Where to lay an apron

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by catchthewind, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. catchthewind

    catchthewind Songster

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    Do I need to lay an apron around both the coop and the run, or just the coop, or just the outside parts of the coop/run? Our coop has a dirt floor and likely we'll keep it as a dirt floor, though I'm still reading pros and cons to various ideas. I'd like to be able to leave them in the run if we're gone for a couple of days. It would actually be great to be able to just leave the pop door open and just close off the run at night (they will be free ranging), but I'm pretty sure we have raccoons so the logistics of having to predator proof the run that well might be too much for now. What do we do with the edge of the apron against the coop? Ideally I'm sure it would be best to bury it under the coop, but if that's not possible will folding it under itself against the coop be secure enough?

    Also, is 3' overkill? It's the only width we could get, and I could probably find a use for the extra foot if we cut it down. In fact, if we should be running an apron around the run too I might use the extra foot and overlap it to get two feet, if that makes sense.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  2. elmo

    elmo Crowing

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    Here's what I did:

    [​IMG]

    I bent the edge of the wire to form a "L" shape, then fastened the vertical side of the wire to the baseboard of the run. Then I staked down the horizontal part (the part flat on the ground) with lots of landscaping staples, and then covered the horizontal wire with wood chips (mostly for aesthetics).

    I honestly would not bother cutting the 3' wide wire. Unless you have some kind of power tool, that's going to be an awful job with a pair of wire cutters. The cut edge of the wire is very sharp. It would be a cumbersome job to smooth out or cover those edges. A spliced apron (two 1' strips joined together) would be more difficult to install and wouldn't be as secure as a single piece of wire. Moreover, with the predators you have to deal with, I don't think a 3' wide apron is overdoing it at all.

    If I were you, I'd put an apron around the whole coop and run and be done with it. I'm not sure what you mean by "the outside parts of the coop." Do you mean the parts of the coop that open into the run? If so, you don't need to put an apron there, unless your coop is raised and critters could get under the coop and through there into the run.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  3. catchthewind

    catchthewind Songster

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    Thank you so much! That picture is very helpful. We bought tin snips and I actually did cut some of the wire last night, but I think I'm going to follow your advice for the rest and not bother. It was a lot of work and you're right about the little sharp points. I'm glad I didn't do too much already. When I said the outside parts of the coop and run, I meant just the parts that are around the perimeter, rather than the coop inside the run too. I have gone from starting with 5 or 6 chickens to starting with about 15 chickens already, so my run has to be fairly large, though I may not make it quite 10 sq ft per bird since they will actually have a quarter acre or more to free range around (and we're going to use electric wire and some sort of fishing line or something so that they're safe there during the day even when we're out). The run will be for if we need to leave for a weekend and can't find someone to check in on them. I'd love to be able to keep their access to the run 24/7 too but that may have to come slowly.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Then I'd suggest putting the apron around EVERYTHING, coop included.

    It would actually be great to be able to just leave the pop door open and just close off the run at night (they will be free ranging), but I'm pretty sure we have raccoons so the logistics of having to predator proof the run that well might be too much for now.

    Plus, even if you have money to burn, it is much easier to THINK your run is 100% predatorproof than it is for it to BE 100% predatorproof. Many of the people who lose chickens to predators at night were just *sure* nothing could *possibly* get in...

    Also, is 3' overkill? It's the only width we could get, and I could probably find a use for the extra foot if we cut it down. In fact, if we should be running an apron around the run too I might use the extra foot and overlap it to get two feet, if that makes sense.

    It depends on your situation and tastes. Nothing WRONG with 3', and if you have "professional" foxes (with a history of doing this kind of thing) or a large coyote/dog population, it would not be a bad precaution. That said, in most circumstances 2' is pretty adequate. Remember you may lose a little width depending on the mechanics of how you attach it to the foot of the coop or run wall (it needs to be very securely attached there)

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  5. elmo

    elmo Crowing

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    Quote:If your wire is a high enough gauge (say, 19), you can bend back the edge and fold it over against itself to make a kind of seam that helps with the sharp edges a bit. They also sell plastic edge covers, but it doesn't really make sense to use something like those for an apron.

    Do be aware that stringing fishing line over the top of the run will help deter raptors, but won't provide security from anything that can climb, like a raccoon. Leaving the chicken door open at night that leads to a run like this is likely to end in tragedy, sooner or later.
     
  6. catchthewind

    catchthewind Songster

    366
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    Jan 27, 2011
    Vancouver Island
    Quote:If your wire is a high enough gauge (say, 19), you can bend back the edge and fold it over against itself to make a kind of seam that helps with the sharp edges a bit. They also sell plastic edge covers, but it doesn't really make sense to use something like those for an apron.

    Do be aware that stringing fishing line over the top of the run will help deter raptors, but won't provide security from anything that can climb, like a raccoon. Leaving the chicken door open at night that leads to a run like this is likely to end in tragedy, sooner or later.

    Thanks again Elmo! I should clarify I meant the fishing line would be over the pastures. The run will be fully enclosed. [​IMG]
     

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