Predator apron help

ShakeandBake21

In the Brooder
Apr 5, 2021
9
13
21
I need some advice! I’m working on building the run for our chicken coop and have a question about securing it from digging critters. I’m using two sides of an already existing fence (see picture). I can’t lay a predator apron on the other side of our fence (neighbor’s property) but will have hardware cloth running up sides of fencing to secure coop.

My question is do I dig next to the base of the fence and put the hardware cloth down a foot and then put bricks on top of it to make it pretty hard to get through or run the hardware cloth under the run? I’m planning on having a 6inch layer of hardwood mulch covering the coop floor. Thank you for your help!
CD0A3CB9-7F1F-4136-9600-5EFDC7A4FD36.jpeg
 

Doodleloo

In the Brooder
Mar 20, 2022
16
5
16
I'm having the same issue with my fence and I'm heavily considering just lining the entire floor of the run with hardware cloth, eliminating the need for an apron or a trench.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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I'm having the same issue with my fence and I'm heavily considering just lining the entire floor of the run with hardware cloth, eliminating the need for an apron or a trench.
Not a good idea, it will interfere with the chickens scratching and could very well cause foot/toe injuries to them.
 

Doodleloo

In the Brooder
Mar 20, 2022
16
5
16
Not a good idea, it will interfere with the chickens scratching and could very well cause foot/toe injuries to them.
Good point, it still works for me though because I will only be getting Muscovy ducks. But definitely important for anyone getting chickens!
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
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Good point, it still works for me though because I will only be getting Muscovy ducks. But definitely important for anyone getting chickens!
Muscovy ducks have long nails, and will dig in the dirt at times.

So yes, I think a hardware cloth floor would cause foot sores and could also snag a nail.

So..... a hardware cloth floor isn't a good idea with Muscovy ducks.
 

Iluveggers

Crossing the Road
Jun 27, 2021
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We were planning to build our run against the fence as well, and lining the sides with hardware cloth. If we do this, we can make the run 8x20 for the birds. With the cost of wood, if we have to build 2 other walls (using an 8 ft fence panel for the width, and two 8ft panels with a 4ft door in between, which will walk into the run from our shed), then we would probably have to limit to about half the size. I would prefer the biggest run possible, can anyone tell me why this isn’t a good idea? (Sorry to hijack here, but I saw OP is contemplating the same but didn’t get an answer as to why not to.) We own the property on both sides so an apron could go right under the fence.

Thanks!
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
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We were planning to build our run against the fence as well, and lining the sides with hardware cloth. If we do this, we can make the run 8x20 for the birds. With the cost of wood, if we have to build 2 other walls (using an 8 ft fence panel for the width, and two 8ft panels with a 4ft door in between, which will walk into the run from our shed), then we would probably have to limit to about half the size. I would prefer the biggest run possible, can anyone tell me why this isn’t a good idea? (Sorry to hijack here, but I saw OP is contemplating the same but didn’t get an answer as to why not to.) We own the property on both sides so an apron could go right under the fence.

Thanks!
Well....it was sorta answered with
If you can't go out, you'll have to go down.
But I would strongly suggest you build 4 run walls, 2 of them at least 2' away from fence.

Oh.... yeah.... good point... maybe needed for fence maintenance and such.

If a stranger owns the other side of the fence, it is to easy for things to go wrong. A dog frantic to enter the coop is a good example. Also, neighbors might complain that the chickens are too close to them.

However, in your case, since you own both sides of the fence... it is a bit different.

No reason I can think of to not use the fence that is there, if you own both sides of the fence.

Another option though, is to build 2 runs... one coop and run that is perfectly predator proof, and then have that connected to a less secure (so way less money) larger run.
 

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