Originally Posted by K8tieCat
When I first knew I would be a chicken mom, I read as much Backyard Chickens material as I could inhale, then set about to build a secure home and run for chicks I didn't even have yet. Predators at my home which backs up to a riparian creek area are skunk, 'possum, racoons, hawks, beavers, snakes, dogs, and two-legged troublemakers. My cat has never been a problem, nor has any of the feral cats that occasionally drop by.
My coop is 8x8x8 built on a concrete slab. Nothing can dig under it The coop has welded wire coverings over the ventilation on both sides at the roof line, an automatic pop-door that "little fingers" cannot open at night should anything get inside the run area. The attached run is 8x40 and the welded wire is buried in concrete 24" deep. Knock on wood, I have never had predators try to get my girls in all these 5 years, even though I have trapped numerous skunks, 'possums and racoons when observing their presence. Hawks fly down the corridor of the year around creek in my backyard, but don't stop for a second look since I'm standing outside with a rake in hand during the one hour at dusk that the girls get to go "out to play". The power lines at the rear of my property seems to help deter hawks as well.
Here are some pictures:
Besides being buried 24" in concrete, one side has a planter as an additional barrier.
The bottom 12" of the inside of the run is lined with ripple roof plastic mostly to keep the sand from being kicked out of the run. This also serves as an additional shield from "whatever" might lurk around.
Two entry gates have red brick pavers in front of them to prevent diggers.
The run is covered by a tin roof and a bit of shade cloth to keep the girls dry in the winter and cool in the summer.
Inside the run the girls are happy and have lots of room to play and climb while I'm at work.
Broody box inside the henhouse. Safe enough to use cardboard.
Happy and safe girls makes lots of eggs!
It made sense to me to build a secure place for my girls to prevent heartache down the road. Not to say something couldn't happen, but at least I have done all that is humanly possible to prevent an accident.