Anyone have experience with securing a coop from vicious predators?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Herbdoctor, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. Herbdoctor

    Herbdoctor Just Hatched

    Dec 18, 2012
    A few days ago as I was racing out the door to take my baby to the emergency room I noticed our flock of nine (and beloved pets to my children and I) were attacked for the THIRD TIME since August! It is an annoyingly sticky situation as I discovered the culprit dogs belonged to the neighborhood "crazy lady" who also happens to attend my church. I approached her for a friendly resolution chat and got cussed out in front of my three youngest children (who were already devastated and traumatized at the site of their dead pets torn up all over our yard) and she basically said "dogs will be dogs".

    I do not have a full fence around my property but the coop was in my back yard and made of wood and enforced with chicken wire which the dogs tore through both. The dogs are huge Shepperd/Rot mixes and chewed and broke through wood and wire like it was tooth picks and bubble wrap to gain entrance.

    Originally, I felt for the dogs who are just acting out of instinct but at this point I'm done with these dogs. I already tried animal control and they were less than helpful. They said they would go harass her (sounds like a good idea to tick off a woman who has been in and out of institutions...NOT) but aside from that they said city ordinances do not support CA law which states no dog can kill or even harass poultry or they can be shot or put down.

    Now I'm left with a terrible choice...either shoot the dogs, capture them and drive them far away or give up on organic eggs and the positive experience my children were having caring for and loving their chickens. I am terrified if I don't have chickens back there they will go after my babies.

    Has anyone had experience with this type of situation? Of course my main concern is for my children but I want to know if anyone has ever been able to secure their coop from predators after they already got a taste for their blood (in case we don't catch the dogs)?
  2. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2011
    Rison, Arkansas
    I would build or have built a secure run made from chain link fencing. You can hire a fence company to build it. Be sure the add fabric to the top of the pen. It would also be wise to have them add piping at the bottom of the pen, to help keep the dogs from digging under it.

    For 5-6 chickens, a 10x10 pen should do fine. You can let them freerange when you can watch them, and keep them in the run/coop area when you cannot.

    This it the only way to truly protect your birds, unless you want to stand guard 24/7 with a gun or build a good sized metal building to house them.

    My pens are chainlink with tops and a "hot wire" at the bottom and some have a piping at the bottom. I have bad predator problems such as hawks, dogs, racoons, fox, coyote, possums and only once a "2 legged predator".. I cannot have an open coup or in a few days i will have no chickens.

    I do not suggest a "hot wire' unless your children are old enough to understand the harm it can do.

    A chain link pen is not really that expensive when you consider the horror a child will have seen the birds dispatched.
  3. CottonGinWaste

    CottonGinWaste Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    Chain link. 6 foot. You can do it yourself if you have a weighted pole driver. It can be built in stages, so you're not overwhelmed. We actually have a full acre fenced in, and while not 100% predator proof it is an excellent deterrent and at night our girls go into their coops and I lock that up. Plus we have guinea fowl that sleep in the trees over the coops and they alarm call if anything happens during the night.

    In hindsight, it may have been a good idea to take lots of pictures of the mauled chickens and pictures of your tearful children, also the offending dogs - and submitted them to your local paper (if you even have one - ours was bought out by a national chain) together with the names (surreptitiously noted) of the less-than-helpful 'animal control' officers - and ask questions: Why is this allowed? What do I pay taxes for if not to live safely in my own home/yard?

    Do you have a local chicken club? If so, you should be able to get solid support and advice for your situation.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013

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