Monday, my oldest son, Brandon, and I spent time “trenching” the coop. We stapled 18 inches of hardware cloth to the bottom of the coop to act as a metal barrier for predators who may try to dig into the coop. Unfortunately for my new chicks, EVERYTHING has a taste for chicken. Raccoons, opossum, skunks, neighbor dogs, feral cats, eagles and hawks, fox, coyote, and many, many more. I can’t leave them in my backyard open prey for the taking. Even critters like mice will try to get into the coop especially in the fall for a warm place to sleep and easy eating by the feeders. I hate mice and rodents of all kinds so it is my personal mission to keep them out of my coop. I was very disturbed when I came across this picture on Facebook from a blog I follow “Fresh Eggs Daily” (there is also a link to her blog on the right side of my page). That is the exact same 1/2 inch hardware cloth I have!
I would die if I came out to find that stuck in my hardware cloth. Okay, maybe not die but be so terrified that I know I would scream and then get a gray streak in my hair – the kind people get when they go through a traumatic experience. He would have to wait there for Pete to come home for removal. Yuck! I may consider an electric wire fence on the coop just for the mice factor. “Why do you have an electric fence on your coop? Do you have a bear or wolf problem in the area?” “No”, I would reply. “Mice. Tiny, beady eyed mice” I can see nervous neck and eye twitches and laying on the couch in the psychologist’s office in my future if the mice moved in. An electric line at the bottom of the coop would be more of an investment in my mental health well being I would have to rationalize to Pete. A necessity.
The 18 inch hardware cloth needed to be buried straight down and then out like an apron to keep those stinkers from accessing the coop and run. Lucky for me that Brandon enjoys digging. I shouldn’t even use the word enjoy. I think LOVES is a better term. He is the kind of person who likes to do jobs where he sees instant results from his labor. We had a rock garden in our yard that was put there by the previous owners. It was, in my opinion, gawdy and just not my taste. Imagine a white rock garden in the shape of a heart with brown pavers around it. Now, look to the right and you will see my house is totally surrounded by beige landscape rocks. Huh?! The translation of the importance of the rock garden was lost on me and had to go. Enter Brandon. Or as I now call him – Grizzly Br-Adams because of his beard. Ha ha. He physically moved a 3 x 4 foot area full of rocks that was 8 inches deep in the ground. No lie! And he did it all, cheerfully. What a guy! Anyway, Brandon came to the coop – shovel in hand and ready to dig. As he dug the ground, I raked the grass clumps and used a hoe to even the dig line by the coop. It took about 45 minutes to complete. It was one of those projects that you dread to do but stand back when you are done, hands on hips, happy to see the end product.
“Trenching”. Hard work unless you have a guy like Brandon around.