1. TXbeginner

    TXbeginner Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 23, 2010
    From what I've read many use deer netting or other nylon based material to cover their runs. The number one predator from above where I'm located is going to be hawks. We do have raccoons however. Do i need to worry about them climbing one of the run posts and coming through what ever I cover the run with? In this case more hardware cloth will be in store. Thoughts?
  2. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Yes, raccoons are expert climbers. The people who use plastic netting over the tops of their runs lock their chickens inside secure coops at night. You can't count on that netting to keep out raccoons.
  3. Me & My Peeps

    Me & My Peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    Western MA
    I use the netting on the top of mine. But as said above, I lock them inside at night. For me, the deciding factor was the cost. I will eventually add the hardware cloth when I can afford to put it over a 13' X 40' run. Lowes has a 7' X 100' roll for $13.00. It wont keep hawks out but it will stop them from taking anything. Whatever flies into it, is going to get so tangled up in it, that your birds will have plenty of time to get in the coop.

    I have already removed a crow that became entangled. The netting will not stop the entanglement, just lengthen the time the birds have to get to safety. Hardware cloth is the best way to go, if it's cost effective for you.
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I'm planning on using leftover 2x4 welded wire for mine. I usually lock my chickens up at night, but will be gone for a month this summer, and DH sometimes gets busy and forgets. So, I'm hoping the welded wire across the top will deter coons and possums in the night.
  5. stretchc1

    stretchc1 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 16, 2008
    If you're in Texas, you might want to consider covering at least a segment of your run with something solid--plywood, corrugated roofing, etc. for shade in the summer. I live in Connecticut in a neighborhood full of raccoons, so I covered my run with hardware cloth. But I ran out with just a bit to go, so I put up a piece of siding left over from the coop. By the time the hot weather rolled around, my hens were spending a lot of time in the shade created by that siding! I can only imagine what kind of blistering sun you might get in TX.

    Of course, with any solid roof, you have to be mindful of wind and snow load if applicable. There are lots of good posts on BYC that address those issues.

    Good luck!
  6. my3jsons

    my3jsons Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2010
    We have a lot of hawks around here but have never covered the run. Had a hawk fly over a couple of times but didn't seem too interested. We also lock ours up at night. I think the racoons and other night predators are a greater concern. One of our sons is a falconer and none of the falconers around here have ever heard of a redtail hawk or any other type of hawk in Oklahoma going after chickens. Redtails generally go for rabbits or snakes. In fact, we watched a redtail take a snake a few weeks ago out of our pasture and we still have our chickens. Of course, now that I wrote this all our chickens will be eaten by hawks tomorrow. [​IMG]
  7. Beckyinma

    Beckyinma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2010
    Quote:They will however, go after the smaller younger chickens. If you are going to have your little ones out in the run early, make sure it is covered with something.
  8. Boo-Boo's Mama

    Boo-Boo's Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm in Texas and due to our hot Summers we plan to use fiberglass corrugated roofing material to roof our run. We don't get a lot of rain so a muddy run is not a concern. BUT we do use guttering to collect rainwater to use on the gardens; we are planning a 10'x20' run and 7'x9' coop.

    We have blue darter hawks that roost in the tall pecan trees in our neighborhood so we get to watch them raise their young during the summer but I do not want them to go after our chicks.
  9. my3jsons

    my3jsons Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2010
    Quote:True. I asked my son (the falconer) and generally hawks will only attic prey that they can carry off. They don't like to stay on the ground very long, rather want to carry their prey to someplace higher (trees, light poles, etc.). So smaller chicks could become prey.

    As to the shade, chickens do require shade. Every afternoon all or our chickens nap under our chicken coop out of the sun.
  10. Chicken Boo

    Chicken Boo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2008
    Glenn Dale, MD
    I used chicken wire. We had a major disaster with bird netting during a blizzard last year. Most of the roof of the run collapsed and we were in the next state with our not-interested-in-fixing-the-coop nephew house sitting.

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