What is the minimum width of mesh I should use to skirt my enclosure?

Dandelle

In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 2, 2012
28
0
22
Round Rock, TX
Hi all! I'm adding a small run to my coop soon, and am wondering how wide the skirt around it should be. I live in the city and the only creatures I've seen roaming around are rabbits, squirrels and the occasional outdoor cat. There are raccoons, opossums, and sometimes skunks in these parts, though I have never seen any near my house.

What I'm thinking about doing is getting some 3 ft wide hardware cloth, using the minimum width of cloth for a somewhat buried skirt, and using the rest of the width to figure out how tall the run will be. But the problem is I don't know how wide the skirt needs to be. I've heard 12 inches, but wondering if I can go a bit shorter to make the run a bit taller.
Any advice is appreciated!
 

AlienChick

Songster
9 Years
Apr 9, 2010
2,917
109
211
Glasgow, KY
I don't spend a lot of money on the apron around the coop unless there is a very heavy predator load.
A 12-18 inch width around the coop using chicken wire buried in the ground is fine.
My pens are all outside and I bury the chicken wire around the perimeter and put gravel and then dirt on top.
I'm trying to grow grass on top of that but it hasn't happened yet.
I've had a couple of occasions where I noticed something tried to dig under, but they gave up both times.
If you live in the city, you won't have coyotes or wild cats but you may have stray dogs.
They don't dig for long because they don't like the wire.
 

yo burrill

Chirping
7 Years
May 20, 2012
475
13
90
Garland, ME
I live in Maine and we have weasels that can get through just about anything!! Remember most of the predators in the city can climb. And most predators come out at night.
 
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FrozenCanadian

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jul 24, 2012
27
3
24
I live in the Province of Quebec about 40 minutes east of Montreal. We have a bit of everything out here in terms of predators.

For my part, I burried some wire around the perimeter of the coop. It's a square-grid wire with half-inch spaching between the wires and I believe some call this rabbit wire. Comes in 48 inch-wide by 50 feet rolls. For the rest of the coop and run, I simply attached chicken wire with 1-inch openings between the wires.

Be sure to tie wrap the overlapping wires so that predators cant squeeze in.

My hens have not had run-ins with predators in two years so I believe that my elementary system is ok.

I hope this was helpful.
 

J-Sanders

Songster
7 Years
Jul 28, 2012
357
12
128
12 to 18 inches should be fine as most digging predators start at the base of the wire mesh where it touches the ground. Get a coil of rebar wire and the twisting tool to tie the section edges together and make sure the ties are not more than a couple of inches apart because they can and will bend the edges back to squeeze in a arm or head. And for some reason chickens are curious enough to get close enough to get beheaded...
 

ellandeeranch

Chirping
7 Years
Jul 17, 2012
173
12
91
I'm using 1/2" mesh hardware X 3 feet wide. It's the same thing I use in the cat's house. We also ring it with cement blocks, and tie them to the fence. It's very hard for the mutts to dig under those.
 

Dandelle

In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 2, 2012
28
0
22
Round Rock, TX
Thanks for all the helpful answers! I decided to make it 32 inches tall and I have enough wire left over for a foot of skirting all around. I'm planning on putting corrugated pvc roofing on top to keep out the climbers, with hinges for easy cleaning. Got a few rosemary plants to put next to the coop even. I'm still making it, so I will definitely take all of your suggestions in mind :) Thanks again!
 

ellandeeranch

Chirping
7 Years
Jul 17, 2012
173
12
91
What do rosemary plants do for chickens? I have oregano, thyme, and basil going in one part of the garden.

...Got a few rosemary plants to put next to the coop even. I'm still making it, so I will definitely take all of your suggestions in mind :) Thanks again!
 

Dandelle

In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 2, 2012
28
0
22
Round Rock, TX
I don't think they really do anything for chickens, though I have read that it keeps flies away (as does basil). I'm mostly just planting it there so when the rosemary grows, it can provide a bit of shade for the run. Plus, I can pick a few sprigs when they stop laying and are ready for stew
 
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