Hands down, my favorite way of keeping animals from digging under my chicken coop and run is definitely the coop apron. It’s so simple and cheap to make!
If you don’t know what a coop apron is, definitely watch the video below (or keep reading).
What you need:
- Fencing material (I bought my fencing wire on Amazon)
- Staple gun and staples, like the Topec 3 in 1 Manual Nail Gun with 1800 Staples
You want your fencing material to be at least 24 inches, but I used 36 inches. All you have to do is attach the fencing material to the bottom boards with staples.
How the coop apron works is when an animal tries to dig underneath your chicken coop or run, they’re not going to dig at the outskirt of the apron. They’re going to be digging as close as they can to the coop where they’ll immediately run into the apron.
If you’re going to make an apron, you have to pay close attention to the corners where you attach the fencing material together (the seam). For some reason, predators love to start digging in the corners. So make 100% sure that the seams are securely attached.
To keep the seam secure, I used hog rings and a hog ring plier (I got Ion Hogring Kit from Amazon) to fasten the fencing material where it overlaps. There’s no way animals can rip the seam apart.
The coop apron is a lot easier than digging straight down, 12 to 18 inches, and trying to bury the fencing material into the ground.
Common Beginner’s Mistake
I know this has nothing to do with animals digging under your coop, but since you came to this post and obviously have a predator problem, I thought I would mention it so that you can keep your chickens safe!
One mistake beginner chicken keepers do all the time is using chicken wire, thinking that it’s going to protect their girls.
Chicken wire = Not good
I personally don’t use chicken wire to protect the chicken coop and run because predators can easily tear through it. Chicken wire is more for keeping your chickens in than keeping predators out.
I really recommend you replace any chicken wire with 1/4 inch hardware cloth because it really works to keep predators out (my favorite hardware cloth is the Gilbert & Bennett YARDGARD on Amazon).
And if you really don’t want nighttime predators to be around your coop in the first place, what really works for me is this thing I bought on Amazon called Predator Guard. I had a lot of trouble with raccoons in my yard and this little gadget fixed that problem!
Predator Guard introduces a pair of flashing red lights that animals assume is a set of eyes. It scares them and makes them stay away from your yard.
I attached 4 of these little gadgets around my chicken coop, facing out in all four directions. Works like a charm! It also scares foxes, deer, wolves, coyotes, skunks, and bears.