Runs - Burying wire vs enclosing the bottom

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by henovergal, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. henovergal

    henovergal Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 29, 2011
    We have 12 five+ week old chicks. ( May I gush for just moment? They are doing so well, extremely friendly and curious as all get out. We don't have enough laps or hands when we visit them.) While we worked on converting a stall in the barn for their coop, we built a temporary run for the little misses. Now it is time to work on the permanent run.

    Recently I read that the current preferred method for predator-proofing is to enclosed the bottom of the pen/run vs burying 18"-2' of the hardware cloth. Digging in our area is a difficult task at best. (Sorry, I can't cite the author or book tiltle since I looked through several books that evening.)

    Your thoughts and comments are welcomed.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    I think that the preferred method would be to construct an apron, rather than enclosing the entire bottom of the run. If you use "apron" to search, you'll find that lots of us make one with wire extending out more or less perpendicularly from the wall of the run. The apron can be simply placed onto the surface of the ground or buried, depending on your needs. For many people, grass will grow up through the wire and obscure it. I buried my apron because my urban yard doesn't have that much space and where the apron is located receives high foot traffic, I drive over some parts of it and I plant vegetables over other sections. Here are a couple pictures to illustrate how I installed the apron. I have more detail in how I installed it near the bottom of my BYC page. Good luck!

  3. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 18, 2011
    We have also done an apron.
  4. MamaRoo

    MamaRoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2011
    A ferry ride away, WA
    My tractor has an enclosed bottom and it's almost impossible to keep clean. Once the poop starts sticking it makes a 'floor' that's supported by the mesh. Also, wire floor means no dirtbaths [​IMG]
  5. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

    Jun 3, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    We made an apron from 1/2" hardware cloth around our run. It extends about 10 - 12 inches. I read that predators will start digging at the fence - so there's no need to extend it further than that. I hope I'm right about that! We've only had our pullets for 5 weeks - and so far so good.
  6. SueBaby

    SueBaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2011
    Oceanside, CA
    We did something similar. We went down about 8-10" and then out for another 8-10" and then buried it. The chickens dig into the dirt from the inside to dust bathe, so I'm glad we went down a bit. They love getting in the dirt, so I don't think an enclosed floor would make them too happy.
  7. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    I'm grappling with a similar question - I don't know if I would feel the chicks were more secure with the entire run enclosed - top, sides & bottom- with 1/4" hardware wire [it's expensive to do that but the hidden cost might be the loss of my precious flock if predators get in] or just doing the apron technique which seems to work to keep away most large predators - but I don't know that it will deter the big black snakes and garden snakes we have living close to the coop. I guess I'd have to have at least 1/4" hardware wire to keep the bigger ones away - my husband says it could squeeze through the 1/2" wire but I'm not sure. I wish I could feel more secure about using an apron b/c that is the least expensive purchase. I just keep picturing the snake popping it's head up in the middle of the unprotected run. Also since snakes climb wires - I'd also have issues with overhead protection!
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I just keep picturing the snake popping it's head up in the middle of the unprotected run

    Nothing short of a totally enclosed cage will keep snakes out 100% of the time.

    Once the birds are grown though, snakes mainly just eat a few eggs now and then​
  9. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    My yard is all ledge, so buying the wire was not possible. However, I am in a very high predator area deep in the woods, so it had to be secure. I chose to enclose the entire coop in hardware cloth. I mean that literally, sides, entire bottom and even the top. Some say I went overboard, but those same skeptics are others on my road who have lost their chickens numerous times. Some don't even keep them anymore because they got too discouraged. I have never lost a chicken, so I am very pleased with my plan. I had the hardware cloth run in overlapping strips across the bottom and extending past all edges, then folded up and secured with nails and washers. I then filled it with sand to cover the hardware cloth. Can't recommend sand enough either, it's completely maintenance free and the run stays very clean. You can click on my BYC page for pics of what I did.
  10. bwhnt1024

    bwhnt1024 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 17, 2011
    I have also buried wire, but have had alot of success with Nite guards. Check em out. They work.

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