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Chicken Run Predator Proofing

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello!

 

So over a month ago I got some lovely Red Comets, my first time having chickens in over 15 years. Previously, my father kept them in a coop that has long since been torn down and it was located behind two large kennels (also torn down now) where he kept his hunting hounds. Fast forward to now, my husband and I now live in my childhood home and kept our chickens in a horse stall. I thought we did a good job predator proofing it but this morning I went to check on my girls and 3 out of 5 were ripped apart. I'm pretty heartbroken over this, each one had a name and a sweet personality. My husband has never been much an animal person but he absolutely loved our girls.

 

I'm buying a chicken tractor today, since I'm guessing whatever got it, raccoon or possum, climbed over the walls via the rafters, and I want the ladies to be able to be outside more often. I was free ranging them and bringing them in at night. I read about 5  threads on here about predator proofing chicken tractors. I don't quite understand the "apron" - is that just excess wire like a skirt on the outside of the coop? If the coop is right outside my house, and everyone in my house is night owls - can a predator really dig under the coop in a few hours? We have people staying awake until 2am, and others leaving the house at 5am for work.

 

I want to add the extra protection to prevent digging either way but I just need somewhere to keep my two poor girls tonight. I'm seriously either going to sleep outside with them or bring them in the house. I have two traps set up, one dog friendly leg trap and one live trap. Whoever stole my lovely Felicia, Irene and Mrs. Weasley from me is not getting away so easily.


Edited by Limeaide - 5/10/16 at 7:54am
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Limeaide View Post
I have two traps set up, one dog friendly leg trap and one live trap. Whoever stole my lovely Felicia, Irene and Mrs. Weasley from me is not getting away so easily.

Good luck with your new tractor set up.

 

Take it from someone who knows. Some times you are better off with the predator you know than the predator you don't. I had a racoon kill some of my birds and I eliminated him. Next came a weasel into his abandon territory and wiped all my birds out in one strike.


Edited by Hokum Coco - 5/10/16 at 8:09am

Hope this helps,

Check out this link leads to a Video interview on me and my grand daughter done by a local TV Station on our WHITE HOMING PIGEON loft:

http://globalnews.ca/news/1478351/carrier-pigeons-continue-to-connect-family/

If you are not living for something;

You are dying for nothing.

Reply

Hope this helps,

Check out this link leads to a Video interview on me and my grand daughter done by a local TV Station on our WHITE HOMING PIGEON loft:

http://globalnews.ca/news/1478351/carrier-pigeons-continue-to-connect-family/

If you are not living for something;

You are dying for nothing.

Reply
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks!

 It just sucks a lot because I only had 5 and now I have two and they seem so shaken up. If the traps don't work, I might camp out and see what comes along.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

I think its a weasel or a mink. I came home from work and another one is gone, I'm down to one hen :(.

There are feathers everywhere leading to a small gap in the door, right past my two traps that are covered and have smelly tuna in them. Ughhhh. :(

post #5 of 6

Sorry to hear of your loss... It really is a terrible thing to go through.  We found out firsthand today how that feels. We have two dogs and both are very sweet girls.  One rottwieler/shepherd cross and a wolfhound cross.  The rotty cross tore a giant hole through our hardware cloth today and pulled one of our hens through it and tore it all up.  The rest are obviously freaked out and worked up.  I just wish I could shoot the predator that did it like your situation...  Its killing me that I cant take it out on the critter that did it.  Wish I could stake your place out and take care of your critter for you.  Its extremely frustrating situation, and I offer you a sincere condolence for your loss.  I know how bad it sucks to get your crew torn up.  Hang in there the best you can, and I will try to also...:thumbsup

post #6 of 6
Aw, that's sad. Until you get somewhere new fixed up (and can then get some friends for your remaining hen) then you could keep them in a cat box overnight. Not ideal but they're safe.

A skirt is wire that comes out from the side of the run at 90 degrees, so where the bottom of run or coop touches the ground, you have hardware cloth going out flat along the ground for a foot or so. It is attached to the sides of the run or coop so there is no gap.I would also weigh it down with rocks etc.

However if you think any predators are coming in from higher up, then obviously you need a secure roof and no gaps anywhere.

I hope your remaining hen is OK & she soon has some new friends in a secure home. Sorry for your losses.
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