Starting to build run and need advise about hardware cloth

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by loveclucks, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. loveclucks

    loveclucks Out Of The Brooder

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    OK, so I want my run to be like Fort Knox because I will not be locking my girls in at night. The coop will be connected to the run and the run dimensions will be 6' x 12' and 6' high. The roof will be clear polycarbonate panels. I am discouraged by the cost of the 2x2 hardware cloth so here's my question. Is it ok to use the hardware cloth for the apron and bottom half of the run and use another type of wire for the top half? I live in Seattle and the predators I am most concerned about are rats, raccoons, opossums, and hawks/eagles. Any advise is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Hard Boiled

    Hard Boiled Just Hatched

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    Just remember that most predators that you mentioned can and will climb. Anything for an easy meal.
     
  3. loveclucks

    loveclucks Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, that's what I feared. I will use the 2x2 all over. Thank-you.
     
  4. yellowchicks

    yellowchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would use 1/2" x 1/2" hardware cloth all over. Some critters are very good at squeezing through the 2"x 2" openings.Hardware cloth is expensive but worthwhile investment to save you the heartache later.

    Space the supports of the run to minimize the trimming and waste of the hardware cloth wherever you can.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I put hardware cloth up the sides of the run for 2 feet, folded it at ground level and ran it outward another 2 feet as a apron. We made our run from cattle panels arched over and attached to steel fence posts pounded deeply into the ground and covered all the way around with chicken wire, top to bottom. My pop door into the run stays open all of the time. So there are two layers of protection at the upper sides and top, and three layers going from 2 feet down to 2 feet outward. We also did hardware cloth up the sides of the coop and outward in another apron, secured to the coop with large washes and screws. I wouldn't say we are 100% predator proof, but as anyone who has read my previous posts can probably tell you, I don't believe there is such a thing. As soon as I put all my faith in the build, I run the risk of becoming complacent, and complacency leads to failures. So I also practice due diligence in checking for loose spots, signs of predator interest, and take care of any little problems before they become big problems.
     
  6. Monguire

    Monguire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I second the suggestion for 1/2" hardware cloth...as much as you can. Once the bigger critters are checked off, it's the weasel family o critters that should be your next concern (depending of course on where you live and your proximity to freshwater). They can squeeze through openings of 1" so the 2" x 2" will really only be good for the larger predators.

    In most things I'm very much an 80% solution kinda guy. The expense, time and labor required for that final 20% of whatever task I'm doing usually isn't worth the return on investment. That said, my coop and run serve an important enough function that I took that all the way to 100%. While the cheap replacement cost of poultry can NO WAY compare to the hundreds of $s that final 20% cost me, the emotional toll and the failure of step 1 of basic animal husbandry (maintain a safe, clean environment) make it seem worthwhile to me.

    I'm a cheap, lazy SOB in most things...but in this, I'll gladly pay the premium to get a good night's sleep knowing my chooks are as safe as I could reasonably make them.
     
  7. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I used 2"x3" fencing, sides and top, with a 2' apron.

    All well supported with 1"x4" planking.

    I then attached 1/2 hardware around the perimeter 2' high, to stop prying hands.

    Keeps all my potential predators out.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
  8. loveclucks

    loveclucks Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks to everyone for replying to my recent post asking about 1/2" hardware cloth. I'm going to go ahead and do the 1/2" all over my 5x15x6 run with polycarbonate roof. For myself, the peace of mind of having my girls safe is worth the expense. Also, my coop and run are very near both my and my neighbor's houses and I especially do not want rats. I've already had a discussion with the neighbors and they were easily bribed with the promise of eggs. I am using sand and PDZ and poop boards with a daily cleaning to keep the smell at a minimum. My babies arrive April 4-7 from McMurray and I've got a fridge
    box and a Premier1 heat plate for the brooder. I am going to cut a door into the box so I can reach in from the babies level instead of frightening them by grasping them from above like some huge hawk in the sky with a human hand instead of talons! I can't claim the door idea as an original thought, I learned it here along with so much more.

    I am new and I have learned so much here, I just want to say what a great forum and thank-you to everyone. My girls are going to be so happy and healthy thanks to all my recently acquired knowledge. Pics coming soon. I have 7 different breeds coming and I will post lots of pics of their development.
     
  9. Monguire

    Monguire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are VERY happy with the smoke-colored polycarb roofing we used on both our tractor and our 12'x16' secure run. Keeps the sand VERY dry and offers an incredible amount of light while still providing shade. The light weight and strength (if the purlins are spaced close enough) are both win-win too.

    I'm happy to read y'all are going for hardware cloth...I'm right there with you re: the peace of mind. We needed to know that at night and during the day if we had to keep them confined to the coop and run for any reason that they'd be 99% safe. I always leave a 1% outlier to account for say a very large, very hungry dog or a bear that could go through the hardware cloth like tin foil.

    We all look forward to pics of your progress! The free sharing of ideas and best practices is one of the things that makes BYC so awesome! [​IMG]
     

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