Wire Mesh Type

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OakR

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Wire Mesh Type
« on: December 11, 2019, 00:39 »
Hello

I'm getting near to pulling the trigger on ordering the wire mesh for my chicken run, which will be situated at the allotment. We have plenty of foxes there, mice but I've never seen a rat. No-one is allowed open water containers or ponds etc to there is not lots of water lying around that rats normally need I believe, however I suspect I may be being a bit naive...

I'm in 2 minds as to what to do. My run is going to be 3 metres wide and 7 metres long, which makes for a decent amount of wire mesh and the difference in cost between the fox proof (2 inch) holes and others which might also stop rats getting in. Some people seem to get rats, some people don't - I'm confused and between the run and the coop it's getting a bit pricey.

I was thinking about getting a treadle feeder which I hoped would minimize mess (and therefore rats). I realise maybe only I can answer this question, but what do people normally choose?

Edit - I meant to add I am looking at this for the mesh https://www.meshdirect.co.uk/wire-mesh-wire-netting/fox-protection/wire-mesh-50-x-50-14g-fox/wire-mesh-50mm-x-50mm-14g.html

Thank you!

Al

« Last Edit: December 11, 2019, 00:40 by OakR »

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New shoot

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Re: Wire Mesh Type
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2019, 10:43 »
Foxes can bite through cheap chicken wire and will also try and dig in, rats tend to burrow and are near impossible to keep out with mesh alone.

I would say buy the best mesh you can afford for the walls of the run, especially the bottom section.  You could get cheaper stuff for the upper parts of the walls and roof.  If you make a shallow trench along the run edges, lay in a stretch of mesh or chicken wire and backfill over it, that also helps.  If a fox starts digging and hits mesh, they tend to give up.  You  could also use a more solid type of run wall for some sections.  It gives the birds some weather protection, so you could have a timber wall on a couple of sides for the bottom at least. 

Bird flu is becoming more and more frequent, so a roofed run is well worth investing in.  Mine is roofed with chicken wire and covered with plastic roofing sheets.

Treadle feeders do help prevent food spills and that helps prevent rats.  A galvanised dustbin makes a cheap and effective food store.  Bags of feed just call out to rats.  The thing is with rats is that they are always with you, whether you see them or not.  If you keep your set-up as clean as you can, they will move to an easier target.  That may be why some of your plot neighbours have issues with them and some don't.

There is a lot of conflicting advice out there.  It sounds like you are having a good think through of the whole situation and not rushing in, so I'm sure you'll work out what its best for you  :)

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Re: Wire Mesh Type
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2019, 10:46 »
Have a look here as well.  They are not cheap, but I have one of their coops and would recommend them.  Maintenance free, easy to clean and you can take the whole thing apart in a couple of minutes and do a deep clean if you need to.  So much better than wood  :)

https://www.greenfrogdesigns.co.uk/chickens-ducks-geese-1/

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OakR

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Re: Wire Mesh Type
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2019, 14:15 »
Thanks NewShoot.

To be clearer, there are no other plot holders with chickens on my allotment - I will be the first.

I will definitely be getting fox proof wire mesh, it's just a question of the size of the holes as the small anti rat ones are very expensive. It sounds like my best bet, to start off with will be the mesh I linked to above, and then make sure I keep the food as secure as I can. I've got some metal bins already I think will work for storage.

Re the Coop thanks, it's good to get actual realife comments. I've looked at those (I think based on some of your previous comments), the Solway ones and Omlet - trying to find one going second hand not too far from me at a reasonable price - Am biding my time but may end up having to buy new or second had for more than I want. Going to build the run first and will cover more to keep it dry, but bird flu is certainly a good point.

Did you find it could fit the number of chickens it stated?


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New shoot

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Re: Wire Mesh Type
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2019, 20:12 »

Did you find it could fit the number of chickens it stated?

I have the medium chicken house with bantams in.  Not sure I have had as many as 9 in there, but I have had 5, including a bantam Orpington and a very large bantam Wyandotte, who were both not much smaller than a full sized hen.  They had loads of room.  It has the floor space and perches to fit 5 large fowl as they suggest, plus 2 nest boxes and a decent high roof, so is airy and easy to get into to clean  :)

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OakR

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Re: Wire Mesh Type
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2019, 11:44 »
Great thank you - I think I will have a mix of Bantam and Large Fowl so this is good to know.

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jaydig

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Re: Wire Mesh Type
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2019, 15:40 »
Some years ago we invested in weldmesh for our chicken run and although it certainly isn't cheap it does the trick.  My husband made sure that it was buried well below ground level, with the mesh bent outwards at right angles to prevent foxes digging underneath it.  It all depends on what your personal budget is, but just get the best you can afford. I'm sure there is better mesh than we bought, but it has done the job perfectly.
Enjoy your chooks!

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OakR

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Re: Wire Mesh Type
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2019, 22:52 »
Thanks everyone. I've just ordered a Treadle Feeder from Grandpa's feeders and will get the fox proof wire mesh but not the rat proof one as hopefully the treadle will minimize food spillage.

I can now get started on ordering the bits for the run, whilst keeping an eye out for second plastic coops.

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snowdrops

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Re: Wire Mesh Type
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2019, 11:08 »
I bought a treadle feeder a lot cheaper that from that site & itís been fine, just needed an extra bolt through the arm or something to strengthen it. Sorry bit too late for you now it was about £25, from eBay.
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New shoot

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Re: Wire Mesh Type
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2019, 12:30 »
whilst keeping an eye out for second plastic coops.

I've seen 2nd hand Eglu products advertised for sale on Freecycle and Preloved, but they are usually still pretty pricey..

My hens are in my garden, so aesthetics played a part in what I chose.  If yours are at the plot and it doesn't matter how it looks, so long as it works, there are some interesting ideas out there. 

Have a look here.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/how-to-turn-a-playhouse-into-an-enchanted-chicken-coop.67038/

You can also re-purpose an old shed or tool store.  You just need to address the basics that your hens need - safety from predators, dry, draught free but still with air flow and ventilation.

John's article on the main site gives all the basics.

https://www.chickens.allotment-garden.org/keeping-chickens/chicken-poultry-housing/building-chicken-coop/

My first coop was a simple cube affair with side mounted next boxes.  It was home built from exterior grade ply on a timber frame, stood on breeze block legs and had a ply roof, topped with onduline roofing.  The whole front opened out as a door for easy cleaning.  It performed well for years and was way better than the wooden coop I bought to replace it.  If you are handy with a saw and a drill, it would not be hard to do that yourself for not a lot of money :) 

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erikaz1

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Re: Wire Mesh Type
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2019, 21:28 »
I will definitely put a good word in for the plastic houses. I foolishly started with a wooden one last year and it was only after months of the chickens refusing to go in at night we finally worked out it was crawling with red mite. We had been checking and having a look for them but obviously hadn't spotted them. We found a greenfrog house very close to where we live and haven't had a problem since. It's so easy to clean out and the birds seem a lot happier hopping in to go to bed now they're not being chewed alive.



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