Bright Idea for Protecting chickens or not?
I'm building a 4x8 chicken tractor (portable coop) and I'm worried about leaving it bottomless due to predators. Although the girls are securely locked up at night, I'm away through the day. Our acreage has some really uneven, hilly spots. I've considered installing a wire mesh apron around the outside of the coop to deter digging, but just got this idea.
Has anyone installed hog panels on the bottom of their chicken tractors? The panels are rigid, very strong and I can get them with 4" by 4" spacing between the wires. I know that wire floors are bad for chickens feet, but with 4"x4" spacing couldn't the chickens still scratch at the ground and forage at the grass?
I know a wire floor with 4"x4" spacing won't keep small predators out, like weasels, but since these are nocturnal, the chickens will be safe and locked up from them at night. I'm more worried about foxes, coyotes and dogs digging under the tractor during the day, especially with our uneven ground and this seemed like a better option than running hardware cloth all the way around the outside of the coop. Any thoughts?