snakes? and how deep do I skirt the hardwire?


8 Years
Apr 17, 2011
Twentynine Palms, California
My chicks are still evening "living room" chickens. But they've been outside day time in the run when I'm home, coop when I'm not. I have yet to see any potential preditors. All that I see around here are rabbits and Mohave Ground Squirrels, neither of which come in the yard I think because the scent of my dogs. Dogs are in a separate fenced part of the yard.

So, I scared myself reading all the preditor threads. Here are my questions/concerns:
1. How deep should I skirt the hardwire around the coop?
2. What about burying barbwire?
3. Are ground squirrels of any potential danger to the chicks, they are getting closer to my garden which is attached to the run, it's only a matter of time before they figure out the dogs aren't actually in the garden/run/coop area and make there way in.
4. Are snakes after eggs or chickens?
5. Are motion sensor lights of any sort of deterant for anything? My husband wants to put these in, but I'm thinking they'll just be more annoying than they will be "scary"...


8 Years
May 23, 2011
with my coop i dug a ditch about 6" down and put hardware cloth 1/2 size that snakes can not get thru, have had good luck after trial and error with the regular so called chicken wire. with the lights you can go to which is a solar light that flashes a red light that scares these predators that come around at night. solar power so comes on a sun set and off at sun rise. hope this helps a little.

Elwood Lightfoot

Wears A Cool Thinking Hat
9 Years
Hardware cloth with half inch or quarter inch mesh is best, I wouldn't even bother with barbed wire, it isn't that important to go deep unless they are burrowing in from a bit of a distance, I would use the half inch by two foot tall hardware cloth and attach it to the bottom of the pen, you can scrap back a couple of inches deep so the two foot by whatever the length of your run is is slightly buried the idea being that when a preditor comes to your pen it's standing on the mesh and won't be able to dig through it unless it steps back a couple feet to start digging and thats not likely, the ground squrrels are no threat to eggs or chickens but will most likely be after the feed and maybe your veggies, Snakes depending on the type can be after either eggs or chicks, I started a thread on catching snakes that I have a problem with just a couple days ago, Motion detector lights can be a deterant to a lot of preditors I use a couple in different areas of my place but don't have any at my coops LOL I have thought about it though but out here night birds and bats and any number of other critters would have them on most of the time I think. Best of Luck with your birds :)

Bear Foot Farm

11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
Grifton NC
1. How deep should I skirt the hardwire around the coop?

Just deep enough so you won't trip on it or hit it with a mower.
The easy way is lay it flat on the ground and cover with just enough dirt so grass will grow up through it

Any deeper is just wasted effort

Are snakes after eggs or chickens?

Both if the birds are small

Are motion sensor lights of any sort of deterant for anything?

Some people, not many animals​

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