ctbagley Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 11, 2009
    Hickory NC area
    It is one of the best safety measures I think we have done. I read about it online and used their method. We had a neighbor with a backhoe dig a trench around the outside of our pen (you could do it by hand, but if it's as hot there as it is in NC, I'd pay to rent a ditchwitch or someone else dig). The trench is 16 inches deep and a foot wide. We then attached hardware cloth to the bottom two feet of our pen/wire and bent it down into the trench (so it goes down into it, bends and comes up the other side. Then we ordered gravel from the quarry and filled in the trench. This assures that any animal who tries to dig into the pen hits the hardware cloth (if they got through the gravel). The bent angle makes it even more effective. You could fill in the ditch with dirt, but again, we decided if we were really serious about protection...we just broke out the credit card. We also used livestock wire on the bottom 4 feet of the pen and poultry wire above that. And to top it all off, we bought a small electric charger (about $25) and put two strands of hot wire around the pen at 6 and 10 inches off the ground. You could use a solar charger if you don't have electrical at your pen. This is super effective. We have had skunks and raccoons both touch the wires and run like a banshee! We lost a couple dozen pet chickens the prior 10 years (mostly to our neighbor's dogs). I know cost can be a big detriment, but I highly recommend using this method. I finally feel like my guys are safe:)
     
  6. greenpixies

    greenpixies Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2011
    Natchitoches, LA
    [​IMG])
    Quote:o.k., I see the concept from the picture, but what is keeping the bottom of the apron down? Is it burried, and if so how far down? Have you had any animals try to mess with it? just wondered.

    we have ferral cats in the neighborhood (not our choice, believe me!) that I believe will go crazy pining for fresh chicken once the chicks move outside. I gotta get this set up tighter than fort knox!

    thanks for all the responses! really good ideas!
     
  7. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could use something like tent stakes to stake the edge of the apron down. I think there are similar supplies in the garden section of a place like Home Depot for keeping weed-barrier cloth pegged down that might work.
     
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    The trench is 16 inches deep and a foot wide. We then attached hardware cloth to the bottom two feet of our pen/wire and bent it down into the trench (so it goes down into it, bends and comes up the other side. Then we ordered gravel from the quarry and filled in the trench. This assures that any animal who tries to dig into the pen hits the hardware cloth

    Laying the wire flat on the ground serves the same purpose, involves no labor or added expense, and stops them before they dig a hole you will have to refill .

    Throw a little dirt on it and grass will soon hide it from view

    what is keeping the bottom of the apron down?

    Most animals that try to dig in will start right against the fence, so they will be standing on the apron.

    Nothing extra is needed to hold it down as long as it's flat to begin with​
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  9. tarragon

    tarragon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:My husband was going to use tent stakes, but decided to not spend the money and came up with the brilliant idea of cutting up wire coat hangers. Works just like overgrown staples.
     
  10. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Laying the wire flat on the ground serves the same purpose, involves no labor or added expense, and stops them before they dig a hole you will have to refill .

    Throw a little dirt on it and grass will soon hide it from view

    what is keeping the bottom of the apron down?

    Most animals that try to dig in will start right against the fence, so they will be standing on the apron.

    Nothing extra is needed to hold it down as long as it's flat to begin with​

    That nails it! Hog rings work great to fasten the apron wire to the run wire. If the apron wire is damaged and bent when you get it, a piece of coathanger bent in a "J" and pushed into the ground will keep the stray wires down. The other nice thing about laying the apron down on top of the ground is that you can easily pull it back up and relocate the run if you wish.

    You also might want to run a small mesh wire around the inside of the run wire, about 12" tall to prevent a critter from reaching thru the chainlink openings and grabbing a bird.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011

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