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spacing boards on run???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by miraclz5, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. miraclz5

    miraclz5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi All,
    Just getting ready to start build my run. I live in a VERY small town in the country and we don't have a big problem where we are with fox, raccoon, coyote....just an occasional skunk at night. However I do have a rather aggressive, untrustworthy neighborhood dog who frequently gets loose at all times of day. I am using hardware wire (19 gauge) for my run which I plan to make about 6x10 or 6x12. I have a couple of questions...How far apart do I space the boards on the sides of the run? I also need be able to move my coop and my run (due to really STUPID town zoning (remind you I live in a VERY small town in rural NH but due to an antique store down the street and an old grange hall next door to me, my house is zone commercial/residential which means my coop has to be 25 feet from the property line.....I dont have 25feet on any side of my house to the property line....so to buck the system....everything has to be movable. I don't want a traditional tractor....so does anyone have any suggestions as to how to tie down, so to speak the run? My thoughts were to use something like tent stakes.....would love to hear what people think? And thanks for your help! Andrea
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    If the dog is large enough and determined enough, it will be difficult to make even a fixed run safe. Any chance they would change the zoning for you, since it is such a small town?
     
  3. miraclz5

    miraclz5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know if the town would change the ordinance or not...I have been hesitant to make a big deal out of it given that I don't want to make matters worse. We already have our chicks and our neighbors are all cool with us having chickens! As for the dog....he looks like a black lab/german shepard mix...do you have any suggestions for the run??? Would skirting work to keep the dog out but still be movable enough if the town shows up at my door??? Thanks for your help!
     
  4. cooper38

    cooper38 Out Of The Brooder

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    Maybe get some hog or cattle panels from TS or a farm supply. They are 4' to 5' tall 16' long made out of steel and can be zip tied or wired to the run. If you need to move the run just take the panels off and reattach when you relocate.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I'd suggest those spiral things used for dog tie-outs, although they also come in heavier-duty versions (for anchoring tarps and such) that might be worth looking into. You could put one at each corner, VERY securely chained to VERY securely built structure, and I think it'd probably be nearly roll-proof. (This would not be a good solution for a tractor intended to be moved regularly, but it sounds to me like you are building your thing as a tractor only as a formality and are not intending to actually move it all over the place)

    That plus a good wide digproofing apron should provide pretty good security, maybe as good as you're gonna do anyhow.

    The other thing is, the further you can keep the dog from the coop, the less tempted he gets, so if it's possible to fence in your yard as well that'd help too.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. BlueBetween

    BlueBetween Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:What size hardwire did you get? I found some in 3 foot width...so I made my run posts 3 feet apart so that I could just run the hardwire up and down them without having to seam it together in the middle.
     
  7. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    How about going with electric fence? You can run 3 - 4 strands of wire using step-in posts (they are easily moved, preinsulated and have loops built in to hold the wire) Then you can stop any dog as well as the other occational critter visitor. It will even keep the chickens in the yard if you want to free range. Then you can rethink you run needs and maybe go with rigid 1" PVC pipe frames with simple chicken wire on them to contain the birds


    Otherwise you need to go tall with a skirt because dogs will dig under a fence and still have to figure out how to move it around

    Post a picture of your coop or plamnned coop if you still choose to go with a mobile run and maybe we can give you some more ideas.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
  8. BlueBetween

    BlueBetween Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think an electric fence and small, movable, raised doghouse style house would be perfect for the small town restrictions you are dealing with.
     
  9. SheilaV

    SheilaV Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi,
    I am new to BYC, but I was struck by your problem. I found myself pondering a couple of possibilities. I was wondering if having several prepared sites (I will explain shortly) that you could relocate your coop to with regularity, maybe with the change of seasons, would that satisfy the city? The specially prepared sites do not have to be visibly dog-proof, but as long as you know where they are and how to secure your pens, you can possibly meet the city's needs as well as your own. I have had a lot of experience with determined dogs, as I used to do both wildlife rescue and later dog rescue. A determined dog is hard to manage, but based on what you are describing, I envision a couple of possibilites. One would be to lay down some sort of barrier, that will serve to deter an animal digging under the perimiter. I have used old chain link to secure beavers, burying it flat on the ground, a few inches below the surface, where it did not show, but I soon learned that chain link tends to curl if you walk on it. However, given the size of your pen, and the fact that you are not dealing with beaver's teeth, some salvaged fencing might serve. I would also consider buying some lengths of rebar and tying them together into a "net" that extends out a few feet BEYOND the immediate perimeter of your pen, then set this down below the ground, allowing the grass to cover it, Set some tie-downs, be they the screw-in dog ties or some large "staples" made from scraps of rebar, and set into some concrete, again below the ground level so it is hidden and out of the way. If you had at least 2 such sites prepared, you could relocate your pen at will, allowing the grass to recover from one site while using the other, and still be confident. I would probably use some salvaged fencing, then lay some rebar on the edges of the fencing, use the standard rebar ties or some GOOD zip ties to help keep the fencing from curling, then bury it. Be aware, however, that the first time you need to DIG in that area you will wonder if this was such a good idea. Once it is down and the grass has grown in, it is almost impossible to pull it up again. I can see it in my head, but I may not have described it clearly here. Let me know if you have any questions.

    I would warn you, however, that digging is not the biggest threat I feel from dogs. I learned the hard way that it is safest to have 2 layers of fencing between the birds and the outside. I had a young turkey lose a wing through a chain link fence to dogs because it got too close to the fence and the dogs managed to snag the feathers, and eventually pulled the wing through the wire. After that, I made sure that I had chain link on the outside and a poultry fabric on the inside, giving several inches between the dogs' noese and the birds feathers. If you are using wooden slats, that would be fine too, but I'd still feel safer if I had 2 layers of fencing near the ground with a couple of inches between the sides. Some may find this excessive, but as you do not own the dog, you must think defensively.

    I do not use electric fences any more. I find them too hard to keep hot, and a smart dog can defeat them or sense when they are not hot. Besides, if you have kids or small dogs , they might be a poor choice. I'd consider some sort of motion-activated alarm. I fpund one at Big Lots once that had a proximity switch on it. It sounded off like a smoke detector. It is designed to keep pets off of furniture or warn you if someone enters unannounced. It might serve in the night to startle the dog and alert you so you can teach the dog he is not welcome.

    Forgive me my musings. I have a very creative imagination and have learned to be resourceful when it come to dogs. There are ways if you are willing to think outside of the box and let your creativity flow.

    I have

    Good luck, and let us know how you are faring.
    sv
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2011
  10. Tool

    Tool Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I have 2 labs who would love to eat my birds. I have converted the old dog run into the chicken run. It is a 6' chainlink fence and when it was installed years ago they poured a concrete border around the base and imbedded the fence into the concrete, so that digging is not possible. My dogs only have one of the four sides of the run that they can access. So I put up another fence sectioning the run down, from 20x30 to 20x20 with a seperate 10x20 area. This way to get into the chicken run, you have to open the first gate, close it and then go through the second gate. So if my dogs make a run for it at the chickens, they are still blocked by another gate. And vise vera (chickens cant get out to the dogs). Just thought I'd share my ideas. Sorry it does not help the OP, darn stupid laws....
     

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