Redroof newbie

In the Brooder
Jul 6, 2020
8
31
31
We had 2 chicks (3.5 months old) get snatched in the middle of the day on Thursday and couldn't figure out what happened. Then yesterday my oldest came screaming, the emergency kind, to come quick. My poor child witnessed the neighbor's dog kill her chick!
Turns out the dog somehow broke some chicken wire of our run and made a hole to get to them! After the free ranging ones were taken I stopped letting them free range. We started with 6 and now only have 1 remaining Silkie. I don't know how to repair and reinforce the run against this kind of problem.
Thankfully the neighbor is apologetic and willing to pay. It is believed their recent construction may have damaged their invisible fencing, allowing the large dog freedom to roam into our yard. We spent so much for the chicks and dna testing for hens only. Now I'm considering a different breed.
How do you protect chickens from country dogs in the absence of physical fencing!?
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
21,320
32,387
1,036
southern Michigan
Welcome!
I'm so sorry for your losses. Most of us started with chickens, and totally unrealistic understandings about what it takes to keep them safely housed. Us too!
Everyone likes chicken! Predators range from weasels and rats to big dogs and bears, so be ready, and build better.
For bears, only electric fencing works. if you don't live in bear country, your largest problem will be those two big dogs. Most of us in the USA also deal with raccoons, foxes, opossums, coyotes, sometimes bobcats, and then owls, hawks, and rarely eagles.
Chicken wire is an abomination!!! It keeps birds in, and no predator out. A total waste of time and money.
Your coop must be dig proof, and have no openings larger than 1/2" diameter anywhere, so hardware cloth, well secured, at least.
If your coop and run are built like Ft. Knox, great. If the budget doesn't stretch that far, start with a very secure coop, a fairly safe run, and make sure everyone in locked in every night.
This includes locks on all doors and openings, not simple latches!
Mary
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
12 Years
Nov 18, 2007
23,678
14,530
641
Florida
My Coop
:frow :welcome So sorry for you losses. I have nice large pens for my birds. I use welded wire and chicken wire. More cost effective for me because I have a lot of pens. I also have the pens covered with heavy duty netting, concrete under the pens gates and electric wires around the coops and pens, all due to losses from predators in the past. Good luck...
IMG_20200428_102816.jpg

I use spring hook latches and so far nothing has messed with them.
SpringHookSpringLatch.jpg
 

Eddie the Yeti

In the Brooder
Jul 6, 2020
24
61
46
Sorry for the loss and for your kid having to see it the advice you have already gotten is good but you can get by a little cheaper if you use a shed kit, 2x4s and put welded wire instead of paneling on the sides, I am attaching a pic of my set up. it has kept me from ever losing a chicken to the many predators we have here. The bottom is plywood (it is now covered with river rock too just for extra strength and aesthetics)and there is a 2 ft deep dig guard made from old above ground pool sides. the only problem is they cant really free range but I am thinking of building a tractor for next year to get them out a little more. bottom line, chickens in the yard will bring predators and if they are unprotected you will lose some.
8 chicken house side.png
 

Redroof newbie

In the Brooder
Jul 6, 2020
8
31
31
Welcome!
I'm so sorry for your losses. Most of us started with chickens, and totally unrealistic understandings about what it takes to keep them safely housed. Us too!
Everyone likes chicken! Predators range from weasels and rats to big dogs and bears, so be ready, and build better.
For bears, only electric fencing works. if you don't live in bear country, your largest problem will be those two big dogs. Most of us in the USA also deal with raccoons, foxes, opossums, coyotes, sometimes bobcats, and then owls, hawks, and rarely eagles.
Chicken wire is an abomination!!! It keeps birds in, and no predator out. A total waste of time and money.
Your coop must be dig proof, and have no openings larger than 1/2" diameter anywhere, so hardware cloth, well secured, at least.
If your coop and run are built like Ft. Knox, great. If the budget doesn't stretch that far, start with a very secure coop, a fairly safe run, and make sure everyone in locked in every night.
This includes locks on all doors and openings, not simple latches!
Mary
Such a surprise learning curve! Turns out the invisible fencing next door was damaged so we were paid back the cost of our chickens and ordered some chicks. Thankfully not in bear country. We have decided to cover the chicken wire with the tougher stuff we put on the top of the run. Discouraging that daytime free ranging may not be quite what we had hoped.
Thanks for the advice.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
21,320
32,387
1,036
southern Michigan
Again, so sorry for your losses.
Glad the neighbors stepped up as they should, doing right.
Our own dog attack here happened when our IF died unexpectedly, and one of our dogs dug under the 'real' fence to get the chickens.
Mary
 
May 22, 2020
391
493
93
Texas
We had 2 chicks (3.5 months old) get snatched in the middle of the day on Thursday and couldn't figure out what happened. Then yesterday my oldest came screaming, the emergency kind, to come quick. My poor child witnessed the neighbor's dog kill her chick!
Turns out the dog somehow broke some chicken wire of our run and made a hole to get to them! After the free ranging ones were taken I stopped letting them free range. We started with 6 and now only have 1 remaining Silkie. I don't know how to repair and reinforce the run against this kind of problem.
Thankfully the neighbor is apologetic and willing to pay. It is believed their recent construction may have damaged their invisible fencing, allowing the large dog freedom to roam into our yard. We spent so much for the chicks and dna testing for hens only. Now I'm considering a different breed.
How do you protect chickens from country dogs in the absence of physical fencing!?
We have a situation also in the country and neighboring acreage let their dogs just roam. We used hardware cloth, followed by welded wire fencing. Made a skirt on the ground as well of welded wire and covered it with dirt. Next project rocks on top of this. One more note, outside city limits, chickens are livestock. Dogs are not allowed to attack livestock, you can legally do what you feel is right when a predator enters your property. Have the sheriff let your neighbor know this. Ours magically started controlling their pitbull. 👍
 
May 22, 2020
391
493
93
Texas
I should have worded that differently. But yeah they are livestock everywhere, period. Laws are messed up here. If a dog attacks a human, you can't legally "handle it by any means necessary" but if it's attacking ANY livestock you can.
 

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