coop/run predator proof ???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by katknapp, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. katknapp

    katknapp In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2007
    East Fishkill, NY
    Hi I'm very new to this chicken owning. My teenage boys (Tastes_Like_Chicken) got me into this.
    So far I've been able to "stalk" this website and find the answer to my questions. I wanted to run my idea by and see if it has any worth or if I'm just being too over protective as my boys are telling me.
    We have a very nice coop, thanks to PurpleChicken, that we had to do some minor changes to in order to fit the designated spot and the run is almost the chicks are 6 weeks old and need to get out of the dog crate. I want to make sure we haven't missed any week spots and put a dish of cat food out in the coop/run overnight to see if any animals are able to get in and eat it before we put the chickens in what do you think?
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Guess that's an idea.... I use catfood though to bait my traps... as it brings animals to your area. Not that the chickens wouldn't act like cat food. So I think its a good plan to see if there can be a forced break in, bar the usual mice and rats who can gobble feed up like there's no tomorrow.
  3. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Songster

    I think the cat food is a great idea! Very clever. [​IMG]
    Remind your boys that your 'over protectiveness' helped them to make it out of their boyhood alive and well....
  4. katknapp

    katknapp In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2007
    East Fishkill, NY
    Thanks for your replies...I think my boys feel badly that I am doubting their workmanship on the run/coop but it's more our collective inexperience that I'm questioning so I'm going to try it I figure what's the harm...I would really hate to wake up and find 8 dead chicks after all the work they have done.
  5. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    Good idea, I just wondering if your inviting predators to come check out the area and then they might come back periodically and check things out once the chicks are in it. But I guess if it is predator proof, you should be fine.

    Good luck with the chickens.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2007
  6. skatcatla

    skatcatla Songster

    Jun 26, 2007
    I think as long as you use hardware cloth on your run frame (so the holes are too small for rats and mice) and a door that raccoons can't open, you should probably be fine.

    My run is only 3 x 8 feet, so instead of burying the hardware cloth a foot under the soil, I simply bought a 4 x 10 foot length and put it under the whole thing, then tied it to the frame with little wire twists in a few places. That way I can unattach it and lift the whole thing off I need to, and yet nothing can dig under it. I covered the whole bottom in bark chips so the girls have something nice to walk on, and its super easy to clean..I just run a rake over it every couple of weeks.

    I also put a little combination lock on the door latch, because I never underestimate how well raccoons can manipulate doors and latches.

    Good luck!
  7. katknapp

    katknapp In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2007
    East Fishkill, NY
    Thanks for your comments, my boys think I'm crazy with what I think a raccoon is able to do. They have said that I think raccoons carry tools to unscrew parts of the coop....
    Anyway we did a combination of laying a piece of hardware cloth on the bottom and burying the sides...No-one got to the cat food so I think I feel a little better about the chicks going in there.

    New question: the chicks are 6 weeks old and we live in the northeast, how long should I keep a heat lamp in the coop?
  8. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Raccoons are good at getting in, and they can do a lot of damage. We predator proofed our barn last spring, but stil walk the perimeter and check it out every couple of days. Here we don't really have a problem with predators getting in during the winter...but come spring and they have babies, that's the worst time.

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