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Just beginning our own chicken and duck adventure

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

We just purchased our own 8 chicks today. At the moment they are snug in our kitchen under their heat lamp, but we need to refurbish our older storage shed to a chicken coop/feed storage both for the wild birds and now our ducks, rabbit and chicken.  That we have lots of ideas to do.  the problem we are having is to make a large secure outdoor run for the chickens and ducks.  We have coons and eagles both in our area.  I know that both are very bad for our little flock.  How do we make this a safe area? I do realize that we need to cover the top. But just using chicken netting.....can't the coons rip into it?  Does anyone have any suggestions?  Ones that are affordable (reasonably priced) would be very very welcome.  We are having a warm spell here in central Michigan and this would be a great time to start working on it since in a few weeks we need to start thinking about the little ones transitioning to the out of doors. 

post #2 of 5
Yes, chicken wire is for keeping chickens in, it does very little to keep predators out.

Whatever fencing you decide on, you are going to want the bottom portion (at least a bit taller than your chickens) to be hardware cloth to prevent raccoons and such from reaching in and grabbing/mauling the chickens. Also plan on either an 18" apron or burying 18" of the same stuff to help foil digging predators. The hardware cloth might be your most significant expense, but is really difficult to justify skipping/substituting if you have a predator problem.

Netting over the top of the run will dissuade aerial predators, but a climber will just rip through it. Common solutions include extending the sturdy fencing over the top, or using a hot wire along the top border.

A fencing method that I really like is to build modular panels. That way you can continue to enlarge your run as the chicks grow and when finances allow.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

thank you for the suggestions. I think we will go with the panels since we would like to enlarge next year.

post #4 of 5

Keep in mind the snow load/removal.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you!  I hadn't thought of that.

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