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Racoons...Climb over wire fence?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

We have sold our old property and have purchased new land that we are building on now. I am planning a new chicken area. At our last place, we had a 5' high wire fence that kept the daytime predators out, but each night we would lock the hen's little door, and each morning we would have to go open that door so they could get out. Some mornings I don't get out to open it until 8am, and I dislike that my hens have to wait for me, if daylight, say, is at 6am. It would be nice to not have to go open and close that little door at night, however what I don't know is this: Will a raccoon climb over a wire fence (2x4" rectangular pattern, 6' tall)? I don't want to avoid closing that door, at the risk of a coon coming over the fence at night and killing my hens. Have I needlessly been making the trek to the hen house each evening at dusk, and first thing in the morning? Do you have a story to tell me?

Secondary question, in the event it is not safe to leave the little hen door open at night: Does anyone know of a slick auto-door opener? I will have electricity to the new hen house.

Thanks!
Brian

Brian
Brian's Hen House: http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=4234
                           
Black Australorps, Rhode Island Reds, Ameracaunas, Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, Golden Laced Wyandottes, Partridge Cochins, Red Breasted Black OEG bantams, Crele, and Blue Silkie. Add to that one dobie and one papillon-poodle mix.

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Brian
Brian's Hen House: http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=4234
                           
Black Australorps, Rhode Island Reds, Ameracaunas, Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, Golden Laced Wyandottes, Partridge Cochins, Red Breasted Black OEG bantams, Crele, and Blue Silkie. Add to that one dobie and one papillon-poodle mix.

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post #2 of 23

Hi Brian,

I have raccoons that climb a 2-story high downspout, so 2x4 welded wire is likely no problem for them.  I don't have any experience with automated doors, but there are lots of helpful people here who can point you in a good direction, I'm sure.

-Pete

 

Chemist + Chickens --> Chicken Nerd

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-Pete

 

Chemist + Chickens --> Chicken Nerd

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post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian 

We have sold our old property and have purchased new land that we are building on now. I am planning a new chicken area. At our last place, we had a 5' high wire fence that kept the daytime predators out, but each night we would lock the hen's little door, and each morning we would have to go open that door so they could get out. Some mornings I don't get out to open it until 8am, and I dislike that my hens have to wait for me, if daylight, say, is at 6am. It would be nice to not have to go open and close that little door at night, however what I don't know is this: Will a raccoon climb over a wire fence (2x4" rectangular pattern, 6' tall)? I don't want to avoid closing that door, at the risk of a coon coming over the fence at night and killing my hens. Have I needlessly been making the trek to the hen house each evening at dusk, and first thing in the morning? Do you have a story to tell me?

Secondary question, in the event it is not safe to leave the little hen door open at night: Does anyone know of a slick auto-door opener? I will have electricity to the new hen house.

Thanks!
Brian


Raccoons are excellent climbers, once saw one asleep on top of a telephone pole. Just the other night one was trying to get into one of my pens and it made a five foot jump to the roof of the pen. Most predators are good at climbing.

post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 

Good God! I've heard enough. I'll still need to lock the girls in at night.

Anyone know of an auto-door device?

Brian
Brian's Hen House: http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=4234
                           
Black Australorps, Rhode Island Reds, Ameracaunas, Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, Golden Laced Wyandottes, Partridge Cochins, Red Breasted Black OEG bantams, Crele, and Blue Silkie. Add to that one dobie and one papillon-poodle mix.

Reply

Brian
Brian's Hen House: http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=4234
                           
Black Australorps, Rhode Island Reds, Ameracaunas, Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, Golden Laced Wyandottes, Partridge Cochins, Red Breasted Black OEG bantams, Crele, and Blue Silkie. Add to that one dobie and one papillon-poodle mix.

Reply
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian 

Good God! I've heard enough. I'll still need to lock the girls in at night.

Anyone know of an auto-door device?


