Predator proofing a large run. Any tips/suggestions on covering it?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by cupman, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,543
    42
    171
    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    So I'm in the blueprint stage of my next coop/run and it's going to be considerably larger than my current setup. The coop is going to be about 8x12 and I was going to attach a run that's 12x25 or so. I aim to add more chickens until my flock is about 30. We have some serious raccoon problems here, I shot a couple some weeks back and haven't had any problems with them but a family of three has moved in it seems. My main issue is the cover on my run, I thought of using poultry netting but it seems a raccoon could just shred through it with no problems. I plan on using 6 foot chain link fence around the run. My only idea as of right now is to just run more chain link over the top rested on 2x4's or 2x6's. It's around 90 dollars a roll for 6x50 fence and it would sure add up quick, but as of right now it's all I can think of.

    The coop is going to be a couple hundred feet from my house so I don't think I'll be having any electricity to the coop. Have any of you tried putting barbed wire around the top? It seems to me a raccoon would go right over that but who knows. Any suggestions would be appreciated, thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  2. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

    691
    5
    128
    Nov 13, 2010
    Alabama
    That would be pretty darn heavy! How about dogwire? It's 2x4", but they shouldn't be able to reach through to the chickens from up there. Just make sure the edges are secured to the frame, so they can't pry it off.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  3. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,543
    42
    171
    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I kind of want to be able to stand straight up in my run, not hunched over. I'm not sure I've ever heard of dog wire... is it just stronger chicken wire or what? Also, will it keep the raccoons out?
     
  4. Keeter

    Keeter Out Of The Brooder

    31
    1
    23
    Mar 22, 2011
    Cupman, the easiest way I can show you what I did to cover our large run is to offer you a link to a newsletter it was shown in this week. Frankly, I don't know where else to easily set up the photo, so forgive me for not taking time to get it onto a server and set into this message.

    Look at the second story in this newsletter: http://www.keepingchickensnewsletter.com/July11vol2

    Though it's not what you asked for, the featured element of our coop in this newsletter is the watering system I set up, one which we can essentially ignore from spring to freeze. I mention it in case it takes others there, as well.

    What I did was used cattle panels, arched across the top, and then rolled chicken wire across the top of those. If you want a closer look at its construction, you can also see it within our dog/chicken videos at www.stopchickenkillerdogs.com. Those videos are offered to Back Yard Chickens readers for free. Cross reference: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=529148&p=1

    --Bryan
     
  5. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

    691
    5
    128
    Nov 13, 2010
    Alabama
    Dogwire is welded wire, with openings two inches by four inches wide. It's fairly stiff, but much lighter than chain link, and you could cover it with chicken wire or hardware cloth to make sure pretty much nothing could get in. It's what my pen is made of (just sides, no top), and nothing (but snakes) has gotten in yet...

    You might also consider if you want to keep the run dry - you could just roof part or all of it with plastic or metal panels. Just be sure there's no gaps between the sides and roof.

    Or Bryan's suggestion is good, too, about the cattle panels.
     
  6. EMAW

    EMAW Chillin' With My Peeps

    181
    1
    90
    Oct 6, 2010
    SW Michigan
    If you are only worried about things crawling over the top of the fencse, run a strand of electric wire on the top of the fence. Just another option, and if you don't have electricity at the coop they make solar powered units also.



    Good luck.
     
  7. eggchel

    eggchel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    6,190
    46
    291
    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    We, also, have a big problem with raccoons but have had good success using welded wire fencing (placed on a framework of 2x4s) over the top. The 2 inch x 4 inch openings are fine as long as there isnt an outside roost up high. Be sure that you attach it tightly around the edges and at any seams with j-clips or heavy wire.

    Chain link for the sides is good, but you have to prevent raccoons from crawling, digging, or just pushing their way under the bottom edge by having it well secured. We also over-layed the lower 3 feet of chain link with a 4 foot high, smaller mesh wire that extended 1 ft. out on the ground (or was buried in the ground), to prevent the raccoons from going under or from reaching in and grabbing a chicken and pulling it out through the fence.... yes, one piece at a time. [​IMG]


    Chel
     
  8. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,543
    42
    171
    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    thanks for the suggestions guys. I'll have to check into that wire.
     
  9. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You might consider a solar powered electric fence. It's less expensice and is easily moved but won't be effective agasinst hawks or owls. The welded wire is fairly inexpensive but be sure to stay with 2x4 openings or smaller against coon. You can allways set a post in the middle of the run to support the wire and also drill in some roost poles so the birds can perch too
     
  10. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    5,493
    59
    268
    Mar 28, 2011
    MN
    We used welded wire for our run. It was intended to keep the neighbors dog or stray's from getting in. We buried the wire in the ground, so the dogs can not dig underneath. If I had my choice, I'd use hardware cloth.

    We lock our girls up every night and our coop is 100% predator proof.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by