Best flooring for chicken run

Question
I want to put a screen wire on the ground of the chicken run to stop mice from entering, and then put a thick covering on top of the wire.

Is this OK, and if so, what kind of covering should I use. The run is 5ft.X30ft. (We will also make the entire run mice proof).

Answer
I wish you the best of luck mouse proofing. All it takes is one little gap and one or many will squeeze through.

They follow each others scent trails. Mice can climb screen and wire, so unless the entire pen is covered in ¼” x ¼” wire or smaller, with no gaps anywhere, I think you are going to spend a lot of money and energy to attempt mouse proofing and fail.

I used ½” x ½” hardware cloth on the floor of one pen for years. I’d had predators digging under and killing chickens.

I kept 2-3 inches of wood shavings on top of the wire. I never had skunks bother that pen again nor had any chicken foot problems from the wire floor, but mice and the occasional rat would still get in.

In all my years of keeping chickens, I have found that mice will be with us. Probably the biggest threat with mice is contamination of feed with their urine and droppings.

But in all the years I’ve kept chickens, I’ve found they are happy to have mice as a snack. Hanging your feeders so mice can’t jump up is important.

A feeder that can keep the chickens from flinging their feed can help with feed waste and excess food for mice.

I’ve found cats the best mouse control around poultry areas, but have used traps and even poison for most serious rodent infestations(being extremely cautious that chickens or cats can’t get to the poison or poisoned mice).

Keeping bulk feed in metal containers can do a lot for protecting feed as well as not supplying a massive food source for rodents. The more food the mice have the more they will multiply with large litters.

In some cases, it might be best to remove chicken feeders over night as this is when mice are most active. I wish you success!

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Feb 18, 2011
Wire on the floor with Adult Chickens
by: Brenda

Your plan is to cover that wire flooring with something, but chickens do like to scratch and dig.

They will dig down to your wire. If your chicken run hasn't been completed I'd suggest trenching a foot into the ground around the run and and then burying your fence about a foot down into your soil rather than covering the ground with wire.

The fence surrounding the run actually goes underground and then is buried. This keeps animals from digging under the fence to get your chickens.

We use wood chips on the dirt floor of the run and pine shavings on the floor and in the egg boxes of the hen house.

Feb 18, 2011
Best flooring for chicken run
by: Lynda

Thanks so much for your help. We have not started building the run yet ( I got my 4 chicks yesterday).

I'll see if I have any room for wire around the run; my problem is that I just have a narrow side yard (5ft.) in a city house (track house).

I don't have to worry about anything getting in, except mice, but that is what I was worried about, the chickens scratching all the way down to the wire floor.

Feb 18, 2011
Wire into the ground
by: Brenda

I hope I made myself clear. The wire we put around our run followed the fence and went straight down into the soil, vertically.

It was a bit of work to trench and get done here, especially since we have lots of rocks. We live in the TX hill country, so we DO have many critters that will try to get our girls.

You'll be surprised to see how deep chickens will scratch and dig - it sometimes seems they're trying to escape to freedom! HA!!

Based on what I've seen of their digging, I responded, but if you have limited space, the wire on the bottom would probably work just fine. Good luck with yours. :)

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