Rethinking the run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hamstery, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. Hamstery

    Hamstery Songster

    Feb 7, 2012
    New England
    Our run is built out of chicken wire. We had 4 hens that used this run for about 6 months with no issues. They were locked up tight every night in the coop. Sometimes the chicken door would stay open very late ( dumb on our part) and still everything was ok. One night we lost them to a weasel who got INTO the coop through open vents. Since then, we've made the modifications to the coop with hardware cloth and it's sealed up super tight.
    We are now raising 4 chicks....they are 5 weeks old and are out in the coop but have not been let out into the run yet. I want to be sure they know how to maneuver the ramp to get in and out before I leave them out for any length of time. ( I work all day so they would be out for hours at a time.)
    I'm also starting to re think the construction of the run. It's amazing how your views change when you raise something from a day old and get very attached. My brother who lives the next town over has lost many hens to a coyote who has no problems stealing them in broad daylight with a doberman in the same yard. ( free ranging )
    So my question is this. Would 2x4 welded wire be enough over the chicken wire? I'm worried about weasels, but again, they are locked up tight at night in the coop. I suppose there is still a chance these tiny critters ( small enough to get through the wire and into the run) could come out during the day. ??
    Of course, it's the same thing you read everywhere on this board. I'd rather not have to buy hardware cloth for the entire run if I don't have to. Many people do it, but I also see many that only have welded wire. Thoughts?? Suggestions??
  2. BigWilly

    BigWilly In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2012
    One guy told me he has had luck with doubling up on the chicken wire...
  3. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Songster

    Jul 24, 2010
    I would go tighter welded wire so you don't have to deal with rat and other animals later.
  4. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    For what is's worth, I have 2x4 welded wire over chicken wire. The welded wire is going to keep out most anything. The chicken wire on the inside is intended to prevent reaching in through the welded wire. My fence is 6 feet tall with an apron of welded wire extending 24 inches out on the ground.

  5. Hamstery

    Hamstery Songster

    Feb 7, 2012
    New England
    I feel like all I do is stress over this chicken run lately. Been researching and reading and researching more. ( the chicks are still IN the coop full time)
    I think I've decided on 1/2 inch hardware cloth to cover the whole thing. I'm just too nervous about weasels squeezing through anything else. It will give me piece of mind knowing that they are safe, even if the coop door is opened early or stays open late for any reason.
  6. canesisters

    canesisters Songster

    Aug 18, 2011
    I hear ya, Hamstery.
    I did all sorts of research before going to get the chicks. Then I took one look at their helpless, fluffy little selves and my brain went dead. I'm in the process of getting an old shed ready for them to move out of the brooder to and it's driving me insane! And I haven't even STARTED the run yet.....

    Just think of the hardware cloth as an investment in your peace of mind.
  7. Just reebok

    Just reebok Chirping

    I don't have chickens yet (next week!!) but we are using hardware cloth on EVERYTHING. From what I have read - that seems to do a pretty good job, since the predators we have in our area (foxes) would be able to rip right through the chicken wire. I'm PRAYING that it's enough. There isn't an opening on my coop - which is still under construction - that isn't covered in the cloth. We'll see how it goes, I suppose. Thankfully, my dogs have done a great job of keeping the foxes out of the yard. I haven't seen any in 10 months.. Course, I also didn't have a buffet in my yard either. It's so scary, isn't it?
  8. akovia

    akovia Chirping

    Apr 1, 2012
    Hillsboro, OR
    A fox cannot climb, like the raccoons and skunks we have around here. But, they can DIG, so be sure and bury the hardware cloth at least a foot down around the entire perimiter!
  9. Hamstery

    Hamstery Songster

    Feb 7, 2012
    New England
    It IS scary. And we've already lost 4 hens, so it makes me even more nervous about what is lurking out there at night. I must be crazy because sometimes I look out into the darkness toward the coop at night and just listen. Don't judge! [​IMG]
  10. Hamstery

    Hamstery Songster

    Feb 7, 2012
    New England
    Thanks! We have the chicken wire set deep! My biggest fear right now is the weasels --mainly because I know they are out there. But I will have piece of mind knowing nothing can rip through the cloth as well.

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