Hi all, I'm new to backyard chickens, just built my coop (a kit from TSC) and am researching what chicks to get.
In the meantime, I'm wondering if my coop needs any upgrades to be safer for my future flock (if you call 2-3 birds a flock?) I live in the Central Valley, CA, and my house sits on the far side of a neighborhood. I have neighbors on either side, but my backyard backs up to an open field and some orchards, with a few farm houses in the distance. I have 6 ft fences surrounding my property. I also have 3 large dogs (various herding breeds) that are indoor/outdoor dogs, but they have a dog run on the side of the house so they don't free-range the backyard without supervision. I've seen coyote/fox dung in the field, owls, hawks, and once a rat scampered along the top of the fence. We also have our fair share of feral cats. I'm assuming there are opossums and raccoons in the field. Of course, none of these have ever been in my yard, probably because of the dogs, and a lack of anything interesting in my yard up to this point.
Each door has two latches (but these are the simple slide-bar latches). There are really a LOT of doors on this (5). Could a racoon manage both latches, or pry open the door if one latch is undone? And, the coop sits on 4X4s, but I didn't bury any hardware cloth because the ground is very, very hard. I'm considering an apron around the coop, but am wondering if that is overkill? My thought is, the coop isn't that far from the house, and if something starts trying to get in, my hens will squawk, and my dogs will go nuts in the house, until we wake up, right? There isn't much I can think of that will try to get the chickens that would want to face a floodlight, people, and three large prey-driven dogs (I hope to teach them to tolerate the birds, but it may come down to management...)
Thanks for any input!
Edited by L2fly - 3/20/17 at 10:27am