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Should I Use Hardware Cloth For Entire Run??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by GreenEggsNSpam, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. GreenEggsNSpam

    GreenEggsNSpam Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2013
    Edelstein, IL
    Thanks for tuning in!

    I am planing on building a 30'x40' run and was originally going to do the lower half in 1/2 inch hardware cloth and the upper part in 2"x4" galvanized welded wire fence, with a total height of 7' (tall enough for my 6' husband to work comfortably in the run) and 1' buried as a skirt around the run for digging predators (we have LOTS of predators). We're still thinking about what to do for the top of the run for red tailed hawk/coopers hawk/barred owl/great horned owl protection.

    Anyhow, I found the hardware cloth on-line for a really good price. It is the SAME price as the galvanized welded wire, so I am wondering if I should just do the entire run in hardware cloth or still do half and half? Does it matter? What other materials/wires do people use??

    I'd love to hear everyone's opinions. Even finding good prices this is an expensive endeavor! LOL I want to get it right.

    Thanks everyone! [​IMG]
     
  2. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I vote doing both! I build my run with 2x3 framework, and on the outside I put 2"x4" field fence to keep out the big predators - dogs, bobcats, coyotes, foxes etc, and on the inside, I used 1/2" hardware wire to keep everything else out, and to keep anything from reaching in and grabbing a hen. I have had my coop attacked by a bobcat, it bent up the field fencing a bit, but did not get in. I covered my run with aluminum roofing panels, to provide complete protection for the hens when they can't be out roaming the yard. Plu it keeps the run dry during rain, and I don't have to shovel out the snow! Of course, my run is only 15x15, so you have quite a bit more space to build!
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
  3. GreenEggsNSpam

    GreenEggsNSpam Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2013
    Edelstein, IL
    Well, I don't have bobcat to worry about where I live, at least not that I've ever seen or heard of! My biggest concern are coyotes (they run in packs through my yard sometimes) red and silver fox (see them less often than I hear them, but still) and raccoon (a nuisance everywhere). And the occasional dog that someone or another out here has let wander. And of course owls and hawks, which we have a lot of.

    Your run sounds like it could take anything short of a bear! LOL But twice the wire means twice the money, and I'm trying to conserve without skimping much. So for me, it's either 5/50 or one or the other. Unless I want to cut down the size of my run. Which I'd rather not. (I'm keeping chicken-math in mind!) [​IMG]
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I would beware of doing a run roof in 1/2" HC if you have snow load to think about...2x4 fencing would work for a run roof to keep most things out and not catch the snow.
    When you say 'skirt', do you mean apron?
     
  5. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    If your birds are locked in the coop at night, forget the hardware cloth (I know saying that is considered a mortal sin to some on BYC) and go with the welded wire. I used 1x2 on the skirt and bottom part and 2x4 on the upper part and roof.
     
  6. GreenEggsNSpam

    GreenEggsNSpam Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2013
    Edelstein, IL
    What I was originally thinking was doing 1/2" HC on the lower HALF of the fence, burying a foot of it around the edge but skirting it out slightly. It would still be buried. So then the lower 3' of the fence (4' minus 1' buried foot) would be HC, and the upper 4' would be 2"x4" welded wire. BUT if I can get the HC for the SAME price as the Welded Wire, should I just do all the fencing in HC ?? Is it better to do it one way or the other, really?

    I have been considering my options for the top (roofing, or whatever you'd call it) for my run. I'm not sure if it needs to be as sturdy to ward against birds of prey. I might look for a cheaper poultry netting for that. I do have to consider snow. It is a very good point. I live in central Illinois and winters can vary greatly.
     
  7. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

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    It's your call on the hardware cloth.
    Don't use netting on top. It will also collapse under snow, and climbing predators will chew right threw it. Go with the larger opening welded wire.
     
  8. GreenEggsNSpam

    GreenEggsNSpam Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2013
    Edelstein, IL
    But if the 1/2" hardware cloth is the same price as the 2"x4" welded wire, shouldn't I just do my entire fencing in the hardware cloth? (not the top-roof part)

    My birds are locked in the coop at night, but it would only take one night of me getting caught up with my kids and forgetting to close the chicken door that I could lose my birds. Far too many predators here. Plus I have actually seen coyotes and even barred owls out just BEFORE sunset and it's still quite light out! And I have seen fox in the late afternoon and early morning. I think, in my case at least, the run needs to be nearly as secure as the coop in many regards.
     
  9. GreenEggsNSpam

    GreenEggsNSpam Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 25, 2013
    Edelstein, IL
    I wasn't sure if they'd manage a 7' fence. But you are right. Better to be safe than sorry, regarding the roof!
     
  10. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    My recommendation would be 4' tall rabbit wire and an electric fence about 6-8" above the ground on the outside of the fence. No roof. That's what works for me.
     

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