What type of wire for the run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickmanna, May 4, 2011.

  1. chickmanna

    chickmanna Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    Battle Ground, WA
    Well, the coop is done and the girls are moved in. They're 8 weeks old and, for now, they're content with the wired in space under the 4 x 8 raised coop. I need to get started on the larger run and was wondering about what wire to use. I've even considered purchasing a dog run.

    The space under the coop is secured with 1/2" hardware cloth, buried down into the ground. We're in an area of homes on 1 acre plus lots, not really "country", so not too many predators - although there is an occasional coyote, hawk or opposum. I think I have the general idea on how to protect against those critters.

    I'm wondering how much I need to be concerned about small birds getting in the run. I don't want to end up feeding all the starlings, chickadees, sparrows, etc. (Not that I don't already [​IMG], but I'd rather feed them where I can enjoy watching). I've read that these wild birds can carry disease or mites to the chickens.

    The auto feeder will be in the area under the raised coop, so not real accessible. Does anyone have an opinion on whether using a dog run or 1x2 welded wire above about 3 feet would be o.k? I would make sure the lower portion of the run is partially buried hardware cloth like below the coop.

    Thanks in advance for your advice, and thanks to all those whose ideas I've gathered from this site so far.

    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  2. georgiagail

    georgiagail Chillin' With My Peeps

    What we did (because I had just finished extending our privacy fence and I was really tired of digging postholes!).

    A dog kennel (7 by 15 1/2), chicken wire running along the bottom and attached to the bottom frame of the kennel with zip ties....36" hardware cloth around the lower perimeter of the kennel (again, attached with zip ties)....3/4" PVC pipe cut into 7.5 foot lenths and attached to the top rail of the kennel with brace rail clamps (found in the chain link fencing section) at 3 feet intervals, then covered with 36" wide hardware cloth (yet again attached with zip ties):






  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:You get some disease risk no matter what (especially if the run does not have a solid roof and thus bird poo falls thru); however in some cases sparrows etc can run through a LOT of food.

    If you are really paranoid about the disease angle then sure, design to exclude sparrows right from the outset.

    But if it is mainly just an issue of not wanting the chicken feeder to become an all-the-neighborhood-birds feeder, I would suggest either a) put the feeder inside (if you design a DIY version that is wall-mounted it doesn't take away hardly any floorspace), or b) wait and see if you actually have a problem, and if you do THEN you can put bird netting or deer netting or some such thing on the outside of your regular wire run fencing. That way if you do NOT end up having a problem, you have not wasted any effort/material/money [​IMG]

    Does anyone have an opinion on whether using a dog run or 1x2 welded wire above about 3 feet would be o.k?

    It is fine in terms of keeping out larger predators, but sparrows (and weasels) will still be able to get in. Additionally if you use a chainlink kennel panel make sure you are buying a GOOD QUALITY one, as a lot of the ones on the market these days (esp. in the low end of the price range) are made of really thin-gauge wire that is NOT dogproof, illogical as that may sound given that they are sold for dog runs [​IMG]

    I would make sure the lower portion of the run is partially buried hardware cloth like below the coop.

    If you are serious about digproofing the run I would urge you to consider a 2-3' wide apron instead. Fencewire has to be buried down to about 18" to be really secure against dogs/coyotes/foxes (although there are a few "professsional" chicken-stealing foxes in the world who require it buried even deeper). Just 6-12" is not really especially safe, although obviously it's still better than nothing. An apron is really easy to do, and when constructed correctly it works just about as well as buried wire.

    Good luck, have fun,


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