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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bushdad, May 31, 2016.
Should I lay wire all around the coop on the ground to stop animals from digging under the coop ?
If the coop is not penned in then I probabaly would
Do you mean around the run?? Many attach a wire "skirt" around the perimeter of their runs to prevent predators from digging/tunneling under. To me, it really depends on your set-up. If you're in the country and near a wood line, I think it's a good idea (lots of aforementioned type predators). But a person who keeps a coop in their fenced backyard in the suburbs probably doesn't need to go that extra step. Unless you bury the wire a bit, or pile rocks around it, a skirt can be a pain to mow over. In places with lots of nocturnal type predators or stray dogs, it can really save a flock.
It depends on your suburban area, many have large raccoon populations that the residents may not even be aware of. We live in the middle of town with solid privacy fencing around our backyard and we have all sorts of wildlife visit us. Except for the cost of the hardware cloth, it really doesn't take much effort to add the layer of security for the chickens.
I now live in the country where we have all manner of varmints. Prior to that, I lived in town. We had as many, if not more, raccoons in town than we have here. And I always suspected a possum was living under our concrete patio although I never saw him. Some animal was. We had more deer in town that we do here. In short, varmints are everywhere.
This is how I installed the wire apron around the house. This is 1" x 2" 14 gauge welded wire.......part is 2 feet wide and part is 3 feet as the place I bought it from ran out of the 2 foot, which should be wide enough to do it.
So there is a 4 inch leg bent along the house side into a L shape.....it is tacked to the runners with fence steeples.......not staples....steeples. The runners are the same as what could be the wood base of a run. The fall is then laid out on the ground and staked down. Since mine was laid out over grass, I got out the lawnmower and scalped it down to 1 inch, and laid the wire on that. Part was on bare ground where my compost bin used to sit.
To hold the wire down along the edges, I used 99 cent tent stakes I got from Walmart......basically large nails with a perfectly shaped plastic head, to hold them down. That holds the wire aprons tight to the ground and I can then mow over them. After 2 weeks or so, the grass has grown up enough you can hardly tell the wire is there. A digger will know when he tries to get past it.
This is how they looked when I installed them and then again about 2 weeks later.
Oh yeah...raccoons are huge (population-wise, not size-wise...lol) in suburbs...but I think of raccoons as climbers and lock pickers, not diggers/tunnelers...
this is what I was thinking of doing,thanks very much for the info.
I'm saving the link to your post for it's excellent example of an anti-dig apron...but gotta ask...
I do it just like Howard E excepting cut two sides longer so the perimeter is complete rectangle. Likely they wont attempt to dig at the corner but what the heck it's only a few more feet and you get the harware cloth in rolls. We use 14 gauge welded wire around the run, the coops have floors and hard ware cloth on openings. If you've no floor in coop I'd use heaviest gauge hardware cloth in 1/2 inch you can find.
You all forgot the most common predator in towns (excepting neighborhood dogs that is)- skunks! They indeed will dig right under in no time and kill a bird.
Staples or steeples? I differentiate, but I guess the box doesn't. On the box, both are called "staples".
What I call "steeples" are what we have always called fencing steeples. What you would nail fencing material to a wooden post with. They are far and away bigger and heavier than the poultry netting staples the box stores sell. No varmint short of a bear is going to pull those out.