Do chickens peck plastic sheet/tarps?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pookieslw, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. pookieslw

    pookieslw Out Of The Brooder

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    Just ordered a Farmtek hoop building. Has polyproplene cover - so not really plastic sheet, but close. Ends will be chicken wire.

    We are intending to use it for their winter snow free run (live in syracuse, ny).

    Do I need to run some chicken wire around the inside of the base so they don't peck the fabric and destroy it?
     
  2. bruinfan

    bruinfan Out Of The Brooder

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    They won't peck the plastic per se, but if there's an insect crawling on it they will. I have a hoop greenhouse and I let the chickens in there to fertilize the soil. You would be surprised how many insects are in there even in the winter. On sunny days my greenhouse( 15 x 10 ) gets into the low 60's even when it's 30 outside. I have raised beds, and I put scratch and feed in there and that keeps them pretty busy. Going on 2 years and no tears or peck holes yet! In short if you can keep them away from the sides you would be better off.
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have any daytime predators (e.g., dogs) to contend with? A dog could easily rip through plastic to get at your chickens.
     
  4. pookieslw

    pookieslw Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks all -

    And thank you for commenting on daytime predators. We have our own dog who is very good about the chickens and have yet to see another dog anywhere in the vicinity. I have been thinking about predators and this thing. They will be in a very secure coop at night. This spring and summer they were in an electric net fence during the day. Nothing, to my knowledge, has tested the electric fence yet, day or night. We can't put up the electric fence outside in the winter [1) it would be knee deep in snow and 2) it's got a solar charger and we don't get much sun here in the winter.]

    Are there any other common daytime ground predators besides dogs? We are out in farm country - upstate NY.
     
  5. Schultz

    Schultz CluckN'Crow Farm

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    Yes! Yes they will! Mine did. I left the plastic on the side of my run after the winter was over and they pecked a Big part of it away. Crazy chickens! They only pecked what they could get to through the 1" hardware cloth that the front door had over it. The part they couldn't get to has welded wire fencing then two layers of 1/2" chicken wire then the plastic.
    Hope that is helpful to you!
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  6. gingernutranger

    gingernutranger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did you buy the polyproplene cover through farmtek too. I was thinking about building one after I move and split the coop into smaller sections with pvc pipe & wire but couldn't find a decent cover. If so could you post a link. Thanks
     
  7. pookieslw

    pookieslw Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2010
  8. Tdub4chiks

    Tdub4chiks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pookie, I live just north of Syracuse. I've seen fox in my woods and on the road at 2pm all summer. There was a hawk above my coop last week. I also had a raccoon on my bird feeder not too long ago. I think security is very important around here. Good luck.
     
  9. pookieslw

    pookieslw Out Of The Brooder

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    tdub4 -

    We definitely have a hawk around - my son created a network of baling twine from a very tall pole in the middle of the pen out to fence posts on the sides - looks like a cross between a circus tent and a spider's web. Very swamp yankee [​IMG] So far it seems to have worked well, haven't seen the hawk really think hard about it yet. Our multitude of roosters (most going into pot this weekend I hope) all make sure everyone gets under the house when the hawk's around.

    We have lots of deer - they go near the chickens:) - and groundhogs, rabbits and skunks. I've only seen a fox once, on the trail cam, far from the house. We have once had raccoon prints on the garbage can (happily unsuccessful ones), but nobody has been spreading the compost pile around. Lots of our closer little critters have moved out since we got our dog. She's out much of the day and loves her chickens and the snow. So I'm really hoping that we don't have a problem. I know that there are many things unseen lurking in the woods though. Was treated to a coyote chorus last night (once every 4 months or so).

    Most of the farmers we know around here keep the chickens out in the pasture in the summer and then park the tractor in the barn during the winter. We had one family close to us who didn't even use electric fence. They have since moved about 7 miles away, kept the same arrangement (tractor out in field, no electric net) and then lost all their hens, one by one to a very bold fox who would make off with them within sight and shouting distance of people. There are a couple roosters left who now hang around the barns - smart ones [​IMG]

    But thank you for the warning. I will keep the heads up around the yard as we move into the new situation. I will even keep the electric fence around the whole shebang until the snow gets going. I am considering putting up a single electric wire somehow, but not sure how to do it - need to remind myself what winter looks like where the chickens are parked.

    Take care and enjoy the fall - when you say North of Syr I assume you will be drowning in snow!
     
  10. Tdub4chiks

    Tdub4chiks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yeah, I'll be getting my snorkle out of storage...lol
     

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