Above ground coop, locked door... can they still get in?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 1, 2011
We are getting ready to put our chicks outside for the first time. I am nervous. Our yard backs up to a huge protected forest. So there is everything and anything in there. Our coop is standing 2 feet above ground and is locked at night. Can predators still find a way in? I am praying not. We only have six chickens. If they can get in we could lose em all in one night. The coop is surrounded by a fence with chicken wire laid underground around the perimeter of the fence and there is fencing above as well. I know these things are determined at night, so I just want to be prepared. Any advice would be appreciated.
Is it just the run that is locked or is the coop itself locked?

Rats can squeeze through extremely small spaces and can eat the food and hurt bantams and young chickens. They can also steal eggs. Extremely small paces includes chicken wire. Rats often get into my run and eat whatever they can find.

If the chicks are locked up in the shelter, they should be safe as long as there are no holes where predators can get through.

I agree, pics of the coop would help very much

Good luck raising chickens! I hope you like your flock as much as I do
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I do agree with GammaPoppy, its hard to give an advice if we don't know what the coop really looks like.

2 feet above the ground can still be reached by many predators. But as long as you securely locked up your coop, and made sure that there are no holes or gaps for entry then they will be safe for the night.

Can you post some pics of your coop so that we can help even more?
Depends on the lock--coons can open anything a 5-year old can open. If the chickens can reach the coop so can most any predator.
Took the words right out of my fingers.

I have found that the weakest points on my coop have either been the latches and where the run wire is attached to the coop. I use padlocks on the latches, now. And I use screws and washers to attach the wire from the run fencing to the coop.

Also be aware that chicken wire is basically good for containing chickens, but not for preventing anything from getting in. It's too fragile to withstand any real assault. I use 1/2" welded wire/hardware cloth for the bottom 3 feet of my run which is then stitched with wire to 4 feet of 2" welded wire and then topped with deer netting. I also use 1/2" welded wire in a 2 foot apron on the ground around my run, and the apron is staked down with tent pegs. I then have electric poultry netting on a solar charger surrounding the whole coop and run. It sounds like overkill, but I live in a wildlife corridor and have all manner of creatures strolling through my backyard.

I hope this helps. Good luck.
So CMV do you still get anything in? Basically if something does get in the cage and I don't want it to get into the coop I need to make sure there are no holes, nothing it can pry open, and the doors have pad locks. Will predators give up? For the cage that surrounds the coop we are using a 10x10x6 dog kennel so it is all welded and around the bottom we are putting hardware cloth.
I haven't had anything, yet. If something should get into the run (which is possible since the top is just deer netting) at night the coop is locked tight every night at dusk. The pop door is made of plexi-glass and falls into a frame, so it's impossible to lift up once it falls into place. I have tested it out and I can't lift it because it's so heavy and smooth that I couldn't get a grip on it.
For locking doors, I recommend using padlocks with easy-to-remember codes- like 1-2-3. Then put the numbers at random at night. Coons won't figure out the code.
Do raccoons even have the intelligence of figuring out how to unlock number coded padlocks?

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