Security of run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lizzy14, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. lizzy14

    lizzy14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2011
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    Question for you experienced BYCers: As we are designing our coop and run, I am unsure how secure we need to make the run area. I'd like it to be safe enough to leave them out during the day while we are at work (generally no more that 6 hours). But if it is safe enough for this, wouldn't it be safe enough at night? For example, if it is fully fenced in with a buried skirt and covered top. My father, who will be helping us to build it, has chicken wire on the brain and I told him the only appropriate use for that I believe would be for covering the run. But would chicken wire be safe during the day if we are not here? We have two dogs, one of which is bred to patrol farmland (great pyrenees), but we don't leave them out when we aren't here, and the coop will be just to the side of the yard in the woods.
    I guess what I'm getting at is, if we make the run heavy-duty and tight against predators, we wouldn't have to worry about securing the hens at night. Does anyone have this kind of setup?
     
  2. lizzy14

    lizzy14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2011
    Rochester area/WNY
    FYI, if we go with the heavy duty and tight run construction, it will not include chicken wire. I am wondering how appropriate chain link fence and hardware cloth is for this?
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Northwest Arkansas
    You can make a run that is as predator proof as your coop. The bigger the run is, the more expensive that will be. The bigger the run is, the harder it is to catch every possible weakness. But it absolutely can be done.

    A raccoon can climb a fence and rip open a chicken wire top. Dogs and coyotes can jump on top of many runs. Chicken wire on the roof is not absolutely safe, but it is a lot better than an open top or a plastic netting top. There are different degrees of safe.

    I suggest you consider an apron as opposed to burying skirting. This is where you lay the wire flat on the ground, maybe taking the sod off, putting the wire down, and putting the sod back on top. Of course, attach the wire to the bottom of your run. The idea is that the digging predator approaches the fence, starts to dig, hits the wire, and does not know to back up. It is a lot easier than burying wire straight down and I think it is more secure.

    My run is predator resistant, not predator proof. Part of the top is open so some things can get in, but I think dogs and coyotes would have a real problem. I sometimes leave them locked in the run when I am gone for the day, but most of the time, I let them free range. Just depends on the circumstances. I lock them in the coop at night. I consider that pretty cheap insurance against bad things happening.
     
  4. savingpurple

    savingpurple Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For my area, mine will always be locked up at night. Period. I feel my coop is predator resistant also, but my outdoor run is not. They are out all day everyday while we are at work. Wish I could have done more to make it so, but it wasn't in the pocket book at the time.

    So far...no daytime issues. Have seen no night time attempts either? Pray it keeps going that way!!!
     
  5. carladababe

    carladababe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 8x10' run is totally enclosed with welded wire, there is a couple inch space between the top of the run where it is attached to the coop. I placed extra wire inbetween that space as a deterent for skinny predators. I leave the chicken door to the coop open at nite because it gets so hot during the day. The only ground predators I've seen in this area are coyote, raccoons, and possum, but those are the ones I've seen. Build tough if you can afford it. [​IMG]
     
  6. lizzy14

    lizzy14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2011
    Rochester area/WNY
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. It looks like I'm going to be getting 6ft x 30ft of chain link fencing for $30 - pretty good deal right? I just need to drive about an hour to get it...[​IMG] And then we plan to use some garden fencing, heavier-duty than chicken wire, for the top of the run. The posts are all free, from a big pile at the in-laws. Haven't planned for a snow or rain shield on the run yet - would a tarp work?
     
  7. carladababe

    carladababe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 25, 2010
    Dixon, Missouri
    I use a heavy duty tarp covering the top of the run, angled for maximum shade in the afternoon. It is attached by bungees at strong points along the run. When it hit mid-90's a few weeks ago, I added a second tarp to give extra needed shade. I also use a tarp on the mobile chicken tractor but I take that down when not in use, no use straining the equipment. The chickens are pretty use to the popping noise when the wind picks up. I learned though to put a hole in the middle for drainage for when it rains, otherwise you'll have a pool of water weighing down the top of the run. Tarps I find are easy to use, cheap and can be removed.[​IMG]
     
  8. yinzerchick

    yinzerchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We used chicken wire and hog wire. Our run is round, we used an area that was formerly used to train mules or something. The posts were already there, so we decided to utilize them. It's 6' high, and has the buried apron at the bottom. The chickens free range durning the day and I put them in the coop at night. So far so good, haven't lost any yet. I also leave the big door to the coop open till about 10:30-11:00 at night because of the heat. We do have 3 donkeys that patrol the pasture, so maybe they're helping keep preditors away. We also built little make shift "panic rooms" that they can run under in case of an attack from above. lol. Here's a couple pics. Good luck, and build it as secure as you can afford.
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    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011

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