Starting from scratch, pardon the pun

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SheriM, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. SheriM

    SheriM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    I've just joined the group and have about a million questions. I'll try to avoid flooding the forum, but it's gonna be hard. [​IMG] As I mentioned in my intro post in the new member intros forum, we had some meat birds last year but now want to set up for a permanent flock. The meat birds were housed in an old wooden granery (think square wooden shed) and didn't have an outdoor run but I want a better set up for a permanent flock. I have another granery about 12 x 12 and plan to put up a run beside it. I have an over-eager Australian Shepherd dog whom I wouldn't trust around chickens. We also had major coyote problems (we raise goats) but a trio of LGD's solved that problem. One of the LGD's is loose in the yard and I'm not sure if he'd leave chickens alone either, so canine proofing the chicken yard is a must. I have a lot of experience canine proofing goat fences, but I'm a little out my element when it comes to birds. I know I want the run enclosed on top and tall enough to walk through, so it'll have to be about 6 ft high, I figure. I'm also concerned about canines (mine or the wild kind) and other enterprising predators digging under the fence, so what would be the best type of fence for the chicken yard? My goat fencing is all done with posts set in the ground, of course, but that would be hard to protect from diggers, wouldn't it? I've heard of burying some of the fence wire, but how deep would it have to be to ensure nothing could dig under?
    This might be overkill here, though, because we had a few bantams as pets last year and they were in a small 2 storey rabbit hutch. The lower storey was ground level and neither of the dogs ever tried to dig under or even bothered the birds in any way, but I'd hate to find out the hard way that a more active flock moving about in a larger area triggered a keener interest from the dogs.
    I haven't decided what type of wire to use either. We are limited in our choices here in rural Saskatchewan, but I can get a 4x2 in. welded wire (stucco wire). It doesn't come as tall as I'll need but I thought about using it on the bottom or running two layers to get the height I need. I'll have to add chicken wire around the bottom because the holes are large enough for young birds to at least poke their heads through. Chain link might be an option, but only if I win the lottery. [​IMG]
    Sorry to ramble on for so long, but I'm trying to get all of this figured out before winter ends and we can get started on the building. Thanks for listening.
  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Hello, [​IMG] !

    I can't help design your coop/run, but I had to say hello after that pun! [​IMG]

    I'm still building the chicken area, but we haven't as many predators here. Keep us posted as it goes, always fun to look. Go through this topic's previous posts, and look at all the pictures, great ideas there!
  3. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    2x4 keeps most predators out an adults in. We don't have weasels so I'm not sure how to keep them out. The simplest way to deter diggers is to lay wire on the ground out one foot from the fence. They will only try to dig right at the fence an hit wire.

    For keeping babes in I would rap it with one foot high plastic netting an remove it when there big enough to not get threw the 2X4 wire. Mine eat the grass to about 6 inches from the cage so I don't have to weed eat.
  4. SheriM

    SheriM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Quote:You mean just roll out some wire flat on the ground, not buried or anything? Coudn't a determined critter push under it and dig anyway? Hmmm, maybe this will be easier than I thought.

    As for letting them eat the grass outside the fence, I'd be too concerned about the dogs grabbing them if they have their heads out so I'll definitely keep them on the inside and the dogs on the outside.
  5. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    When I put wire down to discourage foxes from digging in, I put the wire down and then piled dirt on top of it. I didn't dig dirt away and then put the wire down to pile dirt on top of it. I was afraid the foxes would be smart enough to back up on bare wire and start digging again. My piece of wire was 24 inches wide (not 12). I did see some places where "something" had dug right at the bottom of the fence, but had stopped when they found the wire.

    And I actually put about 3-4 inches of the wire UNDER the chicken fencing. It was not actually hard to do.
  6. Beau coop

    Beau coop Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2008

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