Building a roost that a fox can't get to until I get home from work and can put them in coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hayley3, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. hayley3

    hayley3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sometimes I come home late from work..and my chickens are already roosting in the barn but they choose a metal 3 ft high hay feeder as their roosting spot instead of the wood fence inside the barn. I know they love the edge of a 2x4 to roost on cause that's what they roost on in their coop even though I made them some very nice roosts from tree branches at multiple heights.

    I'm wondering about making a hanging roost from the ceiling although the swinging movement would probably make them not like it. Is there a certain height that chickens like? I know they have trouble sometimes getting up on the one in their coop...I didn't make it for them, I made it as a divider when I was having chicken squabbles and it was a way to separate the offenders.

    Has anyone tried making a roost basically as a safety backup? Can you teach a chicken what to do in case of emergency? lol I wish!
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015
  2. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Remember, chickens have very poor vision when dark...
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Number and breed of birds involved? How do you expect birds to reach roost?

    Can you setup a hotwire chickens can walk through but will make fox visits unpleasant.
     
  4. hayley3

    hayley3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was thinking of getting them a nightlight but they always roost before dark.

    What do you mean about the hotwire, centra?

    I only have 3 chickens left from my 9 :(

    They normally fly up to a 4 ft roost..although some would get on a perch first and then fly up from there.

    LOL I was just thinking maybe I could make them like a tree house that a fox couldn't reach...a small enclosed platform housebox inside the barn where they could fly up to each level. (just thinking out loud)
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Number low making effort easier. Can you increase the height of the current roost incrementally? Maybe raise it by a foot each day and birds need to make difference by flying.


    Hotwire could be used to trip up fox coming into the building. Chickens less likely to be shocked and even when they are it will not stop them. An enclosed elevated coop is a good idea although I would make birds can be seen in it from below. You will have imprint birds in coop before they will use it and I would imprint them on the coop having them confined to it when the coop is suspended in the location of their current roost. After a couple days confined to the coop then release them under supervision late in the day. Once they use as a roost that evening, then move it up incrementally each night to the desired location. Breed important as you must stay within your hens' flight envelope (capacity to fly up in one flight). You also must keep birds alive long enough to take advantage of the new roost location. Also need to make certain losses imposed by fox and not occurring while birds are active on the ground. Either not correct will make efforts less likely to work.
     
  6. hayley3

    hayley3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I noticed today that one chicken got up on a box and laid down today...so they would use a platform, I think.

    I already have a night coop that is secure..I want this to be a place that is safe if I should get stuck at work. Normally I am home before dark but with the time change, it changed that and the fox came early. I would like them to roost up high when they are not in their coop. I hope that makes sense.

    I do not know what hotwire is ..is that chicken fencing? Anything that protects them I'm all for that! I would not endanger them ever, one is still limping badly after a month of healing. I promised them they would never have to go thru that again and will die an old chicken. [​IMG]

    They are Silver Laced Wyandottes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015
  7. hayley3

    hayley3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    That would work against typical Red Fox and Coyote but not Grey Fox, Racoon, Bobcat or large owl. I like design in video but would couple it with electrified poultry netting and modest changes actual to complicate things for owl. Birds will not reliably switch between roosts just because one is lost.
     
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  9. hayley3

    hayley3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I come home they are trained to go into the coop. Me being late caused my chickens to be killed, so I"m trying to come up with a solution.[​IMG] I know it won't protect them from raccoons.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Put some electric fence around coop. Make so you have three strands at 6 inch intervals with lowest about 4 inches of the ground. Chickens will brave it but most predators will not, especially if it I close to the coop.
     

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