Small wire for runs + snow???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Rare Feathers Farm, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    A little background:

    I recently invested in 5/16 nylon netting for the tops of my runs. It's nylon with 40# breaking strength. I installed it over the top of the existing 2" chicken wire.

    I did this because I'm sick & tired of battling MITES with my birds and I KNOW the sparrows are the culprits! Plus, they are POOPING on EVERYTHING in my coop, my lights, my door handles, my feed, my brooder!! ARRGHH! Last spring, I started feeding my chickens inside the coop (made the mice worse) then I put a cat in the coop overnights. Mice 0, cat 5.

    Then, the sparrows moved in! Butters (the cat) is outside during the day and the sparrows move in as soon as he's outside.

    A few weeks ago, I went & bought a canvas tarp at Home Depot. I cut out little squares, then made strips out of the squares and made "doors" for my pop holes-- thinking it would discourage the birds. At first, I tied back about 1/2 of the strips on each door until the chickens were comfortable and had figured it out...then I slowly let more of the strips down and now each door has the strips...alas...the sparrows would wait until there was a bump in the fabric and fly right in!

    So then I bought this nylon netting. It is 5/16 of an inch opening. I used it to cover the tops of my run which used to be 2''. I did leave the 2'' up. Now, the sparrows have been unable to get in (the sides of my run are hardware cloth & 1" wire).

    However, my hubby wants me to take it down for the winter because of the snow...(which really defeats the purpose of keeping the sparrows out!)

    Does anyone have this type of wire in a heavy snowfall area??
  2. Lisa202

    Lisa202 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2010
    Long Island NY
    What pesky little sparrows you have.. I would not remove it during the winter...They are probably going in there to get the food and will try to get it even more in the winter when their food is more scarce. So I would suggest leaving it up all winter. You also run the risk of worst things happening to your chickens b/c of wild birds. Wild birds carry diseases such as bird flu and can transmit them to your chickens. Keep the wild birds out.
  3. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Yeah, I know! Hubby is scared the snow will pile up & not pass through, causing my runs to collapse and kill my chickens. [​IMG]
  4. goldtopper

    goldtopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Near Bert Blyleven
    I'm thinking most animals are opportunity feeders. Why not provide a bird feeder some distance away that is easier for the sparrows to access?
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    If your run is small, you might want to think about either adding a solid roof or adding more support for a tarp over the top in the winter. Even 1" chicken wire will hold snow. I'm sure your netting will.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Snow WILL take it down. It is essentially a solid surface for snow to build up on, thus you get FULL snow load, but is deformable so is extra prone to break.

    My suggestion is to frame out sufficient (snow-load-worthy) post and rafter support for a proper solid roof to your run, and do that. It'll provide even better protection vs sparrow germs, it'll keep the run drier, and if properly done it will survive the winter just fine unlike your netting or wire mesh.

    If a "proper" solid roof is not in the budget right now, what if you framed it out (posts and rafters suited to snow load) and then put a tightly-stretched tarp on top of the netting and rafters, for now. Or better yet, some scrap plywood or coroplast, if you have access to any. Then next year you can save up some pennies for metal or plastic roofing. In the meantime you'll have had a reasonably functional winter top to your run.

    Good luck, have fun,

  7. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I do...I have six feeders in our backyard (probably 200 yards away from the coop). I also have suet & hummingbird feeders, too...
  8. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I have a few that are small but most of them are pretty big....I want to do that for my bantam houdan anyway because they're so sensitive to getting wet crests...
  9. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Well I think what I'll do is end up taking it down for now...I would LOVE covered (as in with roofing) runs! I think it would not only keep the wild birds out but it would keep my chickens cooler in the summer and dry in the winter....I'll just have to tell hubby that's next on the list! [​IMG] I would guess it would be close to $1,000 for me to cover my runs & make them solid enough to support our snow load...
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Another option btw is a cattle-panel hoop-coop style run. If this is correctly built AND ALSO CORRECTLY BRACED it can be fairly snow-worthy, unless you live in a very high-snow area. Correct bracing means diagonal bracing on both ends and also supports running along the top ("12 o'clock") and off to both sides ("10 o'clock and 2 o'clock") that are braced with posts set against the ground in a way that they can't be kicked out or fall over. I am not describing this real well but somewhere on BYC are pics of several people having done a good job in this fashion with bracing cattle-panel hoops against snow.

    Then you can put a tarp over the top and voila, a roofed run that is reasonably snowproof.

    Good luck, have fun,


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