YES!  I highly recommend this auto door.

http://chickendoors.com/

I'm one bad relationship away from becoming the "Crazy Chicken Lady".
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I'm one bad relationship away from becoming the "Crazy Chicken Lady".
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post #6 of 23

Climbing any fence is child's play for coons and dogs/coyotes can easily jump a 6' fence as well.  Coons, btw, have been known to cross streets on telephone lines.  As far as the pop door is concerned, I'd rather my chickens wait until I can let them out than have them come out into the jaws of some waiting predator.  Extra time in the coop won't hurt their feelings any and will keep them save.  I worry more about those evenings we're away and the door doesn't get closed at dark--but then again if I close it I know everyone is inside.

I live on 7.5 acres in the western Catskill foothills where I have a 3200 sq.ft garden, 100-plant blueberry patch as well as strawberry and raspberry patches, 4 cats and over 4 dozen chickens: Black Stars, RIR's,  EE's, Brown leghorns, BR's, SS's (including one very happy EE rooster) plus 6 guinea hens. I've been keeping chickens since I was in high school (mid 1950') and continuously since...



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I live on 7.5 acres in the western Catskill foothills where I have a 3200 sq.ft garden, 100-plant blueberry patch as well as strawberry and raspberry patches, 4 cats and over 4 dozen chickens: Black Stars, RIR's,  EE's, Brown leghorns, BR's, SS's (including one very happy EE rooster) plus 6 guinea hens. I've been keeping chickens since I was in high school (mid 1950') and continuously since...



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post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by nincomcoop 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian 

Good God! I've heard enough. I'll still need to lock the girls in at night.

Anyone know of an auto-door device?


YES!  I highly recommend this auto door.

http://chickendoors.com/


The wife bought me one and I love her and the door.  The chicky door people are really nice too.  I had a few problems with my door (most all were self inflicted), and they were very helpful and understanding. Once the chicky door folks got me stright, the door works just great.
As for the coons, they will be just about your worst enemy.  They are smart, and they have hands.  Some locks are not coon proof. 
Good luck and don't count the coons short.


Edited by wayne hulgan - 10/9/11 at 7:41am
post #8 of 23

Have you considered an electric fence?

OldGuy43 old

OldGuy43

When evaluating data one should always consider the source and remember, no one wants to make illegal that which he wants to do.

 

Rights are not gifts from the government.

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OldGuy43

When evaluating data one should always consider the source and remember, no one wants to make illegal that which he wants to do.

 

Rights are not gifts from the government.

Reply
post #9 of 23

You don't need an auto door. I went to our local Tractor Supply and bought a solar powered electric fence which I wired about 2, 4 & 6 inches off the ground and haven't had a problem since. Oh and I also got a Great Pyrenees dog No Critters Anywhere!!!

5 austrolorps, 5 rhode islanders, 2 white rocks and 1 barred, 2 white jersey giants, 2 buff orpingtons and 4 chicks, 1 brahma, 5 japanese bantams, 3 game hens and 6 blue coral guineas! 

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5 austrolorps, 5 rhode islanders, 2 white rocks and 1 barred, 2 white jersey giants, 2 buff orpingtons and 4 chicks, 1 brahma, 5 japanese bantams, 3 game hens and 6 blue coral guineas! 

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post #10 of 23

If your coop is big enough for the number of chcikens you have, then it won't hurt to leave them locked up a bit.  That is factored into the 4 square feet per chicken in the coop rule of thumb.  If you shoehorn them in the coop, then you might have more of an issue.  Each flock has its own dynamics, so that answer can be different for each of us.  That rule of thumb is general, not specific.  It does not always work, but generally does.

Just because you don't lock them up once and nothing happens, don't get complacent.  Many decades go, my parents kept chickens out in the country and never locked them up.  We'd often go years without a predator attack.  But sometimes a predator would find them and have to be dealt with. 

An automatic door maker is one of the sponsors of this forum.  You might want to check out the sponsors tab in the blue line above.

Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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Freedom is not the right to do what we want, but what we ought....Abraham Lincoln (Freedom carries responsibility)

The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.....Judge Learned Hand  (The more sure your are that your way is the only right way, the more likely you are wrong.)

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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