Are chicken coops meant to keep the chickens in or other critters out?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Flaming Chicken, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Flaming Chicken

    Flaming Chicken Songster

    Mar 21, 2009
    Redmond WA
    I spent much of today putting my Chicken Tractor back together. I tried to use it last summer to separate some roosters that I wanted to sell from my flock. It got ripped into by a bear, actually tore a hole in the hard ware cloth. It ate one of the roosters and ripped the ramp off of the hinges. I removed the roosters, back to the big coop with them. But our bear came back a couple of nights later and tore some wood off the sides and then flipped the whole thing over. Believe me, I will never keep food in the thing, nor will I let any animal spend the night in it again. Maybe it will only be used for the bunny to forage in the yard. Darn it! I feel better having it back together though.
  2. dainerra

    dainerra Crowing

    Jun 4, 2011
    A bear? No most wouldnt be able to keep out a bear, not even human homes are 100% bear proof.:/
    Commercial coops are usually made only to keep birds in. If you are making your own, take yoir local predators into consideration. It would take a serious building to stop a bear and I dont know any kind of fence that would.
    did you call your local fish and game? They remove problem bears on a regular basis. And a bear who goes into your yard for food is a problem...
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Chickens runs are to keep the chickens in and hawks out, the coop is to keep predators out. Excepting hungry bears.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    The only thing I know of to stop a determined bear is an electric fence, and that only works if you don't lose power.

    I'd also be calling Fish and Game or Animal Control, depending on where you live.
  5. Flaming Chicken

    Flaming Chicken Songster

    Mar 21, 2009
    Redmond WA
    We live next to a Watershed and have everything, bears, cougars,raccoons, bobcats and hawks here to try to eat our chickens. Our neighborhood keeps the fish and wildlife department informed of our visitations. The only time they came out was when cougars got into the chicken run and couldn't get back out. Now my chickens live in a pretty solid building with a fully enclosed run reinforced with hardware cloth. I would like to create a separate area so I can keep some more unusual breeds. I look at the premade coops and runs and then look at my chicken tractor and it's pretty clear that they won't be safe in that. Leaning toward chain link dog runs modified for chickens.
  6. Well, yeah, a tractor is just for daytime foraging, isn't it?

    Coop-- keeps away nighttime beasties.
    Run-- lets birds outside yet contained.
    Tractor-- nighttime food for bears?
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    We don't have bears in the part of MN where I live, but I do know that in the northern part of the state, they use electric fences to keep the bears away from the beehives.
  8. In my experience and observation, pens, coops, barns, facilities for pretty much all kinds of animals, are all about keeping critters out. Keeping predatory critters out of your own critters. And keeping your critters out of places they shouldn't be, that are either unsafe for them or they are unsafe for that place. A good chicken facility keeps predators out of the chickens, and keeps the chickens out of the busy road out front, your garden, and your neighbor's property and garden.
    That last one is something a lot of people that get chickens don't always think about. Especially when they like the idea of free ranging their chickens. Free range shouldn't mean free run of the country side, and off your own property, avoiding the expense and inconvenience of putting up a fence. Fine if you life in the middle of a couple hundred acres. Not so fine if you live on a couple acres with close neighbors. I've experienced the frustration and aggravation both ways...other people's dogs killing my chickens, but also other people's free range chickens eating all the seeds I just planted or destroying my just well started veggie garden. Once, for some reason i never figured out, a neighbor's flock of chickens adopted my front porch as a hang out. Chicken poop everywhere.
    So i'd say coops and barns and pens and fences are for keeping critters out.
  9. What I eventually came to for my chickens and around other small livestock, was chain link. My favorite for chickens is an outer fence of chain link, then an inner one of a smaller mesh chicks can go through, and chickens can't stick their heads out so as to get them bitten off by something. i've actually witnessed both chickens and a muscovy dick lose their heads by just sitcking their head out through fence mesh where a dog was just waiting to grab them.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012

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