Using trees as posts for chicken run? Need help please

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by taterville4, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. taterville4

    taterville4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2013
    NC
    I've purchased a coop/run online to start with 4 chickens but would like for them to have a bigger place to play while we are home. I've been comparing making a PVC v/c wood structure online here then a co-worker suggested using my trees as a post for a natural looking run. The run will be going in the wooded area behind my house where I have a ton of trees, mostly skinny pine ones. I have a flatter area with around 20ft x 20ft between the trees. I know chicken wire is a no-no and all the hardware cloth I'm finding is 36" or 48". We have dogs, cats, squirrels, hawks, snakes, deer, and wild turkeys that have been seen in my woods so I want to make them safe from predators.

    I've never built anything from scratch so I don't get how to connect the heights of cloth without using a 2x4? Would I use 2x4s to make a base around the trees then fold the hardware cloth back and put rocks on it? How do you attach the hardware cloth to the trees? If anyone has done this and has pictures, I would appreciate posting them. Thanks!
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You will be wasting your money on the hardware cloth unless it has a roof and is aproned out on the ground to deter diggers.

    I use welded wire fencing and no top. It isn't predator-proof but I close them up at night. Only 1/2 inch hardware cloth will keep out rats and weasels, who kill chickens.

    Here is a good example:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/633735/need-help-constructing-predator-protection
    see post #2

    Notice the large washers to hold the hardware cloth.
    I'd personally skip using the trees as when they grow it'll mess up your lines.

    I use this fencing:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/211504/welded-wire-for-run-cant-find-1x2-only-2x4/20
    only I don't use the wood- I use U posts (those metal green ones) from Home Depot and the 5 foot high fencing. They are vulnerable to aerial predators this way, and other predators. But I like a large run- really large!!! Basically to give them the feeling of free ranging. I use pallets elevated on concrete blocks to give them something to hide under.
     
  3. Stumpy

    Stumpy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Hi. I don't know if these photos will be of much help to you, but I recently had to rig up extra run space in a hurry where we live in the woods because my DH was tired of the mess the chickens were making on our brick walk. I wanted to use what we had on hand, which didn't include many fence stakes, so I wrapped the chicken wire around the trees as shown. I do not consider this predator-proof, but it does keep the chickens in and so far any airborne predators out. The netting may not be visible. This is for use when someone is here during the day. We also have dogs which would warn of any stray dog or wild animal around.

    [​IMG]

    At night the chickens are securely locked into this coop and run:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. happybooker1

    happybooker1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 4, 2012
    North of Houston Texas
    I have thought of doing the same. My property backs up to a 'creek' (really a run-off ditch but it has a name on maps!) and I've seen many raccoon tracks there. I'm thinking the trees would just give the raccoons ready access to the run, which *shouldn't* be a problem if your chicks are in a coop @ night.
     

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