Secure Run at Night

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Kris64, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. Kris64

    Kris64 Out Of The Brooder

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    We are planning an open-air coop with a secure run that the chickens will have access to all the time--day or night. Do I really need hardware cloth around the entire run--roof and all? Or can I use hardware cloth up a few feet and the rest of the run a 2" square wire/fencing or chicken wire?

    PS Please resist recommendations to just lock them up tight in a coop at night. My question regards a safe run. Thank you.
     
  2. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would go with 1/2" x 1/2" for entire coop to keep the predators out completely.
     
  3. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    We made the decision to first cover the entire run - top and all - in 2 x 4 fencing. We then added a second layer of protection at the bottom of the pen with 4 ft. high hardware cloth all around. That will prevent predators from reaching in and grabbing the girls through the wire.

    We're adding the apron as soon as the snow and ice disappears, it will be a combination of hardware cloth and 2 x 4 fencing and will extend out from the run several feet at the base. On top of it will be a raised plant bed.

    Something the size of a small squirrel could probably squeeze in the 2 x 4 fencing but nothing much larger. Little chick-a-dee's will fly in through the 2x4 fencing so I have to make sure no chicken feed is in the run. However, my concern is more with hawks, owls, digging animals getting in from the base, and protection from foxes.
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Only 1/2 inch hardware cloth will protect against weasels and rats. Anything bigger and they can get through. Apron out the bottom or bury it, and cover the top with it also. Basically a cube of hardware cloth LOL is what it takes for a Fort Knox run.

    Chicken wire can be torn apart by raccoon paws quite quickly.

    Welded wire fencing is fine for runs but not predator proof. Not good enough to be counted as part of the coop/night area, in other words.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  5. DeansMill

    DeansMill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have confirmed the presence of a Fisher Cat in the property, but more than that, a bobcat has taken residence in our garage just feet from where I am building the coop... we have confirmed fox, raccoon and skunk too and we don't even have chickens yet!! Will the hardware cloth keep out those big predators??
     
  6. Kris64

    Kris64 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2014
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    I wonder if weasels would climb up and get in.
     
  7. Kris64

    Kris64 Out Of The Brooder

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    Black Mountain, NC
    From what I've read that's exactly why you want the hardware cloth--especially for raccoons.
     
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

  9. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want a run that's secure against most preds, yes it's necessary to have hardware cloth around the entire run, roof & all.
    Personally I don't find it necessary to spend $1,000 on hardware cloth to protect $100 worth of chickens so I use 2x4 welded wire on a topless pen, but my biggest threat is roaming Rovers.
     
  10. Kris64

    Kris64 Out Of The Brooder

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    Great point--ha, ha! My run will be smaller, then again I only have 6 chicks right now. We'll check out the price difference, if it's just a hundred or so dollars (although that's a lot to me) it'd be worth not having to re-do later and start with the hardware cloth up high. I'm just not sure how many predators we'll get here: I'm close to a busy street and houses all around. Then again wild cats and mice are prolific.
     

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