Does my pen need a cover

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by laverne34, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. laverne34

    laverne34 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 5, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    I have a new pen for my chickens 20'x25' it's 7' tall and very sturdy. The top is open and I'm debating about how to cover it. There are 3 trees in the middle of the pen that don't really give too much protection at this point. I live in Tucson, AZ and the worst predators here are bobcats, coyotes, harris hawks, owls, and mountain lions. I was thinking about some sort of netting over the top (something that could go over the trees too). My old coop is very small and secure but want I wanted them to have more space and I also want to add more hens...I only have 4 hens right now. I'd appreciate any advice. I put my girls in it today for the first time and they loved it! I only let them in there a couple hours though...I'm too nervous about the top being open.
  2. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
    I have one tree in the corner of my pen and was able to stretch the poultry net around the trunk. The hawks seem to have lost interest in my flock since installing the net .
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Bobcats could probably climb over the top, Tucsontofu, (now TT) just had a hawk get one of her youngsters this past week.

    Coyotes can jump right over a 6 ft fence but I don't think they could get over a 7 footer.

    I'd look for some netting to keep the hawks and owls at bay or criss cross the pen with fishing line. Owls and hawks won't go down into an area where they could get caught up.
  4. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    I put up a heavy duty netting over my chicken pen. It's been working great so far, no more losses to hawks. [​IMG]
  5. laverne34

    laverne34 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 5, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    Thanks so much...I'm going to need to figure out which type of netting will work best. Will the netting prevent a bobcat from climbing in??
  6. TomG

    TomG Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2010
    Lake Oswego
    I was out in the rain today stringy out poultry netting (2" mesh chicken wire) over rest of the top of the run. I had one bird that would fly the coop. I stretched heavy fence wire from side to side and fastened the chicken wire on top of it. I pulled everything tight and fastened with fence clips. I did this a few months ago to some of the run and it worked well, so I finished the rest of the run today. Wet, but worry free.
  7. MamaChic21

    MamaChic21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2010
    Jackson, NJ
    I would say definately you need a cover if you want your chickens to stay safe and for you to stop worring if something might or could get in. My run is covered but I still look if something got in (God forbid). Here is a link to a closed run but if you don't want to cover it from rain, you can simply make it flat on top and put poles in the run to support the top. Good luck [​IMG]
  8. cozycrestmom

    cozycrestmom Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 18, 2010
    Our run is made of chain link fencing around.. We have chicken wire across the top. It wasn't too hard to do it and I think it was about $50.00 to do it...
    Good luck
  9. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Don't mean to highjack your thread, but folks does that bird netting actually keep large pedators like bobcats, mt. Lions, and coyotes out?

    If we use hardware cloth to keep the raccoons and possums out, what's stopping them from just ripping away at the netting?

    Not meaning to be a smart arse, I just don't get it.
  10. farmer_lew

    farmer_lew Hi-Tech Redneck

    Jun 29, 2010
    In the hills
    If you have predators [​IMG] in your area, then covering [​IMG] the run is mandatory! You can use bird netting or hardware cloth. The bird netting will probably be more cost effective and will deter flying predators. The four-leggeds, however, are heavier and stronger and could get through it, if they can get to the top.

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