Best latches to protect our girls from predators?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hogs and Horns, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. Hogs and Horns

    Hogs and Horns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 17, 2011
    On Christmas morning my husband gave me something I'd wanted a long time: my very first chicken coop. Inside were two sweet red hens, gifts from a daughter. The latches on the coop are flimsy, absolutely worthless. We went to HD to get some that will protect the girls, but left very confused. Would you mind telling this newbie what kind works best (in your experienced opinions) to keep predators out of a coop? Thank you!
     
  2. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    i use baling wire
     
  3. CALI CHICK

    CALI CHICK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wish it wasn't night -or I would go take a picture of my locks on the chicken coop, gate and rabbit hutch. Basically you need something that little raccoon hands cannot maneuver open. My "latch" closes over a loop-hole in which I put another spring lock in (sorry I don't know the proper names for these things.) And, I have a chain lock added to my gate. I will try to get a picture for you tomorrow, though.

    It is important to protect our defenseless girls, isn't it!
     
  4. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Overrun With Chickens

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    I wish it wasn't night either or I'd take a picture for you. Mine has a basic gate latch on it and then I've run a kind of twisted wire through it that requires an opposable thumb to release and pull out so you can open the gate.

    If you go to your local hardware store, you'll find all kinds of things you can loop through the hole on a standard gate latch.
     
  5. 6chickens in St. Charles

    6chickens in St. Charles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    St. Charles, IL
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I keep trying to enlarge this detail, but wow it just won't go. There's a noisy bell hanging from the latch in case "somebody" diddles with it, there's a motion detector light aimed at the front of the coop, and the latch is secured with a stainless steel "spring clip fastener" like you'd keep on the end of a lanyard or clip to your waistband to keep your keys. The spring clip fastener requires opposing thumbs.

    We used to keep a padlock, but it kept freezing and we'd have to cut the whole thing or unscrew it all just to let the chickens out. So, I think a padlock would need protection from icy moisture.

    And remember, a good lock won't keep a simple wall intact. One predator pulled apart the whole fence and coop, probably a dog. They use their paws and claws much like orangutangs, they just pull things apart. So, if your coop is not built sturdy enough to withstand mean teenager prowlers and dogs, consider a good cyclone (chain-link) enclosure into which the coop will reside [​IMG] .
     
  6. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Waldo County, Maine
    6chickens in St. Charles :

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/25976_hoop_chicken_cold_rainy_day.jpg

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/25976_hoop_chicken_cold_rainy_day.jpg

    I keep trying to enlarge this detail, but wow it just won't go. There's a noisy bell hanging from the latch in case "somebody" diddles with it, there's a motion detector light aimed at the front of the coop, and the latch is secured with a stainless steel "spring clip fastener" like you'd keep on the end of a lanyard or clip to your waistband to keep your keys. The spring clip fastener requires opposing thumbs.

    We used to keep a padlock, but it kept freezing and we'd have to cut the whole thing or unscrew it all just to let the chickens out. So, I think a padlock would need protection from icy moisture.

    And remember, a good lock won't keep a simple wall intact. One predator pulled apart the whole fence and coop, probably a dog. They use their paws and claws much like orangutangs, they just pull things apart. So, if your coop is not built sturdy enough to withstand mean teenager prowlers and dogs, consider a good cyclone (chain-link) enclosure into which the coop will reside [​IMG] .

    That's the same latch I use on my doors. I secure mine with those keychain-grade caribiniers. I do like the cowbell idea and will use it if the current arrangement should prove vulnerable.

    My pop door, I have barrel bolts, top and bottom, operating in opposite directions. Between them is a hook with a spring-loaded catch, small enough that it would require much fiddlin, even by a coon, and is handy for latching the door to the fence wire to keep it open in a breeze.

    When it gets to the big predators, there are practical limits to what you can do to keep them from tearing their way in. This from someone who endured a month of bizarre behavior from the local bears in the Catskills a few years back. The state's wildlife biologists never could explain what caused it. W lost a back door, had a refirgerator literally gutted, and the bac seat of the car ripped to shreds. No exclusion in that instance. Only repellent. 1-oz., .50cal jacketed hollow-point slugs riding in sabots though a rifled 12ga barrel.​
     
  7. coolcanoechic

    coolcanoechic Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is what I use.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Hogs and Horns

    Hogs and Horns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 17, 2011
    Thanks to all of you for answering my question! When DH wakes up I'll show him your responses and photos. Then it's off to the hardware store we go to load up. I think the coop itself is solid, but today I have to dig and install an apron as well as add hardware cloth to small top sections where the walls end just under the roof...sorry I don't know what those places are called.
     

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