The most cost-effective chicken moat

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by FaithM, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. FaithM

    FaithM In the Brooder

    Nov 8, 2013
    I am thinking of building a chicken moat instead of a traditional run for our chickens that we will be getting in the spring. I want it to be as cost effective as possible as we are tight on money, so does anyone know of ways that we can save on it? Cheap types of wood or could I use no climb instead of hardware cloth? If you're not sure what a chicken moat is, here's a video:
    Thanks for any help!

  2. appps

    appps Crowing

    Aug 29, 2012
    That is a really interesting idea. I immediately thought water of course LOL so the video helped explain it well. It wouldnt stop airborn bugs though and thats really the only ones bother my veges, the cabbage white butterflies to be exact (grrr LOL)

    I think you are going to have the same issues as you would for any normal run as its basically just big run with the middle fenced off. So Id also do searches for predator proofing a normal run or budget run construction for ideas as well. Anything that applies to a normal run will apply to this.

    Good luck, would be interested to see it when its done!
  3. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

    Jan 23, 2013
    Pocono Mtns
    My Coop
    What a great idea. I, too, immediately thought of water until I watched the video. I don't know about the moat protecting the crop from all the pests, but it sure would be a good start...and an interesting set up and conversation piece for visitors! let us know how you make out with it.
  4. Cool idea, I too thought of water. I would think as long as the chickens are locked in a coop at night you shouldn't have predator problems put a netting over the top for hawks.I use this type of fencing around my run with 4' chicken wire around the bottom 3' on the fence and 1' on the ground for digging predators.I have only lost 2 chickens to hawks because my run is to big to cover.
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: 4 X 4 Wire will keep chickens in and MOST predators out, but it's still not cheap

    You're still talking about DOUBLE fencing a large area, and will also need to allow for multiple gates that will have to be opened AND closed each time you want in or out

  6. Michael L

    Michael L Hatching

    Nov 9, 2013
    An idea for the run top is to use rib steel. Hope this helps.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Great idea...and not a new one....and that's a really, really nice one.
    But yes, expensive. I'd guess that coop and moat cost a couple grand to build.
    You can go cheap, especially if you scrounge and save materials over a long period of time, but like all good chicken facilities----it's gonna cost more than you think.
  8. FaithM

    FaithM In the Brooder

    Nov 8, 2013
    Thank you all so much for the feedback! I probably won't be going with this moat style after all, since it's a little too much money, but it is a beautiful idea, isn't it?! :)
  9. miquwid

    miquwid Songster

    Feb 14, 2013
    Western NY
    My Coop
    I would go around the day before garbage day and pick up as much scrap wood and pieces as possible. I found that old well made crib pieces work well. So here is the thing if you do it this way you can make it look sturdy but I would invest in some outdoor paint or stain. if you don't plan on free ranging I would put up some jungle gym type pieces in there to give the chickens something to jump on and it's good exercise and makes them think just make sure it's not a good place to lay eggs. This is something that I kind of do myself but again not that way good luck and I hope to see pictures of this. I'm not sure how mine will turn out as I have several gardens that I need to chicken proof. Look on craigslist as well for scraps.

  10. vickivail98

    vickivail98 In the Brooder

    Dec 12, 2010
    Southern Michigan
    I'm hoping to do this too, around a 1 acre garden! In addition to creating perfect runs for separating breeding flocks if I put poultry netting on top of the runs it will be DEER PROOF. Because I definitely can't afford to do it all right away I'm having the garden dug this spring (a one time job) and putting up the inner fence. I'm using 8' t posts with heavy wood corner anchors and 6' welded wire. Because it has 1x3 holes I'm adding an apron of rabbit wire (1/4"X1/4"), 24" up and 24" buried. Hopefully next year I'll get the outer wall up. I'm only putting in one set of 8' wide gates. That's the only part I haven't totally figured out. It's very hard to make the gates predator proof. Because this garden feeds our family I need to keep all the critters out!

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