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post #21 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmontgomery View Post

The HC is by far the better way to go. If done right it is the best predator proof that allows venting. If I hadn't already been way over budget I would have done the whole thing in 1/4" wire. That way I wouldn't even have had to worry about snakes getting the eggs.
We have 5 dogs patrolling the "compound" that keep possums, coons, coyotes, etc away. About the only thing they don't handle are hawks swooping down and snakes. They alert me when the snake comes up but they don't kill them I have to do that. I haven't figured out how they can be in the house with me and sense a snake in the yard!?!?
I definitely noticed how strong that HC is... And the scratches on my forearms are proof of its strength! Took nearly 2 hours to cut and hang it over the windows and screen door! If its appearance reflects its effectiveness, I think my girls will be safe.
That's crazy awesome that your dog(s) can sense snakes in the yard from inside! What breed are they??? Our 9 year old cocker spaniel (who my husband adopted before we were together) was the runt of the litter and I just don't think he was ever "right". He is what we call... Ummm ornamental? Haha! I'm looking into having an outside dog to keep an eye on my girls (and to give my daughter an idea of what a *proper* dog should be).lol
The coop seems as safe as it can be, but the closer we get to finishing, the more I want to pop my tent right next to them for the first few nights they spend outside. sad.png
post #22 of 44
Thread Starter 
And how do snakes usually enter a coop? If I'm using the 1/4" HC on all windows, the chicken door will be latched nightly, and the door will be tightly fastened... Can they still get in? Do they hurt the chickens or just snag their eggs? I have lived on this property w my husband for over 7 years and we NEVER saw a snake until the week we got the chicks- they have been set up in our attached garage- and there was a big ol' snake slithering into our garage while we were building the run 10 feet away in broad daylight with music on fairly loud. I thought that was pretty ballsy! I just knew he was coming to eat my little chicken nuggets! Maybe not? I don't know. Shovel to the head now. Ask questions later!
post #23 of 44
Around here snakes are a fact of life, whether you have chickens or not. We routinely find snakes in the yard, under our raised porches, and even on the porches themselves. I've gone in my old coop to find a snake slithering along the top roost during the day. We live in 40 acres of forest with several creeks running near the house. To call us rural would be an understatement. I finished our newest coop at 10:30am and killed the first snake at 1pm that afternoon. The chickens weren't even in it yet! We moved our coop from a 1/4 mile away, to our side yard so we (me and the dogs) can better protect the flock.
Our biggest snake problem is that they eat the eggs. We collect everyday but sometimes they crawl in the coop before I get there and get them first. But our rooster tried to fight one off last year and got badly hurt. He was bitten and was blind for a month. Poor fella, my wife nursed him back to health eventually though. So my experience is that they can be a danger to any chicken, any time of day. They will kill and eat baby chicks if they can get to them. We keep our chicks in a more secure brooder until they are old enough to at least hop up on a roost to get away from the snakes.
You can see from my photos that I just have chicken wire everywhere. AArt was right that the welded hardware cloth is much better! If I could afford the 1/4" wire I would have wrapped my whole area in it. Your setup is a lot safer than mine. Not much is going to get in to an opening that small. Snakes will get in any opening they can, so even though you have a secure coop, they can still go in the open door if you free range during the day.
We have 3 Bassett Hounds, Maybelline, MathildaBelle, and Dixie (who can smell the UPS truck from 1/2 a mile away), they are the trackers; a Black Lab/Pitt Bull mix, Tink, she actually catches and kills what the others find; and a full blooded Pitt Bull male, Zeke, who just looks scary but is actually an air conditioner addict and a big baby. Unfortunately one of the bassetts, Dixie, was not a country dog when we recused her last year and decimated our flock while we were gone one day. We learned she has to be locked up if the ladies are free ranging. If you get another pup to guard your chickens, study at all the articles here on BYC about training dogs.

WARNING: graphic photo below! Don't look if you are scared







This one crawled under a broody hen last year and never woke her up. It went through the side of the milk crate, swallowed an egg and couldn't get out the other side. I had to chop him in pieces to get him out.
post #24 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmontgomery View Post

Around here snakes are a fact of life, whether you have chickens or not. We routinely find snakes in the yard, under our raised porches, and even on the porches themselves. I've gone in my old coop to find a snake slithering along the top roost during the day. We live in 40 acres of forest with several creeks running near the house. To call us rural would be an understatement. I finished our newest coop at 10:30am and killed the first snake at 1pm that afternoon. The chickens weren't even in it yet! We moved our coop from a 1/4 mile away, to our side yard so we (me and the dogs) can better protect the flock.
Our biggest snake problem is that they eat the eggs. We collect everyday but sometimes they crawl in the coop before I get there and get them first. But our rooster tried to fight one off last year and got badly hurt. He was bitten and was blind for a month. Poor fella, my wife nursed him back to health eventually though. So my experience is that they can be a danger to any chicken, any time of day. They will kill and eat baby chicks if they can get to them. We keep our chicks in a more secure brooder until they are old enough to at least hop up on a roost to get away from the snakes.
You can see from my photos that I just have chicken wire everywhere. AArt was right that the welded hardware cloth is much better! If I could afford the 1/4" wire I would have wrapped my whole area in it. Your setup is a lot safer than mine. Not much is going to get in to an opening that small. Snakes will get in any opening they can, so even though you have a secure coop, they can still go in the open door if you free range during the day.
We have 3 Bassett Hounds, Maybelline, MathildaBelle, and Dixie (who can smell the UPS truck from 1/2 a mile away), they are the trackers; a Black Lab/Pitt Bull mix, Tink, she actually catches and kills what the others find; and a full blooded Pitt Bull male, Zeke, who just looks scary but is actually an air conditioner addict and a big baby. Unfortunately one of the bassetts, Dixie, was not a country dog when we recused her last year and decimated our flock while we were gone one day. We learned she has to be locked up if the ladies are free ranging. If you get another pup to guard your chickens, study at all the articles here on BYC about training dogs.

