There are some difficult ways and expensive ways, and cruel-to-chicken ways to prevent raccoons, dogs, or other digging predators from entering the chickens pen or chicken house. My way is cheap and humane.
It is expensive and cruel, in my opinion, to pour concrete for this purpose. Hens love to scratch in the dirt. Even if the concrete is a foot under the ground, they will get to it and might hurt their feet or toenails.
Putting hardware cloth down on the floor of the pen has the potential to cause injury also.
Digging down a foot to bury wire that extends up the outside of the coop or pen is a great idea. However, I cannot dig that far. I don't know anyone who is willing to dig that far, not for love nor money.
Maybe pouring a footer just outside the fenced area would work. However, I have a better way for me. It was free and Charlie put it down. Oh, yeah. He gave me the wire. He found it on the curb and thought maybe I could use it.
|Inside the pen|
Inside the pen you can see at the left of the chain link the edge of the wire. I think sometimes that the hens are trying to dig their way out. At least, they won't relentlessly scratch the wire. They have a choice to move over.
When I was considering how to put this down, I was more concerned with how I could avoid tripping on it. How could a lawn mower go over it without getting tangled in the edges and the raggedy parts? You see, this was not a perfect piece of wire, It had raggedy places I could get snagged on.
Garden staples hold the wire down
These are easy to poke into dirt after a rain. I put them about 6" apart where the wire is bent. At other places, 18" apart is about right. I am using 80 staples for the edges that equal 56". The grass is growing over this in one part of the perimeter, so it does not show at all.
Garden staples are almost five inches long.
I have bent a coat hanger to hold a hose down along the lawn, but that is another story. If you have the time and strength in your hands, bent, wire clothes hangers would work.
(Hurry and go HERE for Sluggy's Giveaway! Tonight, it ends.
Did you dig a trench and bury mesh wire one foot down as recommended to protect your hens from digging predators? Who was your hero there? What safety measures have you taken to secure the bottom of your hens/turkey/animals pens from raccoon, dogs or other digging animals? Do you use garden staples for anything around your house?