Preventing digging under the run fence


9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
I know the traditional wisdom for ways to prevent predators from digging under the run fence is to either bury some wire fencing or skirt wire fencing out along the ground on the outside of the run.

But what do you all think about using wood instead of fencing for the skirting? A layer of board laid flat on the ground covering about 15 inches from the run on out. I have tons of available wood boards, and would have to buy wire fencing new.

I'd appreciate your thoughts! Thanks!
I would think that boards would work if you don't mind the fact that they will rot and will probably draw termites. Of course if they were put down in such a way that you could raise them up your chickens would probably find a treasure of bugs underneath them. I am one that would be inclined to use the free wood first and if it just doesn't work the way you thought that it would just toss it and then go with wire. Just be sure and secure it so that big dog or other large animal can't move it.
As long as you stake it all down and attach it to the fencing it should work.
We have railroad ties buried around what used to be a dog run.
do a perimeter check every you notice digging starting, put some quick crete down and add water. Eventually, you will have almost like a solid foundation under your coop! Trust me, this works, thats what we did and we have not had diggers in about 4 years now.
OK, I'll continue with putting the boards down then. They're secure to the run and to the ground. It's a really dry climate here, I could probably pull the boards up in 6 months and use them for something else.
Like several of you said, free is good!
The two things that concern me most about wood are a) it is not generally very wide, you would have to use a *bunch* of boards to get 18" or so which IMO is the least you would want for decent predatorproofing; and b) it rots through real fast and chances are pretty good that it will be a PREDATOR, not you, who discovers the rotty rip-apart-able portions first.

If you do use wood, make sure it is very strongly pinned down (like, very large cinderblocks sitting on it in several places) so a predator can't just shift it aside. Before you say 'but those boards are *heavy*, remember that dogs and such are quite strong at digging and prying, especially when there is dinner involved.

Honestly though, I'd replace them with something else (wire, large pavers, very large rocks, or large concrete rubble such as from someone breaking up a sidewalk or patio slab) as SOON as a supply of something-else became available.

Good luck, have fun,

Untreated lumber won't last a year.
Treated MIGHT last a little longer

Rotted wood is no harder to dig through than the ground itself

I've dug up galvanized wire from old fences that has been in the ground for over 50 years
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