WARNING: graphic photo below! Don't look if you are scared







This one crawled under a broody hen last year and never woke her up. It went through the side of the milk crate, swallowed an egg and couldn't get out the other side. I had to chop him in pieces to get him out.

I'm a farmer's wife, so the graphic picture doesn't phase me... But what a crazy thing to happen! I never *want* to kill these animals, but if they are any danger to my flock or other pets, I show no mercy. We farm about 1,000 acres, about 100 acres of which surround our home. We don't get many predators because our crop fields are wide open and larger predators don't have any cover between our home and the nearest woods. Their water source is fairly far from our house, roughly a mile. My biggest predator threat, I believe, is the chocolate lab of my neighbor's- they live about 400 yards from us, but he still comes to do his business in our yard & visit our cocker spaniel. He's a senior dog, so I'm hoping he won't bother them... And if he does try, I'm hoping my hard work keeps him out.

In our hen house, I used the 1/4" HC... But that was after learning that the chicken wire that I had completely wrapped my run with (including a no-dig "skirt" around the perimeter) wouldn't keep bigger predators out. I went back and covered it AGAIN with the 2"x3" welded wire... Just because I couldn't afford the better stuff after wasting my time & money on the chicken wire. There's definitely a learning curve to this coop building stuff! I plan on doing upgrades as I go along... Smaller mesh at the bottom of the run, insulating the coop, and making shutters for the windows. I will also need to figure out how to winterize the human door- for now it's a screen door (made with the HC, of course).
post #25 of 44
"Learning curve" is right. We built our last coop in July 2014 and I was constantly renovating/changing things until the week before I started building this new one last month. The new one took 3 weeks and the plans changed at least 4 times.
I haven't seen any new pictures of your coop but from what you describe it sounds really secure. Even the neighbor dog will have to work pretty hard to get in. From what little I know, the dogs are more opportunistic in that they will catch and kill a chicken out in the yard but won't really put in a lot of effort to get at them in the coop. At least that has been our experience. Even Dixie won't show any aggression towards them if they are behind the fence, only when they are flapping around in the yard. But that is just my experiences.
Why not have 2 doors? Your current warm weather door and one with solid covering at the bottom 3/4 for winter time. Just swap them out in spring and fall.
post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmontgomery View Post

Why not have 2 doors? Your current warm weather door and one with solid covering at the bottom 3/4 for winter time. Just swap them out in spring and fall.

Or even an inner and outer door. That's what we did. I built a solid door with 2x4's and siding for weather protection and security and a hardware covered "screen" door for ventilation when we don't need weather protection.

27346989550_2434f88331_c.jpg


Edited by TerryH - 6/20/16 at 12:17pm

Our coop build thread...

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1088771/cheryls-hen-house

 

1Peter 5:2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.

Reply

Our coop build thread...

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1088771/cheryls-hen-house

 

1Peter 5:2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.

Reply
post #27 of 44
Ya know Clucky, when you started this thread 4 days ago you said you had already blown through your budget weeks ago. Me and TerryH are just making things worse. I'll bet your husband is starting to dislike BYC as much as I dislike my wife looking at Pinterest.
post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmontgomery View Post

Ya know Clucky, when you started this thread 4 days ago you said you had already blown through your budget weeks ago. Me and TerryH are just making things worse. I'll bet your husband is starting to dislike BYC as much as I dislike my wife looking at Pinterest.

lol..I'm awesome at spending other people's money.

Our coop build thread...

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1088771/cheryls-hen-house

 

1Peter 5:2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.

Reply

Our coop build thread...

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1088771/cheryls-hen-house

 

1Peter 5:2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.

Reply
post #29 of 44
Thread Starter 
Oh, how he hates my chicken forums! Lol He said I have an unhealthy addiction to my girls. I think he is jealous of the attention I'm giving them. I have to do something to keep myself entertained during his planting season, or what I like to call "single mom season". He works 12-15 hour days right now until the crop is in the ground, so he basically comes home for a shower and an extremely late dinner.

I just got word that we scored some reclaimed metal roofing from one of his fellow farmers FOR FREE. So that's awesome! Some of it is a little bent (not bad), but I'm hoping I can pick get it straightened out and he can help me finish it this weekend. I'm excited bc not only does the weathered metal give it some character, it keeps me from having to make another trip to the hardware store, and one less eye roll from the hubby. Lol
Didn't get much done this past weekend- only worked on it for a couple of hours on Saturday, but got my windows covered in HC and built my screen door. I was really happy with how it turned out.
post #30 of 44
Thread Starter 


I showed this picture to my grandfather (86 years old), a retired carpenter, and he was really impressed. He couldn't believe I had done it without using any professional plans.
I'm pretty proud of my door! It turned out exactly how I wanted it. We haven't hung it yet bc I want to paint it first, so in this pic it's just propped up in the frame. It's fit is probably a little too snug, but nothing an electric sander can't fix!
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