Suburban Coop protection - bury or "skirt" hardware cloth?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Afrodigh, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. Bury

    3 vote(s)
  2. Skirt

    5 vote(s)
  3. Both

    1 vote(s)
  1. Afrodigh

    Afrodigh Chirping

    Oct 12, 2017
    I live in Nashville off of a busy road. My backyard is only partially fenced in. Neighbors cats and dogs tend to get loose a lot and I've heard (but not seen) that there are also raccoons and coyotes about occasionally. What's the best approach to deterring digging predators? I've seen folks bury hardware cloth vertically about a foot down, but I've also seen folks do a "skirt" around the coop and run perpendicular to the structure.

    What works best?
  2. Howard E

    Howard E Crowing

    Feb 18, 2016
    Skirt or apron works and is a fraction of the effort......

    IMG_9657.JPG dig 1.jpg dig 2.jpg

    One of two recent attempts at digging in.

    Aprons work because animals trying to dig their way in will start at the base of the vertical wall. They immediately hit the apron and are defeated. They may cast up and down the line (this was one of two attempted digs, both the same and both defeated). Animals never figure out they need to back up a few feet to start their dig "way out there" beyond the edge of the apron.

    This was simply laid flat on the ground, and pinned into place with tent stakes. Within a week or so the grass grew up through it and these days I just mow over it.

    BTW, this wire is 1" x 2" 14 gauge welded wire. It may not stop weasels, rats or mice. It stops just about everything else. Heavy wire like this is more durable than lighter hardware cloth when placed on or under the ground.
  3. NancyNurseCxMama

    NancyNurseCxMama Songster

    Jun 1, 2017
    Hudson Valley, NY
    We buried 1/2" HWC a little more than a foot down and then out from the perimeter of the run. I think an apron might be just as effective for the reasons stated in the previous post.
    Personally, I would not go with anything that has a bigger opening than 1/2". We have mink and weasels here and both could easily slip through something with a larger hole and wreak havoc. Not to mention mice.
    So far, going on a year and nothing has gotten in. Our entire run is enclosed in 1/2" HWC, btw, and openings around the door are covered by a slat of attached wood when closed.
    I am far from smug, however, as we have so many predators here. Coyote tracks and scat are always to be found around the property. Neighborhood dogs and foxes have killed neighbors' chickens and ducks.
    The girls are secured in their raised coop at night and the coop is enclosed in the run, not reachable at all from outside the run. The people and pop doors on the coop have latches and carabiners. All coop windows and vents covered in HWC. Three latches on the run door, all with secondary carabiner fasteners. Padlocks when we leave the property.
    Yep, I am crazy serious about trying to keep predators away from my lovely ladies!
    I want to feel that I have done everything I can to keep them safe. That said, anything can happen.
    We do have some bears around here too.... :barnie
  4. Sublight

    Sublight Songster

    Jun 2, 2016
    Personally, I go both.
    I normally skirt, but on my next coop, ill do both. It worth the extra 30 bucks for the extra protection.
    NancyNurseCxMama likes this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop

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