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Put that chain link fencing to good use. Bury 1/2-inch wire mesh hardware cloth at least a foot below soil level, and foot it outward.

This step helps to prevent predators and ground critters from digging and getting under the wire mesh.

Carry that 1/2-inch wire mesh hardware cloth up three feet on the perimeter of the chain link fence.

Frame the top of the chain link fence with wooden 2x4 boards. Cover and attach 1/2-inch wire mesh hardware cloth on top of the framework. Landscape in your garden style, and shade around your new chicken coop and outside pen, or secure a large piece of shade cloth over the top of your outside pen.

The inset shows how wire mesh protects your hens and their feed bucket from squirrels, gophers, rats, mice, and snakes that may try to gain access below the soil surface. Make a trench first, and then secure durable wire mesh by burying it at least 12 inches deep and toeing it outward 12 inches along the perimeter of your entire outside pen.

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