Run - Hardware Cloth and Chain Link Combo


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 10, 2011
we've got the run framed in and now i could use some advice. Since I only have 4' fencing and 3' hardware cloth (in height), I was thinking to install the chain link about 1 or 2 feet off the ground and then cover the gap with the hardware cloth and then bury about a 1 foot or less to create an apron.

I wasn't planning on adding a top or bottom rails to the fence - just having it pulled tight and stapled to the wooden posts.

Does anyone think this will compromise the strength of the fence? Should I just install it flush to the ground for more support and then overlap the hardware cloth a full 2 feet and then create the apron out of the rest?
You have the right idea on the hardware cloth, but I'm not sure that the chain link will staple up high very well - seems like you would need to fasten it at every link to the hardware cloth to be sure there are no gaps. Doesn't sound practical.

Maybe someone else has an idea?
You need hardware cloth on the bottom (as planned) so that the chickens will not stick their heads out and get them bitten off and also to keep young chicks inside the run.
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So maybe have the chain link all the way to the bottom and overlap a solid 2' with hardware cloth and the rest for the apron? Would you recommend using tension bars on the bottom?
How far apart are your fence posts? Maybe you could run 2 inch lumber between the chain link and the hardware cloth and attach both to it thus allowing you to raise the chain link up at least a foot or foot and a half above ground level.

Hardware cloth on bottom and up 2 feet, and then the cross braces of 2 by 2 lumber with hardware cloth firmly attached and then overlap about 6inches of chain link?

I've never dealt with chain link fencing, so, just tossing out ideas. Someone with more experience in this should chime in soon.
I take it you're building a standard chain link fence (as opposed to, say, using a dog kennel) so there will be no bottom rails running along the ground, correct?

If so, and you plan on burying the hardware cloth into the ground (and, I'm assuming, your chain link fencing will be pulled tight prior to attaching it to your posts), there really should be no need to add tension bars along the bottom.

However, since you also do not wish to use top rails, make certain your posts (and again, I'm assuming you mean wooden posts) are not too far apart so that the top is "wobbly".

Since your fence height is only four feet tall, how do you plan on keeping the chickens from flying out? I was going to suggest a "hoop" type roof using brace rail clamps and PVC pipe but it order to do that, you'd need some top rails to attach the brace rail clamps to.

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Correct, I will not be using prefab fence panels. I've got someone who will pull the chain link tight across the wooden fence posts. They are actually re-purposed fence rails about 4 to 6 inches round.

The posts are about 10 feet apart in most places - in others a little bit closer.

As far as keeping the chickens in...I haven't decided if I should build a sloped roof next to the coop entry to protect them from the snow and rain or just put netting on top.

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