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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by permacultureNOLA, Apr 4, 2009.
New Chickens did well
This is NOT pred proof. Not in daytime either but less of an issue where you're located except for a determined dog. Is the run covered with deer netting or other? (hawks). If you can make the coop itself pred proof, while still providing necessary ventilation, that will work. Or make the entire "compound" pred proof if you're not going to close the coop up. You'll find lots of info about pred proofing on this site.
chickens doing well overall
Leaving your coop open at night is just asking for trouble. Adding ventilation is not rocket science and could be easily accomplished by a removable board or wood square with chicken wire covering the hole.
Honestly if the coop has to be open to provide ventilation its not really a coop worth using.
Chicken wire is made to keep chickens in, it won't keep anything out.
Consider replacing the chicken wire with hardware cloth instead.
I would strongly recommend shutting them securely into the coop at night... while it is fairly easy to Fort Knox-ify a coop, it is extremely difficult to really predatorproof a run. And you don't usually discover in what way(s) your run is vulnerable until you have dead chickens; and then you have much more motivated predators to compound the problem. Browse 'just lost half my chickens' type threads in the Predators and Pests section of BYC and you will see what I mean.
Cut some large holes (like something on the order of 1 sq ft per chicken), cover them with hardwarecloth to keep predators out, and if you get cold winters make some flaps to cover the vents when some of them need to be shut down. Then the chickens will have plenty of ventilation (24/7/365, which they need) AND they will be safe at night.
I have a page with some further discussion of the subject of ventilation; see the link below in my .sig
Good luck, have fun,
Thanks for all the sincere and helpful posts.
You are right to think about opposums. It's funny about raccoons- I never saw one in my whole life, not even road kill, until I built a pond. Boy am I glad I only lost fish and not chickens! (Didn't have chickens yet.)
It's likely that there are raccoons in your neighborhood too, they are just more wiley and there are fewer of them.
In my coop, I put one window in the coop with 1/4 inch hardware cloth and I made the pophole door out of hardware cloth with a wood frame. I also drilled ventilation holes at the top and covered them with hardware cloth. I think the round holes look especially cute.
If you lock them in at night, you should have few worries. It sounds like your run is safe for the day time since your yard is fenced.
Chickens are well...
Beautiful coop! I love the wooden window, and the color of the wood. It is really a wonderful set-up. Your coop looks very secure.
Are those Delawares? They are very attractive birds. I have a Columbian Wyandotte that is a similar color, and she is my favorite.