chickens & rabbit together in run? Rat control?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by crystal, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. crystal

    crystal Hatching

    Apr 12, 2007
    We're rethinking our run area (10'x16' chain link fence with chicken wire on top). We got new chicks last week (lost our 3 last year to racoons). Anyways, we also have 2 (indoor) rabbits. I plan to move the rabbits out with the chicks during the day. So I'm thinking about putting chicken wire down on the ground so the rabbits cannot dig out of the run. But would the chickens get hurt when they're scratching the dirt? I'll probably put at least 6" of straw on top of the wire. What do you think?

    The other question is rats. I didn't have any problems with rats the last 1-1/2 years I've had my last "flock". Our neighborhood cats like to frequent our backyard. Should I be worried about getting the coop rat proof? Our neighbor's rabbits were killed by rats (they have a dog and the neighborhood cats don't visit them at all). I'm thinking about getting a XL dog house and then putting it on top of stumps for the chicks. The rabbits have a raised hutch. All of that inside the chain link fence. I would lock up the chain link fence at night so the animals can come out in the morning without waiting for me to get out there. Now I'm a bit worried about the chain link not predator safe enough. What do you all think?

    BTW, I forgot to close the chain link fence one night and the racoons got them last year. The racoons here are very bold, walking straight up to our porch and looking inside our house (with our cats hissing from inside).
  2. eggchel

    eggchel Crowing

    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    I use chain link for some of my pens. Our weather here is mild so we have just roofed over the pen with corrugated aluminum type panels to keep them dry. Plastic dog houses work great for the ground sleepers (ducks, frizzles, silkies) and I use old ladders or tree branches for roosts for the others. I try to make sure that there isnt any place where a raccoon could reach in and grab a sleeping bird by covering the bottom 2 feet of chain link with smaller mesh wire or scraps of plywood where needed. I am starting to also put garden netting over the chain link to keep wild birds out of the feed.
    Our rabbits mostly lived free range out back and the raccoons never got any of them. I did have one in a chain link chicken pen for a while and it didnt try digging out, but the bottom was 3/4 rock.
    A lot of folks put wire down and then cover it with dirt or rock.

  3. crystal

    crystal Hatching

    Apr 12, 2007
    Thanks! I think we'll put wire down and then dirt and then straw. I heard that rats can chew through chicken wire if its on the ground. A friend recommended metal lath (for stucco work) instead of chicken wire. I like your corrugated aluminum panels for the roof. We live in N. CA so the weather is really mild.

  4. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Songster

    Apr 11, 2007
    Galesburg, IL.
    Maybe you could try digging 8-12 inches into the ground and toe'ing out the fencing. I've even contemplated pouring some cement over the fencing that we toe out and then once the cement is dry, covering it back up with some dirt. At least that way no predator could dig through at least. Just a thought. Let us know what you end up doing. [​IMG]
  5. jimmyloulegend

    jimmyloulegend Hatching

    Aug 15, 2011
    I had no idea rats killed rabbits. That makes me dislike them even more. I'm couldn't tell you much about keeping them out of the hutch, but I do know of some rat control experts who know a thing or two about rats and rodent control in general. Good luck![​IMG]
  6. NCchicken

    NCchicken Songster

    Sep 8, 2010
    We have a rat problem. Ick! The rats we have can "fit" right through our chicken wire. Although some of them are getting so fat that they really have to squeeze themselves through me, I've gone out there at dusk and caught them off guard and watched before. I've tried rat traps, live traps, the pellet gun...they still keep on comin'. I remove the food each night and replace it back in the run each morning. I guess over all, I wouldn't mind the rats except for they carry diseases [​IMG]. So perhaps the stucco wiring you were talking about would work best. Oh and for us, it's not the rats that are nawing on our coop but those dang squirrels (don't even get me started on those nasty creatures! [​IMG]:rant:mad:).
  7. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    I used -this- for my run subfloor- there is also sand on top-

    "Veranda Lattice - White Privacy

    Veranda Lattice - White Privacy

    Vinyl Privacy Lattice Panels (1-Pack) help create a private area in your backyard. They're made of durable vinyl that's easy to install and maintain. "

    I used PVC type stuff so I put it in and forgot it.


    Here it is installed before the sand.

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