Am I predator proof? Pics.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BeckyandHerBrood, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. BeckyandHerBrood

    BeckyandHerBrood Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Champaign, IL
    Hello all. My seven week old babies have been in their outdoor coop and run for the past two weeks. We lock them in the coop at night. I will be leaving for 10 days and my husband will be home with the chickens. He will be gone at work all day, they will be in the run. He will be locking them up at night. I am nervous about leaving them in the run all day (normally the kids and I are home). We live in a neighborhood, but have coons, opossum, coyotes and fox in the adjacent forest preserve. Will you please critique our run and let me know if you think it is safe?

    [​IMG]
    back of run. Probably the most vulnerable, the chicken wire is screwed on with washers and wood screws. The rock in the corner covers a hole that is covered with hardware cloth that is screwed to the side of the shed.

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    Top of run in the back. We are planning to extend the run in a few months, and the piece of plywood is a temporary roof that tucks under the actual roof on the rest of the coop.

    [​IMG]
    back of run from outside

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    side of run. the landscape timbers are anchored by 18 inch stakes.

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    inside of run. The hardware cloth is screwed on, then 1x2's are screwed on top.

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    front of run. The door has two locks, that can be locked with a key.

    [​IMG]
    front of run.

    I posted a question about this yesterday, but did not include pictures. Thanks for being patient with my insane worry that something is going to attack the babies (who my kids now adore) while I am gone.
     
  2. mjuenem

    mjuenem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2010
    Putnam Co.
    Couple things:

    Is there a wire apron under those landscape logs to prevent digging?

    That plywood on the back side - is it screwed down tight and not just "tucked under the other roof"?

    Does your door flex in between those locks if you pull on the handle, and are the hasps going to be actually padlocked?

    edit: Now that I look closer it appears your padlock hasps are attached (on the jam side) to a board which holds them out in alignment with the door. This means your door doesn't sit back flush inside the jam? If so it's a very weak point. I would replace the short boards top and bottom with one full length board so the door is countersunk into the jam. What do the top, bottom and hinge-sides look like?

    Those 1x2's at the top of the hardware cloth - is there no way a chicken can use them as a perch? No other perches that are within about a foot of the top of the hardware cloth?

    Do the chickens go up that ladder and into the shed? If so, can a raccoon get into the shed?

    Otherwise a good job.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  3. BeckyandHerBrood

    BeckyandHerBrood Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Champaign, IL
    There is a chicken wire apron (I wish it was hardware cloth). It is actually a seamless piece of wire that runs from the top of the fence posts under the 2x4's at the base and all the way up to the side of the shed. Then there is 4 inches of sand on top.

    The plywood is not screwed down yet. There is chicken wired stapled to the support beams under the roof, but I will screw the plywood down tomorrow.

    The chickens go up the ladder to the coop, but there is a spring latch on the sliding door to the coop. I feel pretty comfortable with them being safe inside.

    They cannot perch on the 1X2's and I have not added a perch inside (wasn't sure where to put one where it would be safe).

    Thanks for the help.
     
  4. mjuenem

    mjuenem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2010
    Putnam Co.
    Check my added edit about your door.
     
  5. DrinkTheRainbow

    DrinkTheRainbow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 1, 2011
    Altoona, Wisconsin
    No, stupid rats will get through.
     
  6. BeckyandHerBrood

    BeckyandHerBrood Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Champaign, IL
    Quote:There is actually a full jam added (screwed into the post behind the door). The crack maybe 1/8 of an inch (if that) betweeen the door and the jam behind. The stupid plywood had to be added as my dad decided to frame out an entire door with 2X4's and it is wider the than the post now. UGH.

    Thanks again! I love that I can actually connect with other people with chickens on stuff like this. I am the trendsetter/law breaker around here. Nobody else has them, yet.
     
  7. BeckyandHerBrood

    BeckyandHerBrood Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Champaign, IL
    Quote:Are rats really a huge problem in coops? Crap.
     
  8. mjuenem

    mjuenem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2010
    Putnam Co.
    2x4 door is good - less flex. I am still looking at the bottom of your walls where they meet the shed. I hope you have fixed plenty of hardware cloth behind the rock and also on the front side mirror image. Any way of a animal to go under the shed and around the hardware cloth/rock area and right into the middle of your pen?
     
  9. BeckyandHerBrood

    BeckyandHerBrood Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Champaign, IL
    Quote:I suppose a very ambitious animal could dig under. But the shed is 12 feet wide, and there is 6 inches of river rock underneath it to make a level bed for the shed to sit on. The shed sits flat on this bed (there are no raised areas where the floor joists are) Do you think I am OK? I have come this far, I am not opposed to more work with shovel and wire [​IMG]
     
  10. BeckyandHerBrood

    BeckyandHerBrood Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Champaign, IL
    You know what? I think you just saved my chickens. I have been so focused on the sides of the shed that I totally forgot about the front. We have had bricks shoved up under the front, (with landscaping boulders too) since we got the shed a few years ago. I totally forgot that the front and the back are open (like a 4 inch gap). I will put hardware cloth in those spots tomorrow.

    THANK YOU! It would have been so easy for something to dig under the corner.
     

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