daytime vs. night pedators

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dftkarin, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. dftkarin

    dftkarin Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    If I have a very secure coop up off the ground with 1/2" hardware cloth at all the openings, that should protect my chickens from most night time predators, right? But for my daytime run, can I use fencing with bigger holes because the day time predators are the bigger ones - cats, dogs, birds of prey, etc? Is this correct? I have 4 chickens and live in the suburbs.
  2. mrs.67

    mrs.67 In the Brooder

    Jul 30, 2008
    Well I had 2 bad experiences in the daytime with a cat. The chicken wire hole was big enough for a cat to stick his paw in and snag one of my chicks across the back. It really tore his back up , Thank goodness after a few days he was fine. So we wised up and put boards across so the cat wouldn't be able to get to them. BUT..... one of the chicks found a spot where he could stick his head through the chicken wire and a cat bit it off. It was awful. If you are going to use a bigger wire maybe you can get a roll of screen (like we use on our windows) and put it across the pen just enough so nothing can get in or out. Goog Luck!
  3. AngelzFyre

    AngelzFyre Songster

    Sep 18, 2007
    Pell City, Alabama
    If you have the hardware cloth already, I sure would use it on the daytime run as well and not take a chance.
    I know around here we have seen coyotes and hawks during the daytime and I'm sure there are way more animals out there that would seize the opportunity if given half a chance.
    I've read so many things on this forum about things happening in broad daylight that I went and redid my own run with hardware cloth because I just didn't want to beat myself up over something I could have prevented. Hardware cloth is more expensive yes, but not nearly as much as loosing a beloved hen you spent all the time raising and getting attached to. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. pkeeler

    pkeeler Songster

    Jul 20, 2008
    It seems to me that chickens have a pretty good chance of evading day time predators if they are free range. Most coops are secure for nighttime. The real blood baths seem to be chickens in a day time run. If a predator gets in, there is nowhere for the chickens to run.

    Hardware cloth on a large run is very expensive. So is electric fencing (which is great against day time predators). I used chicken wire on top of rabbit fence. I didn't have any predation, but I only use it now and then for young chickens before they can free range.
  5. dftkarin

    dftkarin Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Quote:Interesting! That makes a lot of sense. So my 4 chickens might be safer free out in my yard than they would be enclosed in a run?
  6. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Quote:Interesting! That makes a lot of sense. So my 4 chickens might be safer free out in my yard than they would be enclosed in a run?

    No, then you risk predation from hawks and all kinds of ground dwelling preditors that wouldn't be able to get to them if they were in a secure run. Feral dogs and coyotes, as well as racoons are known for hunting in groups, quite often in the day time.

    They key is to make the run secure.
  7. pkeeler

    pkeeler Songster

    Jul 20, 2008
    Interesting! That makes a lot of sense. So my 4 chickens might be safer free out in my yard than they would be enclosed in a run?

    Depends on your yard really. Do you have cover? Another consideration is a rooster. I don't know if I would free range without a rooster. My limited experience watching chickens shows that hens basically are eating and not paying much attention. Roosters seem to be constantly watching things. They say that roosterless flocks have a hen that will do this though. But I don't think it is a given.

    Losses in truly free range flocks (just what I can read on the internet or in books), seem pretty small. With 4 birds, 1 loss is 25% though. A hardware cloth covered run is probably safer than free range. But it can be costly. With only 4 birds, a 40 sf run might not be too expensive.

    What does seem to be a problem is poorly protected runs.

    It depends on how much you value each bird (easily replaced livestock or pets), how much you are willing to spend, and what sorts of threats are around.

    With 4 birds, hardware cloth might be a reasonable expense. If I was going to go that route, I think I would go with a tractor type system than a fixed run. You could make a tractor maybe 20 sf, since it gets moved around more.​
  8. EngieKisses

    EngieKisses Songster

    Jul 10, 2008
    Collinsville, Oklahoma
    We have some 1 inch poultry fencing, but we use a radio on a talk show in the coop, and a dog that sleeps with one eye open outside of the coop day and night.
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    We have RIR's. We have several acres and have hawks, cayotes, racoons, foxes and possums around. A neighbor who has been letting their chickens free range, has lost several chickens during the daytime to cayotes that have come into their yard and snatch some of their chickens. Our coop and run are moveable. The run is covered with chicken wire also. We have a gate for access to a free range area. We had plastic chicken wire and made an area for them to range in. Now I'm using galvanized chicken wire and so far so good, no critters here. Here is a picture before we put up the galvanized chicken wire. Every night my girls go into the coop on their own.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
  10. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    We used the welded wire 6 foot up and then used chicken wire from the ground up 2 feet. Seems to make it pretty hard for any cat to get a hold of the chickens. We also buried wired under ground all around the coop.

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