Predator-proof question. Husband won't help... I'm on my own!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by huckleberryfarm, May 19, 2010.

  1. huckleberryfarm

    huckleberryfarm Chickenista

    Jan 7, 2010
    Greenwood, SC
    My husband thinks chicken wire is enough so I've decided to predator-proof the run myself. We have a fairly large run that has chicken wire (not the kind y'all will recommend!) all around it and some kind of plastic netting on the roof. After a lot of research, I realize I need to put hardware cloth at the bottom 2-3 ft. My question is do I need to bury it as most of you do or could I attach it and bring it out and put something on it to hold in place? I already did one side. Put the hardware cloth on, folded it out at the bottom and then put in a raised bed on top of it, two pavers tall. I'm not sure if that is good enough or not. They would have to go in the raised bed, dig down through the dirt, but then they would hit the hardware cloth. The rest of the run is just chicken wire. We have clay and digging is not easy. Thanks! I have a lot of Silkies and they don't always run when they need to!
     
  2. Papadavid

    Papadavid Chillin' With My Peeps

    102
    1
    99
    Mar 1, 2010
    Are you in a subivision, out in the country, or what? The raised bed sounds like a good idea, if you are checking them every day. Good luck.
     
  3. Savannah Poultry

    Savannah Poultry The Source

    462
    1
    121
    Mar 29, 2010
    Lakeview, OR
    It sounds good to me as long as the wire is tight. Predators have better luck ripping through if it's very loose.
     
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    32
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    I don't bury wire, but use the apron method. Much easier, and just as effective if not more so.

    I think you're right to take extra precautions, especially where silkies are concerned. The little dears can't fly away like other chickens can; makes them more vulnerable to predators.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    85
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If what you've currently got is just chickenwire, then honestly rather than adding hardwarecloth on the lower part -- which is largely pointless as any predator worth its salt will simply reach up *above* the hardwarecloth and rip its way through the chickenwire THERE -- instead I would suggest adding a layer of 2x4 welded wire mesh (heavy gauge, galvanized). The chickenwire-plus-2x4 will do a "reasonable" job of discouraging reach-through, and the 2x4 will give you an actually pretty predator-proof fence. If you could use the 2x4 wire for the 'lid' of the run too, that would be even better.

    You can use the same 2x4 wire for an apron to prevent digging.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. huckleberryfarm

    huckleberryfarm Chickenista

    Jan 7, 2010
    Greenwood, SC
    Thanks, everyone. We're on 110 acres of pasture land. The chickens are pretty much in the middle of it. It's all fenced and cross-fenced and no trees so anything coming would have a lot of cleared land to trek through. Plus I have two dogs out there that stay around the coop area. We don't live out there yet. We're building our home this summer. But I go out every day to feed/water and we have a little place we stay on the weekends. I've never seen anything threatening beyond a deer but I know that doesn't count. The two pastures next to the chickens have donkeys and goats.

    I went out today and added a top layer of the itsy-bitsy holed hardwire stuff so it goes up about 4 ft. I stapled it to the cemented posts that are about 6' apart and used those plastic zipties on the top and bottom. It's pretty secure. I have two little children who love their silkies. Here's a picture of what we have.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. huckleberryfarm

    huckleberryfarm Chickenista

    Jan 7, 2010
    Greenwood, SC
    Oh.. I've also put the hardware cloth over all windows and the screened door. [​IMG] I'm trying!
     
  8. MalcolmR

    MalcolmR Out Of The Brooder

    31
    0
    22
    Apr 11, 2010
    New Brunswick, Canada
    What a fantastic coop! Well done!
    Malcolm
     
  9. MotherJean

    MotherJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't think you need advice. Looks to me like you knew exactly what needed doing and you did it. Well done [​IMG]
     
  10. berkeleysprings

    berkeleysprings Chillin' With My Peeps

    just b careful of the plastic netting top the racoons will get threw it with ease.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by