Something dug into our run last night!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by HenPecked_bychildren, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. HenPecked_bychildren

    HenPecked_bychildren Chillin' With My Peeps

    139
    1
    111
    Feb 24, 2010
    SW Florida
    We have babies out in the coop under a lamp and I guess it drew the attention of a local. We've never had anything try and get into that coop/run before. The run isn't very secure. It's just chicken wire 5 feet tall. We dug a trench and dropped in a ton of broken pieces of concrete we found out in the woods and buried the chicken wire 10 -12 inches. We have plans to wrap the bottom 4 feet with welded wire, just didn't have the staples to do it this weekend.

    Sooooo, how should we best and least expensively better predator proof it?

    Also we have plans to build a new run for our other coop that is going to be roughly 20x30x20x30(welded wire). We were going to do upper and lower boards to support it. What would be the best least expensive way to secure the bottom of that run?

    Our biggest predators are possums, raccoons and local dogs.

    thanks!
     
  2. spiritdance

    spiritdance Chillin' With My Peeps

    864
    6
    111
    Dec 13, 2010
    I don't know if you have easy access to electricity, but we installed an inexpensive electric fence charger and put two strands down low, about six inches and ten inches from the ground, then three strands four inches apart over the top of the fencing, making the fence a total of five feet high. We have multiple barn cats, as well as the usual skunk, opossum, racoon, and coyote problem. We haven't lost a chicken to predators out of the pen since we installed the electric, and they have access to it even at night, after free ranging during the day. If you don't have readily available electric, there are solar chargers available, but they're more expensive and not quite as dependable.
     
  3. HenPecked_bychildren

    HenPecked_bychildren Chillin' With My Peeps

    139
    1
    111
    Feb 24, 2010
    SW Florida
    Quote:That is one of the options we were thinking about, my husband is an electrician, so that isn't a problem. lol. We just didn't know how much it would cost, or how well it worked. We would only be able to have it turned on at night or when we aren't home because we have bunches of little kids. But most losses would be at night or when we aren't home anyway.
     
  4. caspernc

    caspernc Chillin' With My Peeps

    987
    5
    138
    Oct 15, 2010
    Z town NC
    I have buried welded wire and solar electric fencing. Some raw chicken took a solo flight (so to speak) in the run all night last night and it survived but I'm going to let it stay out there for several days. I have to wait on getting my chickens because my broken arm. SO I'll let raw chicken tempt any dangers for awhile.
     
  5. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    5,227
    286
    288
    May 6, 2010
    Tucson
    My Coop
    I buried a wire apron around the run and coop to prevent diggers. I used old 2" X 4" welded wire scraps that I had laying around and made a 20" wide skirt that connects to the bottom of the run and coop below the grade and then slopes out and down.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. Talihofarms

    Talihofarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    320
    1
    103
    Dec 4, 2010
    The hot wire at 4,12,24 inches has kept us preditor proof for years.
    Local farm supply will have everything you need.
    I only use the hot fence at night, on a timer.
    We also have all our runs covered with poultry netting.
    Galv. poultry wire on the sides is the best long term solution.

    The only losses that we ever have, is due to birds of prey.
    When ranging in the day.
    We know the risk having pastured poultry. But losses are very minimal.

    just my.02
     
  7. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,637
    50
    231
    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    Here is my second coop.I think its safe since theres no bears where I live.[​IMG]
     
  8. HenPecked_bychildren

    HenPecked_bychildren Chillin' With My Peeps

    139
    1
    111
    Feb 24, 2010
    SW Florida
    Thanks. We are going to price which will be more affordable, the electric wire or more welded wire for an apron.
     
  9. bakerjw

    bakerjw Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,384
    31
    183
    Apr 14, 2010
    Johnson City, Tn
    For my run I used 2"x4" welded wire fencing and then formed a 3' piece of chicken wire into an L shape. Two feet went up the fence and 1 foot has been lightly buried under dirt and mulch. I then use an electric fence with 3 wires 6" apart starting from the ground. Anything digging will get into the bottom wire. Then another 2 runs around halfway up or so with a pair around the top. All it takes is for a predator to get stung once and they'll avoid it like the plague.
     
  10. mediazeal

    mediazeal Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,476
    10
    181
    Feb 26, 2009
    I have a concrete floor in my 8' by 16' run/coop combo. No diggers but expensive to pour.

    My friend in the foothills has 1/2" hardware cloth buried under her run and then wrapped up the sides.
    So they had to dig out the run area, lay down the wire, staple it all around and then shovel the dirt floor back in.

    I love electric fences for most things. But diggers are going under the electric fence as well, so the only critter proof things are going to be complete enclosure with hardware cloth under or a concrete pad, etc.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by