critterproofing?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by pupomat, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. pupomat

    pupomat New Egg

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    Nov 17, 2008
    I lost 4 of my 8 chickens lastnight or early this morning and have a 5th one that is walking around but obviously injured, and I guess time will tell. I am both sad and angry right now! The predator (I'm guessing coyote) dug under fence to the chicken run. I've filled the hole and lined the perimeter of the fence with cinder blocks that I had sitting around. I know that the predator will be back so for starters I guess I'm looking for ideas on a more permenant solution. I've tried the electric fence but the grass grows up and grounds the wire so it's lot's of maintenance and daily testing.

    Secondly I've been considering moving my coope to give my girls freerange of my fenced fruit orchard although that gives me much more fence tor try to predator proof, I'm wondeing if the 1500 square feet of free range area would give them more room to get away in the event of intrusion or if I should just concentrate on fortifying their existing chicken run (about 100 square feet)

    I've always just left the coope door open for them to come and go as they please but will now be shutting them in at night but I've alsow seen coyotes on my property in broad daylight.

    Any suggestions are appreciated.
     
  2. sandypaws

    sandypaws Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 12, 2008
    desert of calif
    sorry about the lost chickens...
    what KIND of fence do you have???
    i have a 6foot chain link fence around my 2 acers.. i have lined the top and bottom with 2 strands of hotwire.. i have not lost a chciken to coyote, fox, bobcat, neighbor dog since..
    but where i live we normally dont have opposum and raccoon.. and very few skunk...

    even if they free range during the day,, you still need to lock them in at night..
     
  3. pupomat

    pupomat New Egg

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    Nov 17, 2008
    My fence is standard welded wire field fence 6' tall with 2x4 squars. the fence was not damaged at all just dug under. After reading the recent post on predator identification I believe I can rule out racoons, but there were no missing birds either whch leads away from coyotes. But who knows?
     
  4. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    [​IMG] Welcome to BYC!! [​IMG]

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your chickens.

    If you go to the Forum and click on "Coops and Run Construction", you will find lots of discussion of ways to keep predators out. Go to: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewforum.php?id=9

    Many
    owners run hardware cloth down 6 to 12 inches outside the run and then 6 inches out ("L" shape) so that anything that digs runs into the wire. Others place pavers or large rocks on top of that.

    Good Luck

    Cindy
     
  5. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    First--lock them up in the coop at dusk. Do you have a strong coop with a solid floor? Make sure nothing can open a latch (carribeaners, locks, etc...) or squeeze through a 3" opening. Whatever it was will definitely be back!

    Second--The 100' run should have skirting around it (2' out), or dug into the ground. Use a smaller wire to 2' up, like hardware cloth, so nothing can reach through and grab them. This should be safe during daylight hours. (and wire over the top)

    Third--the larger fenced area could be used when you are around during the day and can keep an eye on things, or if you can figure out a hotwire systen that works.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  6. pupomat

    pupomat New Egg

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    Nov 17, 2008
    I got some time this afternoon and laid a bunch of old 2 by 12 boards all the way around my coop and weighted them down with cinder blocks and anything else heavy I can find around. I figure this will not only make my predator work alot harder than to dig just a few inches and stretch my fence but also allowed me to get my electric fence charger hooked back up. I also got me remaining girls in the coop and locked them in for the night.

    I'm considering moving my coop to a new location next to my goat house and run and building a new chicken run from below ground up. Not only are there lights that cover that area but I'm also thinking that the motion and noise of the goats may help predators such as my presumed coyote at bay. The goats are about 80#'s each.

    Any thoughts?
     
  7. Padre

    Padre Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 28, 2008
    Lebanon, TN
    I gave this advice in another thread, but I think it fits here as well. Do you have a dog? I would take him out on a leash and let him mark his boundries at least a couple time a week. This will do at least two things. It will let the other preditors around know he has claimed the area for his own and give you and the dog some exercise. Hope this helps.
     

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