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Working on the coop area

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Keeping chickens is a new adventure for us. We got a coop kit at the local farm and ranch store. Then we got a metal fence to surround the coop to give them more room since the coop's run is not very big. I still need to add some chicken wire for extra security. But I plan to let them out to roam our back yard as often as possible. It is a large yard with a 6 foot privacy fence. We probably didn't really need this metal fence since they will be able to play in the yard, but I felt it was a good idea so they won't get "cooped up" on days when we can't let them into the main yard. Any thoughts and suggestions on how to make the yard and the chicken enclosure better? I also have some landscaping in the back yard and a vegetable garden, and would like to keep the yard nice and the garden intact, but at the same time let the chickens have some freedom (I hear they can dig up the whole yard if you let them be completely free range?). 


post #2 of 9
If u plan on locking them up in the coop at night, they should be ok. I am assuming the wire is smaller than chicken 1 inch X 2 inch. Not sure about ur ground level security. Critters could dig under coop fence. Coons can pull a chick through chicken wire. Opossum and skunks can get through chain link fence.if u end up letting the chickens in the run at night, u need to run chicken wire across the top and a foot out from the bottom. Critters have all night to find a way in, and they will. I keep the feed in metal trash cans by the coop for easy use. Over time the coons have taught me how to secure the lids. I use a small link metal chain on one side. Bolt the chain to the side of the can and to the top of the lid between handle and edge. On the opposite side I put a hook on the side of the can and secured a door spring to the top. So far the coons have not out foxed me since. I would also suggest a game camera set up to see what really is crossing ur yard. Chickens will tear up the yard,garden, tree roots, every thing they can reach. They will eat any thing that is in the yard.they do need a place to dust. Very important for their health. Ur privacy fence will not stop coons, dogs, fox or other digging critters. Coons will probably just climb over. U would be amazed at what these predictors can do and what critters cross ur yard. Good luck and enjoy!
post #3 of 9

Locking them in the coop at night may be somewhat laborious each night if you have to climb in their.  You might want to consider reinforcing the entire fence with hardware cloth (including the ground) so that you can leave their actual coop door open and they can go in and out of it as they please without any critters being able to access them.  Even if you prefer to lock them into their coop each night you should probably still reinforce the chain-link fence as much as possible as I'm not sure that coop would withstand a hungry racoon.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you for some great suggestions, Ralphf10 and Bananabread! I am currently working on reinforcing the chainlink fencing with chicken wire, and also thinking of adding extra spiky wire at the top of the fence. 

post #5 of 9

All good suggestions, but don't use chicken wire over the chainlink, it's better to use 1/2" hardware cloth instead.  Also, consider a cover over the run to help with the predator issue.  Your coop isn't really predator proof, so upgrade the chainlink run as much as possible.  Mary

post #6 of 9
Agreed. 1/2 hardware cloth over and under just about everything. A spiky edge to the sides probably won't keep animals out, particularly those motivated creatures. Also, you may want to cover the run to keep other birds out which can both prey on your young chicks (Hawks, etc) and also spread disease to your flock (pigeons, etc)
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks all for the great suggestions! I think I pretty much figured out how to secure the perimeter of the fence. Making a top cover for the run will be more of a challenge.

We live in the city, but there is school right behind us with a large schoolyard, so critters could very well decide to come from that area at night. I have seen possums twice so far prowling about since moving into our house 4 years ago, and I know we have skunks, though I am yet to see one in our yard. I haven't seen any raccoons, but they would be my main concern because those things are persistent and find ways to get into things. A friend of mine who doesn't live too far from me, though his house's backyard is facing a large ditch probably filled with all sorts of wild life, said a raccoon was trying to get into his fenced in yard to get to their 2 small dogs. I've been reading up a lot on various dangers to the chickens, and this one does concern me the most. Has anybody had any experience dealing with them?

Another would be hawks. Do they present much danger to fully grown hens? 

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Update: I bought this after reading another thread. Many choices of these solar powered lights on Amazon. This one seems to get the highest reviews

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Picture of the item


Edited by SeasideChef - 6/10/16 at 9:53am
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