Coop flooring

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hannah9, May 19, 2010.

  1. hannah9

    hannah9 Out Of The Brooder

    May 4, 2010
    We have five chicks who will be moving to their new coop soon. We've just started the framing. Here is a picture ( of what I've asked DH to build , except ours will be 4X10.

    We live in the city on a small lot so the hens will be confined a good portion of the day. There are also a lot of raccoons and opossum's here. We were planning to bury hardwire cloth down about 1' around the perimeter of the run. Do you think the coons can still get in? Should we put some sort of wire flooring in the run portion. I was planning to leave the hen house door open most of the time so they could get to the run part, especially since it's all closed in.

    I'm already attached to the chicks and can't imagine how horrible it would be to lose them all to a predator in one swoop.
  2. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    VERY NICE [​IMG] Congratulations on your resolve to protect your girls from predators. I think you would be wise to put an apron of wire out maybe 2 feet around the base and maybe set potted plants or some other weighted object to prevent some thing from digging under. Welcome to this addiction, you have come to the right place to learn . [​IMG]
  3. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    2 peices of advice.

    1. Its been my experiance that if you close & lock your chickens up at night the coon's can't get to them even if they get into the run. Keep in mind I said lock. Coons will try the door & will continue to try the door until they figure it out. So a good lock will go a long way.

    2. You don't really need to bury the wire under the ground. Do like Phil said & lay about 12 to 24 inches of chicken wire or hardware cloth flat on the ground completely around the run the diggers cant figure it out. They always dig at the bottom of the fence & don't know to back up a couple of feet. In fact - you should have this wire extend up the side of the run at least 6 inches. You don't need to bury any of this. The gras will quickly grow through this & hide it from view. Oh -& use galvanized wire or it will rust away in a year.
  4. hannah9

    hannah9 Out Of The Brooder

    May 4, 2010
    Those darn raccoons. I will start looking for some locks to put on the doors. Thanks for the info about laying the hardwire rather than burying - will be much easier for us. I guess we will plan to leave the run floor open then.
  5. my3jsons

    my3jsons Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2010
    Living in the country we have our fair share of wildlife including racoons, foxes, coyotes, etc. Instead of locks, we use spring pins that can be bought at the local Ace Hardware. They require thumbs to open making it virtually impossible for racoons. Here is a pic.
    I have some other pics on my page. That looks like a great coop! Have fun building it and enjoy your chicks.
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  6. BankerJohn

    BankerJohn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Lecanto, Florida
    Rather than digging a wire apron, have you considered lining & attaching hardware cloth to the bottom. Then, you could let the chickens eat the grass through the wire. Once the grass is gone, add a few inches of sand to make the floor of the run very easy to clean. Now, with complete perimeter hardware cloth, the pen 'should' be like Ft. Knox and much more predator resistant.

    Consider a sand floor in the run. You will not be disappointed.
  7. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Quote:I have found that this is true in my situation as well. I know that some folks don't close/lock up the girls at night, but I have enough time/love invested here that I don't want to lose them. I go out every evening, check their food and water, give them a treat and close/lock their doors. I'm quite confident that if I had the pop door open all night, a raccoon would have tested my run by now. It's just too tempting. With the door closed and locked, they seem to leave the coop alone.

    I use luggage locks purchased at Target. They came in a 4 pack with 4 keys, all keyed exactly the same. I have one on the pop door and one on the people door. I hang a key on the frame next to each door. If one gets lost (which hasn't happened in two years), I have two more in the kitchen drawer.

    As far as the wire burying, I decided to go this route because I wanted the security and preferred the way it looked. I didn't want the risk of an apron corner getting turned up and then having one of the kids trip on it and cut themselves or whatever. I've only had one critter dig into the run, and whatever it was (I'm guessing mole), it went all the way under the hardware wire. All I saw was the hole in the morning and the critter never came back.

    I don't know if I'd put wire across the bottom. My chickens like access to the dirt. They dig -- a lot -- and for some reason they seem to like doing it along the perimeter of their run (which is another great reason to have the buried wire).

    Hope this helps - cc
  8. hannah9

    hannah9 Out Of The Brooder

    May 4, 2010
    Thanks for all the advice! I just looked at the chicks this morning and they are growing so fast and already trying to fly out of the brooder. [​IMG] I've heard so many horror stories of losing chickens to raccoons or a neighbor's dog and I am way too attached to the chicks. I like the idea of the sand floor. DH has agreed to use a 1-2' apron but to bury it a little so it won't impede the lawnmower, etc... After reading all the posts here it seems like the apron is a good option and will stop any raccoons. Plus, we will use those spring pins.

    I would love to lock them in the house each night, but some nights I may not be able to get to them before dark, due to my work/school schedule. Maybe I can convince DH to lock in the hens at night for me or to buy one of those auto door timers. [​IMG] Either way, I'd like to have the coop house and run "secured" against all four-footed predators. Thanks for chiming in with your thoughts/advice, it really helps. This is my first time raising chickens and so far I absolutely love it.

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