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Runs and hardware cloth question.......

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gabby3535, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. gabby3535

    gabby3535 Songster

    I'm building an 18' x 28' run surrounding my coop...............
    I plan on using 2" x 4" twisted wire for the 6 foot perimeter fencing..........
    3 strands of electric wire (low, mid and high level, entire perimeter).........
    bird netting covering the entire top.........
    2" x 4" boards at ground level, 1/2 way up and top, entire perimeter..........
    and 1/2 inch hardware cloth........bottom 2 vertical feet, entire perimeter.
    Also, will be installing 2 of those "night guard" red flashing things to scare off any predators
    who might be negatively effected by such things.........
    and will be leaving a radio playing on "talk" station, set on a timer for nighttime!
    But here is my question..........(actually 2 questions).........
    1. do you think I could do any more to protect my girls in the building of this run? and.....
    2. someone recently told me that I didn't really need to bury the hardware cloth in a trench (12-18 inches deep), and that
    an "equally effective" method to keep the fence bottom diggers "out" would be to lay an additional 2 feet of hardware cloth flat on the
    ground, attached it to the bottom of the lower board (and existing "vertical" 2 feet of hardware cloth with 'pig rings'), and then
    clover the horizontal-lying hardware cloth with stone dust, gravel, soil, rocks, etc..................and that a borrowing predator
    will dig right "at the base of" the fencing, but will not know to 'back-up' further away from the fence line to get to 'dig-able' soil...........
    Thoughts??? (on both questions please......)

  2. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Quote:Well, I guess to answer your first question, you could put a layer of welded wire or hardware wire under the floor just in case you have a psycho persistant predator who chews through wood. I've read one other person who has raccoons who do that. Other than that, I think you're good! I don't have NEAR that much protection!

    To answer your second question, I have a 1ft strip of welded wire attached to the bottom perimeter of my run, and instead of weighing it down I used tent stakes to hold it in place. There are some pics here:
    This is my setup....Hope this helps, and good luck!
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Yes, I think you could just use a flange of attached wire on top of the ground to prevent digging, instead of burying it.

    I'm not sure what 2" x 4" twisted wire is. Do you mean woven or welded wire or have I just not seen this? There are sooo many different types of wire! Sometimes they go by more than one name, too. I do know that weasels could go right through openings that size.

    I would be concerned about raccoons going through your netting on top. I don't know if the electric wire will be enough to keep predators from climbing. Maybe others with more experience with electric fencing can comment on wire placement for small and large animals. Do you have any trees around or is there any way for them to use a combination of climbing and jumping using the coop, to get at the top of the run?

    Are you planning on locking your chickens inside a secure coop at night? Are you mainly looking for daytime protection?

    Your plans sound really good for dogs, coyotes and hawks. I can tell you've done a lot of reading and have given this a lot of thought.
  4. windtryst

    windtryst Songster

    May 4, 2008
    This is how we are doing it....
  5. gabby3535

    gabby3535 Songster

    Okay, sorry........yes, by "twisted wire" I "did" mean "woven wire"...............(I believe it is stronger than "welded" wire)
    What do most folks use as the "main" wire for their larger runs??? Any recommendations? (I realize hardware wire would probably
    be most effective for weasels and raccoons not to be able to climb...........but quite costly, and not in my piggy bank right now!)
    And, concerning raccoons being able to gnaw thru the bird netting over the top..............what would be a better option? Chicken wire?
    Thanks for any additional replies...........
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Are you planning on closing the chickens up in a sturdy coop at night? That would be when they would be most at risk from raccoons and weasels.

    If you're not planning on locking them up at night, that's fine, but it makes a difference in run design.

    People on this forum have had raccoons go through chicken wire. Layering your 2x4 wire over the top would be sturdier. Some people layer the 2x4 with the chicken wire on their runs.

    If you don't want to have to close the chickens up at night, there are also automatic doors. Although those are pricey, too, sometimes it's cheaper than adding a lot of extra nighttime protection to a large run. I don't know what you've bought already, but you might want to add up some of your costs and see what's going to end up costing you more.
  7. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    WOW! Sounds like you have things covered to me. Just make sure they all get locked in the coop at night and all will be well. To answer your questions. #1, I think you have things covered. #2, I have seen where people just lay the wire around the outside of the run extending out 2 ft. and it works for them. One of the moderators on here, Dawn419, has done this with chicken wire. Predators do seem to dig at the base of the fence, so I don't see why that wouldn't work. The biggest thing is to keep them locked in tight at night. If you do the things you say you are going to do on top of locking them in, I think they should be good and safe.

  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Apron is good.

    Make sure you've structured whatever's holding up the bird netting so that it is not too likely to come down in an icestorm or wet snow -- just a 'circus tent pole' arrangement would be asking for trouble.

    FWIW I'd shut the birds in the coop at night with your arrangement, ESPECIALLY in dry or frozen weather, because otherwise you are depending 100% on that electric fence... and they are not usually things you can depend 100% on [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  9. bills

    bills Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    Sounds like a pretty well planned out run. If you lock your birds in a hen house for the night, and it is secure against predators, ie hardware cloth over vent and window openings, good latch system on doors, holes plugged against rats, mink, etc. your birds should be very safe.

    My larger outer daytime run fencing is chain link, sitting on a cement foundation. I don't have hardware cloth on the bottom few feet. I have never seen a bear, cougar coon, mink, rat, etc. during the day. At this point I don't have any top netting either. Daytime predators would be dogs, or perhaps cats, so they are fine. I have to admit a roof cover wire may be smart, as there are a few Bald eagles around.

    I also have a smaller, ultra-secure covered run, within the bigger run. In the later afternoon, I lure the birds into it, with a few treats. As darkness comes, they can enter the hen house from this smaller run. This way if I go out for dinner, or to a movie, etc., I don't have to worry about being home, to lock them away. Also the hens get to enjoy the full day being outside, where as otherwise they would have to be locked in the hen house early, if I was planning on going out, for the evening. Even still, as an added precaution, when I get home, or before I go to bed, I still close the chicken door, between the smaller run, and the hen house.

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