Anti-predator...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by KDailey, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. KDailey

    KDailey Crazy Cochin Lady

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    Jun 27, 2011
    Bronson, Tx
    I think we've got our coop and run pretty well built and secure but after reading all the posts in Pests and Predators I wonder is it enough? It seems like everyone does everything they can think of to keep out the predators but they still get in so why would my coop be any different?

    *It's made completely out of pine boards (no plywood), 2x4's for the construction and 1x6's for the walls and floor.
    *Any little place that a snake or raccoon hand could get through is covered with hardware cloth.
    *All the windows and run walls are hardware cloth except for the top of the run. It's covered with regular poultry wire to keep hawks out since raccoons shouldn't be able to reach the chickens from 6 feet up off the ground.
    *There are no ledges anywhere on the coop or run that would allow a raccoon/oppossum to sit while they pull apart any hardware cloth/etc.
    *I've told everyone that might be around the coop that there is never to be anything sitting on or around the coop that could allow a predator to sit/perch near the coop.
    *There are no trees near the coop/run.
    *There isn't any brush near the coop.
    *I made sure to include an apron of hardware cloth around the outside of the coop to hopefully discourage digging.
    *We'll be adding a string of electric wire around the bottom of the coop and run since it's right next to my horse's pasture that is surrounded be electric wire as well.
    *We built up the dirt around the base of the coop that's in the run to hopefully discourage digging.

    I don't know anything else to do. I don't want to lose a single chick/chicken. But it seems like everyone does everything possible and the predators still get in!
    The first night I put the chicks outside I was paranoid that something would get them. It took my boyfriend nearly an hour to assure me that he's done everything he could to make it safe and I only left them there after a very thorough investigation of every nook and cranny.

    He asked me, "What is it called when someone is super scared something will eat their chickens? You know like is there a phobia for that?" [​IMG]

    Are there any of you out there that have had chickens for a while and haven't lost any to predators? I don't mean people like me that have had them a month and half that time they were inside...
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I think you are doing the best you can do. What I have done around my place is imagine your self as a raccoon or skunk. Could I dig thru this, or pull this apart? (These guys are very persistant, with a lot of time on their hands are quite strong). I look at my place like this...if I could stand on any part of my coop and jump up and down on it a few times with out it breaking, then nothing can tear it apart. The digging critters will only dig so far under as they really don't know how deep to dig and waste their time digging. So if you have buried hardware cloth 6 iinches or so, you are probably safe.

    My coop is built like fort knox, however my run probably has flaws in it. I have used this run for a few years now and I have never had a predator even try to enter. I am aslo using a woven type poultry netting over the top of my run and it DOES keep the hawks out. My hardware cloth is only down in the ground a few inches around my run, however my birds get locked up in Fort Knox each night, so if something does get in, it will not get my chickens. I use solar lights all around my run and coop at night. Some people say they don't work and in many cases they may not. But they work for me. I also keep quail and did some experimenting early on with these lights in some spots. The dark spots around the ariary had coon issues, the lighted areas did not. So you would think my yard is lit up like an international airport runway, but it works.

    As you go along, you will see the areas you might need to work on. Check all the perimenters all the time for areas that the critters may be working on at night and nip those in the bud. But it sounds like you have a good solid coop. Outsmart the varmits and you will do fine. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  3. KDailey

    KDailey Crazy Cochin Lady

    947
    2
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    Jun 27, 2011
    Bronson, Tx
    My boyfriend did lots of jumping on different parts of the coop including the nest boxes. lol. He's about 165# and it didn't budge. We had to use a log loader to move the coop to it's current spot so it's quite heavy duty. I think I'll go around and pile up more dirt just for another safe measure....
     

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