Predator-proof run: my biggest concern!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Korzak, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. Korzak

    Korzak Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi all,

    I have read a lot of threads on this but still feel the need to ask...

    Can we bury a wire floor in the run with two inches of soil, and not have to worry about chickens getting foot injuries when they dig and scratch?

    I am 100% confident in my ability to build our coop, but it is the floor of the run that I am worried about. We live next to open space, and know that we have foxes and coons around, and god knows what else...maybe fisher cats. We want a secure run that is attached to the coop, so the chickens can go in and out as they please.

    Our ground is INSANELY ROCKY, and I mean rocks bigger than your head every foot or so, so digging out the whole bottom of the run to sink the wire deeper isn't an option. For that same reason, an apron on the outside would be just as difficult. A floor made of hardware cloth that is buried under 2" of soil would be the simplest solution.

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I wouldn't do it. They get bumblefoot surprisingly easy and they will scratch deep holes.
    It is easier to extend a skirt out away from the coop and run about 2 feet covered with soil or stone. The predators will dig right next to the edge not knowing to back up a couple feet.
     
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  3. Greg88

    Greg88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    that is a pretty good idea!
     
  4. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you could make it work if you use the Deep Litter Method in your run and have a some sort of above-ground dust bath for them. We have anywhere from 4 - 6 " of grass clippings, hay, straw, leaves etc in the run so the chickens really don't dig/scratch down into the soil looking for bugs. Their dust bath is in a raised, galivinazed tub so they aren't tempted to dig holes to bath in.
     
  5. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have to pick between the two, go with the apron. If you bury the hardware cloth, in a year or so, maybe less, it's going to deteriorate, rust and start coming apart. Causing nothing but problems for your chickens. Because that is one of their favorite things to do, dig.
     
  6. Korzak

    Korzak Out Of The Brooder

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    Wouldn't a buried apron of hardware cloth also rust out? Or does it not get buried very deep, or you just let it be covered with gravel? Thanks!
     
  7. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, it probably would. But at least it wouldn't be a problem for the chicken's feet. And that's why I don't have any of that stuff. I have 650' of electrified poultry net surrounding my coop.
     
  8. TerryH

    TerryH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can literally just lay the apron on the ground and pin it with landscape staples. You can also cover it with gravel and stone.
     
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  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree with all the comments but I just wanted to add that the only predator that is extremely smart is the raccoon.
    The rest seem smart but they are just persistent.
     
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  10. Korzak

    Korzak Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2014
    Thanks everyone! It seems like a 2' apron all around the run is the best thing to do. We'll probably cover it with soil and let stuff grow up through it, or maybe gravel.
     

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