Raccoon proof coop (post pics plz)
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are you looking to build a stationary coop or a mobile one? How many chickens/ducks do you have and how much room do you want them to have? Do you just want a safe coop to lock them up in at night and let them free range during the day or do you want a secured area that they can roam around in during the day?
I really just want a totally secure place for them at night (other than my laundry area). When we move (hopefully next year) I plan to get more chickens. So it would be great if it was large enough to house ~10 hens but that isn't a necessity at the moment.
I was thinking I might put the coop in the garage if I can't be certain they're safe. Theres a side door that opens in the backyard so it's actually pretty convenient. Plus the garage is dark so they stay quiet til I let them out (I'm sure the neighbors like that). If this is my only option I need a narrow/tall coop over a short/ wide one.
Our coop is small, but mighty! Hardware cloth bolted down everywhere, locks on every door, wire skirt with pavers surrounding and a floor under the run. Nobody has been able to penetrate it in 3 years, and we live in raccoon/coyote land.
Beware, also a certified thread killer!
Beware, also a certified thread killer!
I'm so sorry for your loss. What does your current coop look like? How did the raccoon get to them? Could you raccoon proof it to get them back outside... My understanding is to be raccoon proof use 1/2" hardware cloth so that the raccoon can't reach in and grab anyone and latches they can't open, I've read that many use pad locks, I'm using spring links (http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100351979/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=spring+clips&storeId=10051). Our coop is new and I'm not aware of an attacks, so I'm not an expert but tried to protect the girls the best we could.
No pictures of my old coop and the new one is just a thought right now....
We built the coop to withstand everything except bears...The coop was built with 1" thick exterior wood siding and 3/4" plywood on the walls and roof, The roofing was metal sheeting screwed down.. The floor was 6" thick cement. The windows had chain link fencing AND 1/4" hardware clothe over the entire window-- it was framed in with 2x4 w/ screws. The attached run was completely enclosed with chain link fencing that extended 2 ft down and 2 ft out to prevent digging in.. We placed 1/2" hardware clothe around the entire bottom 3ft up.. EVERY seam was secured by screwing a 1"x6" every six inch on both sides so there was no pulling out.. We used 8"x8" posts. The gates was made with 2x6 lumber, chain link and hardware clothe, at the base of the gate was a 6" deep block of cement... We used 6" screws and nails when we needed to attach something...
This is how we will build my new coop but I will have to wait until cooler weather to start... Hope you find a solutions for your chickens safety...
Edited by Queen Bee - 9/22/12 at 4:41pm
my current coop (abandoned).... We built it when the birds were young and had intended on everyone sleeping upstairs (the plastic roof section) and hanging out downstairs (the chicken wire section)... but the birds had their own idea and the chickens took over upstairs and the ducks moved in downstairs - so we just let them roam during the day and close them in at night (theres a small door on the side)... which actually works out find because this coop is a BOHEMOTH and nearly impossible to move around, plus its difficult to clean and its pretty ugly. i THINK the only way to raccoon proof it would be to cover it in chain link (sides and bottom) then put that small wire on top of the chain-link. I dont know what to do with the door - i guess a piano hinge and padlock. one time i caught the raccoon actually in the cage hanging out (waiting for me to go back inside) - he opened the door, which is now hanging by a thread. and im not sure how he got the chicken the first time, by husband said the door was still closed - but her feathers were mostly in that closest corner... so somehow he pulled her downstairs and was trying to get her out of the bottom section. ANYWAYS, I would like to take this opportunity to build a new, nicer looking, predator safe, easier to clean (poop board) house for them.
I was considering buying a wooden shed off craigslist and turning it into a coop - has anyone done that?... im scared the raccoons with get into that too... we also have bears, but luckily not in my yard (knock on wood), which is why i was considering building the coop in the garage - double layer of protection. I dont know, what do you think?
SAVE MY GIRLS
AND MY GUY!
If you click on the "My Coop" link in my profile, you can see lots of pics of my coop build in progress but if you skip to the end you'll see the finished product. I don't even know if a raccoon has ever tried to get in. What I do know is I haven't lost a bird to a predator in the coop since it was completed.
The metal siding would be difficult for them to climb, the concrete slab makes it impossible for them to dig in, and the 1/2" hardware cloth over the windows prevents them reaching in to grab a bird. The auto door has been tested (by its manufacturers) as being almost impossible for an animal to pry open from the outside.