Coop Preparation & Special Precautions in Raccoon-Dense Area

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Zewlie, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. Zewlie

    Zewlie Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 21, 2012
    Greenwich, CT
    Hey, all -

    I've got some chicks brooding now and my dad is visiting very shortly to help me construct a coop! The current plan is to build a structure *inside* of a chain-link dog run (something similar to this, but with a roof).

    Dad's kept chickens for many years and has built several coops, but he's used to dealing with coyotes - not raccoons. On the few occasions when he's had to deal with them, they have done some very, very unfortunate things to his chickens.

    The area where I live has a massive raccoon population. I'm planning to trap any that I can, but I obviously want to prevent them from getting inside the coop. So far my plan is just to make sure that the chain-link is firmly secured along all sides (especially around the top (connection to roof) and bottom (connection to ground/base), get a combination lock for the gate/door, and put a foot of hardware mesh around the base (similar to what eglu runs have).

    Does anyone have any additional ideas and/or concerns with my plan?
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Everyone's situation is somewhat unique.
    Remember that raccoons can and will reach through chainlink, and grab birds.
    They also can & do come out in the daytime.
    I have not had a problem with them either trying or getting through chainlink.
    Sometimes with new chainlink the soft wire used to attach the fence to the frame is sparse and/or not secure.
    And I have had a possum lay on it's back and wiggle through the rounded corner on gates.
    Both easy fixs. The soft wire is cheap, and easy to use.
    For the corners I do this.
    FYI- this is not a run gate, the barrier is to keep the chickens in, but let my cats get under.

  3. florida lee

    florida lee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2011
    Don't forget Raccoons are excellent don't forget the top.
    I would go 18 inches to 24 inches on hardware cloth along the bottom of the run. They have a pretty good reach with their arms/leg with hands.
    We are loaded with Raccoons here in Florida.
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Two words- electric fence. Worth it's weight in gold.

    Good luck.
  5. Travelin Chicks

    Travelin Chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2012
    Not sure if anyone else has tried them for night predators, but I have 4 of the Nite guard solar lights, one on each corner of our coop and have had absolutely no problems with any predators (except neighbors dog during the day).....yes, I think the coop is pretty secure and they are in at dark but we are in an area with coons, coyotes and possum everywhere and I swear it has been going on 5 months and have not lost a bird yet!! Might be worth a try...Geri
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    If racoon presence high, then do not rely on a single barrier. Chain link fence with strong wire top is your excellent starting point. Generally raccoons are not a threat during daylight since chickens can simply walk out of raccoons reach. While roosting, raccoons are a threat so make certain they are roosting at least 12" from sides of fencing. The electric fencing is not a bad idea. A 45-lb or larger dog roaming entire perimeter of pen does same thing as fence. For me, raccoons are often visiting first for chicken feed then chicken so try to control how much attractant is present when sun goes done.

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