I agree with using hardware cloth. If you've had problems with weasels, any wire with larger openings would be futile against them. I would also suggest a wire "apron" around your coop as an alternative to wire buried in concrete. To keep dogs and coyotes out I have an apron made of 2" X 4" welded wire that extends out perpendicularly about 20" from the sides of the coop and run. I buried mine just below the surface but you don't have to, it's your choice. The idea behind it is the predator begins digging where the wall meets the ground and is unable to get through the wire and doesn't think to move farther away to dig under. Lots of folks do it this way and I've not yet heard of anything getting in by digging when an apron was present. I think it might work for your weasels too. You can see other things I did to predator proof my coop and run on "my coop" page.
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Weasels can squeeze through such a tight space. Are you leaving chickens in the run at night?
I'd use 1/2" hardware cloth all around, including the top, if you really want to be confident in your security. I purchased mine from www.wayfair.com and found it to be half the price of local stores. It comes in 48" X 50 rolls and they deliver quickly. I used a pneumatic stapler with 3/4" staples and saved lots of time that way. I paid special attention to the door of the run, making sure it was a tight fit so that no raccoon could get a hand in or that no snake could squeeze through, etc.
No chickens are not in run at night. Haven't gotten run built as yet.
Hardware cloth is a good idea.
What about the bottom where it meets the ground? Wire and posts
in concrete? I know weasles can get in between a small space.
Lost too many chickens to weasles. Appreciate the help.
Here's my run. Welded wire buried 18-20" in ground. Hardware cloth over welded wire. Steel roof with side panel to keep rain, snow and wind at bay. This run is 22x5x5 and was a bit of a sticker shock when finished. I free range, so it's not used at all times. I cover in plastic during the winter months, so it's functional all year. My coop is inside my garage(12x4x9).
Nothing has ever gotten inside my run. I keep it open at night between the coop door and run, so I don't cook my birds.
I have roosts in the run as well, in case they want to sleep in there.Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
Your run looks great....being in the South probably wouldn't need to
winterize as well as you did but everything else looks good. I
think we will bury the wire into the ground...perhaps in some Quick-Crete.
My son will be building it for me and he is professional house builder
so I know he will do a good job. My coop will be in a sectioned off
portion of a garden shed then the run attached to it.
Thanks for your suggestions, has been a great help.
I dug a trench and buried a foot of fence, stapled to slab cedar underground. The bottom 3 feet is hardware cloth, with chicken wire the rest of the way up. Top is covered with heavy-duty poultry netting (off ebay). If I was concerned about dogs, I would add cattle panels inside the chicken wire.
I put an electric fense on my chicken coop. I went around the bottom and top with it. I use a solar powered electric fence zapper. also keep the door open 24/7 by placing several nite guard solar powered red flashing lights around the door. the light keeps predators away. Now I can free range my chickens. I do lose some during the day as they like to go into the woods and scratch in the leaves but not many.
Funny thing, the very day I put power to my coop, no sooner the sun went down came a very strong smell of skunk. Have not had any critters in my coop since I electrified it. I also grounded the fencing unit right to the coop wire.
I have had one black snake inside since I put juice to it. I believe it came thru a small hole in the house floor. If I fix that hole I imagine the juice will even keep snakes out.
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