can we assess my predator risk with my doors/windows? am i paranoid?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by haTHOR, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. haTHOR

    haTHOR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Near Asheville, NC
    esp. raccoons.

    i have a tractor. nest box doors/windows are shut with a wooden block swiveling latch. can a coon open that?
    [​IMG]

    also, the pophole door...can a coon break/chew through braided poly? it would have to first get in to the bottom floor by tearing off chicken wire, then get a grip on the bottom edge of the pophole door while it's closed, then pull it hard enough to break poly twine or chew it apart. then the line for the pulley would break abd the door would fall open.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  2. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    yes a coon can open that latch, poly wire wont even slow them down,
     
  3. Cara

    Cara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2007
    NM
    I have a similar style hutch that I use for chicks when they're old enough to go outside, or sick bantams. A raccoon literally ripped it open, pulling a nailed board off the frame on a corner. It got inside and killed them all [​IMG]
     
  4. danielbrown

    danielbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chicken wire keeps chickens in, it doesn't keep anything out.

    About the only latch that a coon can't open is a keyed padlock. [​IMG]
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    We need a sticky in the Coop And Run Construction section that says, "Go read some threads in the Predators and Pests section to find out what raccoons, dogs, etc actually DO to peoples' coops and runs" [​IMG]

    Not much on that tractor to keep predators out, sorry. As repeatedly said on this forum, chickenwire is pretty easy for raccoons, dogs, etc to rip through.

    They can easily bite your rope in half.

    The hinges to the door should be either screwed into at least a full 3" of wood or bolted through (with washers on the back side), and two latches on the door (near the top and near the bottom, of the edge that opens) that are similarly securely attached, to be sure that nothing will rip the door off. The latch wouldn't even slow a raccoon down, nor frankly most dogs (paw paw paw...)... I would recommend a padlock, you can hang the key on a hook nearby.

    Also, if that is the final state of your roof you'll need to rethink it, a strong wind will just take it right off. Can't have more than about 2-3" unsupported overhang with metal roofing, and I wouldn't do more than 1" personally with such a short attached section.

    Sorry,

    Pat
     
  6. haTHOR

    haTHOR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Near Asheville, NC
    thanks for the suggestions.

    1) roof has been added to, hopefully fixed. another long piece of tin went over the top, long ways, and the extra overhang on the right side will be trimmed to match the left side. i still need to seal/paint, and it's been rainy here, so it's providing a bit of coverage until it's drier and it's been weatherproofed.

    2) i know the coons can get through chicken wire, and i did figure they could chew through the rope...but to get at the rope, they'll need to first get into the chicken wired bottom and then get some purchase on the underside of the pophole door. then pull it down enough to get at the poly rope. any suggestions for how to raccoon-proof (from below) a downward-swinging door that's on a pulley? IF it sits up flush while closed and is a tight fit, even a coon couldn't get fingers in, no matter how determined, surely. i know i probably sound naive but i'm here to learn how to keep my birds alive, so i'm more than willing to accept that i'm wrong. [​IMG] maybe using a different rope for the pulley that isn't stretchy at all?

    3) we will retrofit the window/door latches. would the type of metal clip used to attach a dog collar to a leash work (if more heavy-duty?)

    on a side-note...boy is dh getting frustrated with these changes. he wants to know how in the world people with lean-to, tarped, etc chicken homes manage to keep predators out. i think he is disappointed that our coop, while looking 1000 times better than the make-do coops in our rural area, and taking much more time energy and $$ to build, isn't good enough. i told him people lose birds to predators often according to what i've been reading and we don't know if others' coops actually keep their birds safe. sigh. hopefully we'll be done soon and cn enjoy the chickens.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Two suggestions which would pretty completely fix your problem:

    1) replace downstairs chickenwire with 1x1" welded wire mesh, preferably with a 6-12" apron sticking out the sides along the ground (can be rigid or hinged)

    2) make a bar for the ramp that can be inserted at night to physically prevent it being opened -- see my tractor page for how the tractor popdoor is secured, just adapt that to a downward-opening door, very easy.

    I'd suggest doing both.

    we will retrofit the window/door latches. would the type of metal clip used to attach a dog collar to a leash work (if more heavy-duty?)

    It is safER but some raccoons have been known to open them.

    It's a persona choice how predatorproof you want to make a coop. If you want to live dangerously, then by all means do so -- jsut because people are saying "raccoons can go right through that if they try" does not mean you HAVE to do it any differently. Everyone has different preferences about the work/security tradeoff.

    If you *do* want a pretty secure coop, get your husband to browse the 'lost all my chickens last night' type threads in the Predators and Pests section, that'll cure him [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  8. haTHOR

    haTHOR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks for all the help pat. i know us noob chicken owners can be a black hole of questions and need! appreciate your patience and advice.

    particularly the suggestion to have dh browse those threads. that way it's not just me nagging. [​IMG]
     
  9. backpack09

    backpack09 Out Of The Brooder

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    What about swapping the rope with cable?
     
  10. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Good one! [​IMG]
     

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