Wire mesh on Coop Run floor to keep out nasty chicken eaters?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 9, 2010
Quick question for the experts in here... I am in the process of building my first coop in the country, and I have a predator problem. I was thinking about completely enclosing my coop with mesh on the floor of the run as well. 360 degrees of protection. My question is this... Is that a good idea? Will it interfere with the chickens scratching on the floor? Looked at alot of different plans and couldn't find any clarification on that.

I'm no expert, but that's pretty much what I did. Wrapped the whole run with hardware cloth including the floor of the run. I just covered it with some dirt and it doesn't seem to bother them. Haven't had any problems with predators, but I wouldn't consider my half acre to be in the country. Might get expensive if you have a large coop and run. Good Luck!
yes it will. And it would probably be expensive, too.

you would be better off to bury your hardware wire (and if you really do have a predator problem then don't even consider poultry wire) around the perimeter of your run/coop. If that is not an option, you could always do an apron.

Do a search in the blue bar above. You will find lots of information/opinions.
My neighbors lay mesh on the bottom of their run and their chickens don't seem bothered by it. I would like to rent a ditch witch and sink the fence a foot or two into the ground around the edges instead of mesh "carpeting". Either should work fine.

I have a book all about building fences and gates and it recommends an electric tripwire along the bottom of the outside of the fence to prevent predator digging. I guess as a critter goes to dig at the fence, it would hit that low electric wire and be discouraged from digging. I've never seen it in action, though, so I have no idea how effective it is.
Here's a visualization of the above suggestion that I was going to suggest, but was busy doing the image..

Predators are not that smart and will dig up against the wire fencing. If you've got hardware cloth buried in the ground a foot out from the fence, they will never be able to dig in.

That's a good idea to keep predators out and it certainly wouldn't bother the chickens. I wanted to bury mine straight down because I also plan to have rabbits in the same general area and I want to prevent them from digging burrows under the fence, so it needs to work from both sides. Your method would be easier and probably cheaper for one-way dig protection.
I dug about 8-10 inches of soil out of the run and totally encased it with hardware cloth. Then put the dirt back in. The hens haven't been bothered at all, and we consider the run predator proof. We don't even have a door between the run and the coop - just an open doorway. We don't have to lock them into the coop every night or let them out in the morning. If we go away for a day or two, they have access to the run, food & water. Low maintenance and happy chickens.
Mmmm.. Yeah.. If you're doing rabbits in the same location then you will need to make sure they can not burrow out of their enclosure.. And they're very good diggers. I'd thought about doing a rabbit run for our buns with a dirt floor. The ideal way to do it for rabbits is to excavate the dirt down 12" or so and lay down the wire, then back fill the area. That way they can only dig down a little.
I was wondering if not having a door between run and coop (but burried hardware cloth) was still working or if you have had any problems with that?

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