Wire top question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by coldwetnoz, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. coldwetnoz

    coldwetnoz Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm getting ready to have a nice big fenced in area for my chickens, probably 7 ft high and I plan to put a wired top on it or else it would be pointless. If anybody has done that, please tell me the best way to do it. Since I'm planning a really big pen, about 20 ft X 14 ft (at least), I guess I'll need an extra post or 2 in the middle to support the top wire. Anybody know what type of wire works best for a top like this?

    Thanks!
     
  2. txliss

    txliss Out Of The Brooder

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    Ours is 8x10 ft, and we have a 2x4 stringer down the center - imagine a big plus sign in the middle of a square... does that make sense? We used regular chicken wire on the top only with 1x2 welded wire around the walls. Chicken wire is not as predator proof for squirrels/possums, but will keep out the hawks and lighter duty predators. I WANTED hardware cloth, but hubby was done spending $ on wire.[​IMG]

    eta: we secured the wire with 5/8" staples (I think), but I personally would redo that with those nails with the big red or yellow washer thingies - the coops I've seen done that way look like the wire is way tighter than mine.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
  3. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    AR
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    Now this isn't wire, its netting. It is supported with brace wire and just lays on it. It is attached with zip ties on the fence. Works very well. I got it on Ebay from a wholesale company. Comes in all sizes and is very tough. Is this what you are talking about? Or, are you set on wire. I have used chicken wire on top of my dog kennel runs. We had thought about using welded wire but thought it might be to heavy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
  4. ekemily

    ekemily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we used field fencing that has holes 2"x4". We put a couple of posts in the middle for support. We attached the fencing together using heavy duty zip ties. You could also use the metal ferrules, like on the corners of rabbit cages. Zip ties have worked great for us.
     
  5. sunflowerenvy

    sunflowerenvy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    it depends where you live if you get any snow or ice where you live you would have make a pitch on your roof. in florida we used construction work netting.

    we are TN but we are going to your fencing that is 2x4 coating wire on top of run that is 10x20 we are making A frame.my hubby said that we are going used wire to attach it to the poles on top of the pen just like pen for dogs we got snow last year

    i cannot wait until i will get my chicken coop deliver this week we have the run panels lending against the garage and my girls n roo will have their new home this week
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    It's gonna be *awfully* expensive to put a predatorproof wire top on a 14x20' run. Chickenwire not being predatorproof, you'd have to use 2x4 welded wire. That is not only a lot of wire, it is quite a lot of SUPPORT needed.

    If you only want it to be hawkproof, then consider some form of netting (aviary netting, deer fence, keep-birds-offa-your-cherries netting, etc). You will still need some support(s), either tentpole style or rafter style, but less so than if you used serious wire. Mind, it will collapse if a raccoon gets up there so you might consider running electric along the top outside of your fence to discourage raccoon traffic.

    The cheapest thing, if all you want to do is discourage (rather than actually exclude) hawks, is to zigzag string back and forth and back and forth. With or without old CDs on it.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  7. coldwetnoz

    coldwetnoz Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2010
    Well thanks, everybody! This is alot to think about. First I'm going to look into the aviary netting. I'm not as worried about hawks as I am stray dogs that can climb and dig. 7 ft is a long way to climb for most dogs so that helps. I don't think a hawk will try to get through any type of wire or netting. It does help that I have 2 nice dogs in the yard who couldn't care less about hurting a chicken. They help with alot of predators, like raccons and possoms.

    Here's a little drawing I made. Does this look like the right amount of support?

    [​IMG]
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    If you are going to use netting, you might consider a 'circus tent' arrangement where you sink a TALL STRONG post in the center of the run, with an old tire or something like that bolted to the top (idea being to present a soft curved surface that will not rip thru the net). For larger runs you can add some radial guy wires (from pole top to fenceposts) that keep netting from sagging too much, but that's unlikely to be so much of an issue in your size run.

    I don't know where you live, but be aware that snow will take this netting down (it is also very hard on wire mesh tops). Unadvoidable sad fact of life.

    To keep dogs from going over the fence (although not many will climb 7'!!) you could run a line or two of electric wire on the outside of the run fence (PROPERLY INSTALLED, FREQUENTLY TESTED WITH AN ACCURATE FENCE-TESTER, otherwise it is nearly worthless)

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  9. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm working on my roo pad as we speak. I finally finished getting the top on the 10x20' kennel yesterday. Once I get the second row of hardware cloth around the sides connected to the top I will then go back and tie everything down. Eventually I will probably roof the part of the run that is not under the shelter. I haven't made up my mind yet. I will just have to make sure that I keep any substantial snow off of the top of the exposed part. Keep in mind that it does take quite a-bit of support to keep the hardware cloth tight and from sagging. As Pat said, it was a little expensive, but worth it to me.

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  10. ekemily

    ekemily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    that looks great, chookaholic! Mine does not look nearly that nice. We do not have snow here, so that didn't even enter in my mind when putting up our wire top. One less thing to have to worry about is nice [​IMG]
     

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