Chicken run security

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by keeperofthechickens, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. keeperofthechickens

    keeperofthechickens In the Brooder

    Mar 1, 2007
    Twin Cities, MN
    Well I am almost done with my coop. Just have to put a couple windows in. Now I have to make my chicken run.

    I live in the boonies with a lot of predators. I actually have a Barred Owl and a Sharpshinned hawk nesting on my property and a coyote den not to far away.

    Growing up as a kid living on a hobby farm we were always at war with predators, and what I have learned is a good defense is better than a good offense, since there will be a new predator to take its place.

    So a fort knox type run will be needed.

    I would like to cover the whole run, but my coop has a lot of trees around it so a top part over the whole run won't be possible.

    So I am thinking of having two types of runs. The first one will be about 15'x20' covered on the top, this would be the one the chickens would use when I am not around. And then have a larger fence around that which would not be covered so the chickens have space to range a bit.

    How high should the non covered run fence be to prevent coyotes, dogs from coming in?

  2. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Songster

    Apr 11, 2007
    Galesburg, IL.
    Well we have coyotes where we are as well. Although he didn't have a problem with covering the top of the fence, we did try to make it as safe as possible for our feathered friends. First of all, we made our coop almost 2 feet off of the ground to help try to keep the rodent population down. Whether or not that will work is another thing. We also put moth balls underneath the coop to deter rodents as well. All sides under the coop are covered up to prevent any of our chickens from getting under there. The run has 6 foot high fencing with 12 inches of fencing dug into the ground and toe'd out. We poured cement over top the toe'ing part of the fencing and then covered it up with dirt and sod that we had cut from the area orginally.

    Soon we will be placing some electric fencing around the perimeter to help deter any unwanted guests. We have Newfoundland dogs so we tested our fencing by standing on the inside of the coop with treats and called our dogs to us. They were jumping and pawing at the fence to get to the treats. The fencing held its own. We put some small diameter fencing on the bottem outside area of the run to ensure that our lil ones didn't get through or small predators couldn't get through.

    We did place small diameter netting over the top of the fencing to cut down on the flying predators. We are also getting ready to purchase a fake owl to place on top of the chicken coop. Out of sight of our chickens of course. This is a duel purpose item since the coop and run is approximately 10 feet from my garden.

    Also read where you can place sulfur powder around the perimeter of your run to keep snakes at bay. They say that it is not harmful to other animals. I haven't checked out that theory though. By keeping the moth balls under the coop to keep the rodent population down, will also keep the snake population a little lower since you are trying to eliminate a big portion of their diet. Not that that will work in all cases. As my grandma used to say "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

    Other than that, we've blocked any hole depsite how big or small (snakes can get into a hole 1/2 inch or bigger and a mouse can get in a hole the size of a dime) in the chicken coop. Other than monitoring and making sure your chickens are in their coops at night with a good strong door, that's about all you can do. Best of luck to you. [​IMG]

    I just got done reading the pest and predator threads and they had this looks interesting and has piqued my interest. Just an idea.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2007
  3. keeperofthechickens

    keeperofthechickens In the Brooder

    Mar 1, 2007
    Twin Cities, MN
    Thanks for the info 2mnypets . I don't think I will have to worry much about snakes in MN.

    I wanted to use 4" round trees as post for a woodsy look, but now might go with normal posts, as they may rot quick.

    I'll post pics once it's complete.

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