Converting an old shed into a large coop, security questions

justleslie

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
13
3
31
Hello all! I'm preparing to move my two month old chicks and ducks to their outside home. I've worked extensively on an old (I mean OLD) shed, converting it into a coop with a secure, covered run (lots of dogs, raccoons, foxes, and snakes in the area). Because I've been doing it by myself on a limited budget I am improvising a lot. My main questions are:

1)Should I run a few inches of hardware cloth along the floor to discourage predators from tearing or slipping through the older wood on the outside? I've filled every hole I can find with bug repelling foam sealant. See pictures.


2)How can I secure my doors? Because of the age of the building and my limited funds, my $20 screen doors are not flush with the doorways. How can I keep things out? Is their a particular hinge or lock I should buy? I'm afraid if I put hardware cloth in the doorways my kids may get cut by it, etc. I am putting 1/4 hardware cloth on the doors and run. I really need the ventilation for our hot and humid Tennessee summers.

Thank you so much, and any other tips are appreciated!




 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
650
336
Central Oregon
I doubt that spray foam will be any deterrent to digging predators...raccoons and foxes in particular. I would definitely use 1/2" hardware cloth around the perimeter of the shed itself, say about a foot or so up the sides, and then down in the ground and out at an angle at least a foot. Wishing you all the best!!
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,538
13,033
707
Southeast Louisiana
A trick to keep the sharp edges of hardware cloth from cutting you is to cover the edges. Use wood maybe ½” to ¾” thick and wide enough to cover the edges of the wire. Drill pilot holes so you don’t split the wood and put screws through holes in the hardware cloth. If you clamp that down a bit by tightening the screws but not splitting the wood, that hardware cloth is really secure and the sharp edges are covered. I do this wherever I use hardware cloth. Fender washers with screws can secure it too but they don’t cover the edges.

If your roll of hardware sloth is not wide enough to cover the entire door, you may need to put a strip of wood vertically in the middle to give you something to attach to. You may have to remove and replace that handle.

I don’t know how that door is not fitting flush. Screen doors can be kind of flimsy. If you attach the hardware cloth as I mentioned that will greatly stiffen the door but that probably won’t solve the flush problem. Where you can, maybe make the strips holding on the hardware cloth wider than the door itself so it forms a lip that may help seal it. You can’t do that on the hinge side or you can’t open the door. Or try putting shims in the door frame or wherever the cracks are. I’d have to be there looking at it to get real specific on a way to fix it. I would not depend on foam.

I did not use a prefab door but built my door frames and doors myself from reasonably heavy wood. Getting things square and to fit properly can be a real challenge. A little diagonal bracing in the door itself can go a long way to keep it from sagging and changing shape. If you can attach that hardware cloth to the door it will go a long way toward stiffening the door and stop it sagging.
 

ken-t

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jan 6, 2013
47
4
23
A round the door I would place a 2x4 or better a 2x6 (PT if possible) across the bottom (lag bolt it to something solid) then frame in around the door with 2x4s. leave a1/4" gap between the door and framing. I would bolt the frame to the wall for strength. around the inside where you have openings I would take the time to cut wood to fill the holes around the floor you can use scrap or wood off old pallets. they make a foam for pest. but it wont keep out bigger animals like raccoons.
 

justleslie

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
13
3
31
Thank you all for the info! What kind of a door lock should I get? I was thinking maybe 2 latches to discourage crafty raccoons but I'm not sure what kind would be best for the door that isn't flush.
 

Onlyducks

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
332
30
93
I don't have this much trouble with raccoons and foxes, but when looking at a door latch/lock to keep out such critters, would a heavy hasp and a padlock work? You'd have to carry a key to open it each day, but I can't picture any critter managing to open the lock. It can somewhat be adapted for the lack of flush in the door. It's best to get the door as flush as possible before adding the lock.
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
650
336
Central Oregon
Thank you all for the info! What kind of a door lock should I get? I was thinking maybe 2 latches to discourage crafty raccoons but I'm not sure what kind would be best for the door that isn't flush.
I'm going to use a latch top and bottom...a hassle, yes, but much more secure. Think I'll place them 24" from the bottom and 24" from the top....
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top Bottom