Do you think my barn is predator proof enough?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by SusanSophia, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. SusanSophia

    SusanSophia New Egg

    Sep 4, 2009
    I have an outbuilding that was used for goats and I have converted it for chickens. It was built so that under the eaves it is open about 6 inches or more for ventilation I guess (we did not build it). Do I need to worry that a raccoon would find its way up the side of the building and crawl in under the eaves. I have 100 chicks in there.
    Will a raccoon dig under the door?(it's a dirt floor)
    Hope to hear your input soon! Thank you.
    We don't often see raccoon because we have a big dog. I'm thinking I should leave the dog outside at night.
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Six inches is a big gap. I would put hardware cloth up there and make sure to attach it REALLY well. Raccoons are strong little suckers.

    I'm not sure about raccoons digging, but other animals will dig under.

    A good dog outside at night will definitely go a LONG way toward deterring predators at night time.
  3. Bizzybirdy

    Bizzybirdy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2008
    North of Nashville
    >>Do I need to worry that a raccoon would find its way up the side of the building and crawl in under the eaves.<<

    Absolutely...especially with all those chicks. Racoons will clean you out in short order! Close up that space with hardware cloth as mentioned or board it up, racoons are adept climbers and horrible killers. They also dig and can gain access from trees.

    Best thing I have found to keep racoons and other predators away is running a hot wire or two, the first one about 6" from the ground, the next a little higher.

    Another weird thing I have done is to put a very thin (so the doors will still open and close) piece of plywood under my doors, like sticking out about 2' inside and out. Once a racoon tried to dig under one of the doors but gave up...he couldn't dig up or around the wood. lol

    Good luck with your chicks? What kinds are they?
  4. jwchicklady

    jwchicklady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2009
    Howell, MI
    I have dirt floors too, and we put a board under the door also. So when a creature tries to dig he is stopped by the board.
  5. NancyDz

    NancyDz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Dutch Flat, CA
    Growing up we had a coop with a 6 inch space like that and a raccoon was definitely able to get in. Cover it with hardware cloth for sure.

  6. SusanSophia

    SusanSophia New Egg

    Sep 4, 2009
    Well, I remeasured the space and it is actually 4 inches (2x4 space), but I'm pretty nervous about the night with those chicks and it's too late to do much now. 4 inches would be tough but not for smaller coons I guess. So for tonight the dog stays out.

    We had goats in there and ducks and 2 years ago, chicks. But I think with the goats maybe the coons wouldn't try to get in. At that time we only had a 1/2 door as well.

    Like I said we rarely see them because of the dog but he usually comes in at night...not tonight. [​IMG]
    Thanks for the help.
  7. mikesbigroo

    mikesbigroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2009
    coons dug under my barn and snatched a pullet, crafty animals, i used landscape timbers inside and out around the perimeter, it solved the problem
  8. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Use this as a guide: Rats and weasels need less than a 1" square opening to gain access...
  9. mdbokc

    mdbokc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    Here is how I handled the 4" opening at the wall joists and the bottom of the roof decking. I fastened the hardwire cloth for ventilation and predator protection. In the colder months, I can close it off as desired using 2x4 cut to length and pressed into the opening.



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