Will plastic mesh work? Why use hay?

andreacroyle

Songster
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
457
26
131
Florida
I live in a urban area.I am just starting out. Does anyone know if i can use the plastic 1/2 in mesh for snakes to keep my ducks safe during the day in their run? I cant afford to pay the price for 1/2 hardware cloth on the entire run. I have 1in galvanised chicken wire zip tied to the chain link fence with a bamboo fence covering all around the run (chain link dog run) for decoration. If I add the cheaper plastic fencing to their run, will snakes bite through the plastic? FYI- at night they are going locked in a smaller secure coop (inside the run) with 1/2 hardware mesh.

Can I use the 1/2 mesh (metal) on the floor of the small coop so the poo will fall through or will it be too hard on their feet?


Also, as I said, I live in the city and have no experience with "farm life". Why is it recommended to use hay? Isnt their and easier to work with substrate to use? Dried leaves? cedar bedding? sand box sand?

Also, Do I have to separate the ducks (big/little-male female) or can they all go into one coop at night?


Thanks so much for the help.
 

chfite

Songster
8 Years
Jun 7, 2011
2,171
111
214
Taylors, SC
Snakes aren't a risk to the ducks, more likely to the eggs. I would be more concerned about the traditional predators, dogs, coyotes, hawks, and the like.

I found that 1/2" hardware cloth as a floor was a bad idea. The poop got caught in the mesh, the tools to remove the poop got caught in the mesh. When you consider the cost of 1/2" hardware cloth, the plywood floor and some sheet vinyl look quite attractive.

Chris
 

andreacroyle

Songster
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
457
26
131
Florida
Thanks. I was wondering about stuff getting caught in the mesh. if I make the whole house out of plywood except for the front where the doors will open, will there be enough ventilation?

Also, do you know if animals will chew through plastic mesh (please read above post for description)? In my (city) neighborhood, there are tree snakes (rat? ) in abundance, hawks, owls and many many coons. this is specifically what i am worried about. I live in florida in a city. so the heat is a big concern with closing all sides with plywood.
Thanks for all the help!
 

RuanMac

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 17, 2014
53
3
31
I live in florida in a city. so the heat is a big concern with closing all sides with plywood. 
Thanks for all the help! 


I think this answers your own question. You can't close off the entire coop, with no ventilation at all no matter what climate you are in. You will NEED to cut ventilation windows, and cover those with hardware cloth, or wire mesh.
As far as animals chewing through the plastic mesh....it's plastic. Raccoons and dogs will chew through "Chicken wire". Plastic would be a waste of money as anything more than an outside digging deterrent and even then it would be questionable.
 

John D

Hatching
7 Years
Oct 28, 2012
5
0
6
I have muscovy ducks and some khaki Campbells. they just run free in the backyard and nothing is ever really bothers them. I think they're pretty tough and able to take care of themselves. they are very prolific and went from a flock of 8 to 40 in one summer. so I don't think you have to worry much about snakes as I have seen them go after the snakes by the pond. obviously fox's and coyotes would be a problem. the Hawks don't seem to be able to get to the adult Ducks only the baby ducks, one mom duck lost 12 to a hawk and the neighbors cat, but a good mom duck chases the hawks and cats away.
 

John D

Hatching
7 Years
Oct 28, 2012
5
0
6
Im in Mobile Alabama so its hot here too, the ducks I have will not even gointo the coop i made for thm, the chickens love it but the ducks seem to prefer to be outside, they do get hot and need penty of shade and water they also make a mess of the water using it to sort of wash out their mouth and n0t just drinking. Even though they have the pond and drink from it i keeep fresh water avaliable or them and they do refer that over the pond to drink
 

Irishhenman

Songster
6 Years
Jul 2, 2013
583
47
113
Ireland
Also, as I said, I live in the city and have no experience with "farm life".  Why is it recommended to use hay? Isnt their and easier to work with substrate to use?  Dried leaves?  cedar bedding? sand box sand

It is not recommended to use hay! Hay is very dusty and chickens like most domesticated birds have pretty fragile respiratory systems and hay will aggravate it and often cause problems. Hay also carries spores from mould and loads of problematic things that can harm chickens. If hay gets wet at all it will go moldy very fast and that is a serious problem. Use shavings, grass, leaves, straw, sand, wood pellets etc instead.
 

andreacroyle

Songster
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
457
26
131
Florida
Thanks for replying about the hay. I have asthma as it is and didnt want to bother with hay. our yard is mostly shaded with 5 large live oaks and i was hoping to be able to use the leaves from them as bedding.
 
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