Any advice? They will be alone for a few days...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by JerseyWooly, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. JerseyWooly

    JerseyWooly Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Oct 5, 2009
    Ok, I thought I had a great set-up. Small coop, big run, chicken-wire all around and into the ground- everything I can think of. But what I'm reading on this board scares the hell out of me! I put them in the coop-run for the first time today, got home after dark and saw a skunk hanging around. First time I'd seen one here in the seven years I've been here. Now I'm reading that they're chicken killers!

    I have to leave my chickens alone for two days. Is there ANY advice anyone can give me that will help keep my coop and run air tight while I'm gone? Or is it a crap shoot despite our best efforts? This is really bumming me out, and I'm not going to enjoy my vacation if it's 50/50 I'll lose the birds.
     
  2. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2009
    Believe me--I'm no expert--But I think it depends on the size of your coop and the number of birds you have. If you have 4 square feet per standard bird inside your coop I would close the door to the run for the duration of your vacation. They can be inside for that long. I assume your coop is more secure than the run. If you are gone you will not be able to monitor the outside and wouldn't be able to fix a small problem before it becomes a big problem. I guess it depends on how secure you feel the main coop will be. Good luck!
     
  3. JerseyWooly

    JerseyWooly Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Oct 5, 2009
    Thanks for the advice. The coop is about four square feet (maybe a little more) total, not including the two laying quarters. Whatever the case may be, all these nightmares have convinced me to move the coop into the garage and make a small run from my tractor cart. I'll have to cage a dome over the top so they have a place to go besides the coop but don't fly around the garage getting into trouble.

    When I have more time, I'll make the coop and run into fort knox. I've read about cementing around the outside to keep diggers out, and metal cloth to keep them from being grabbed through the chicken wire. Both sound good to me.
     
  4. ThePamperedPullet

    ThePamperedPullet Chillin' With My Peeps

    electric fence is another good way to go. place one wire at about 4 inches up and 4 inches out. second wire at about 9 to 12 inches up and 4 inches out. and a third run of wire at about 3 feet up and 4 inches out. This will deter most digging critters and any that want to get close to the cage. the higher run of wire will deter any animal that decides it wants to climb up onto the cage.
     
  5. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,993
    20
    176
    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Time limits dictated that you put them in the garage, and that solves the problem. Chicken wire only stops chickens and rats. Coons, dogs, coyotes, bobcats, badgers all will rip it apart. If you are doing for a re-do, try 6 ft welded wire 2x4 opening fence set in cement, then add 1/2' mesh hardware cloth all around bottom, 24" or 32". A fence charger will add the finishing touch.

    Mine is a 5-mile unit (Zareba), 4 KV, 4 strands of hot wire. For 5 months, I have had no incidents and my woods are crawling with coons, skunks, and opossums. I do lock mine in at night too and let them out in AM, in case of power failure or storm blowing a tree across fence. [​IMG]
     
  6. JerseyWooly

    JerseyWooly Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Oct 5, 2009
    My set up isn't that big. I've got two chickens, and I live in central jersey so the only predators I have would be 'possum, skunks, raccoons, and the occasional fox. I saw a cayote once a few years back but I think he was just passing through. There were several sightings in a two week period, and since then, nothing. With that in mind, is electrical fencing necessary? On the other hand, people who keep chickens seem to lose them all the time. I don't think the family has the emotional slack to lose either one we have. These two are just pets. They sleep in the house for Pete's sake. In the living room. I need to be sure that if I leave them out over night, they will be safe.
     
  7. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Michigan
    Just two? I would put them in the garage or mud room in a large dog crate.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by