Dog Kennel for Chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by hpines, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. hpines

    hpines New Egg

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    Oct 24, 2014
    I have a large dog kennel, about 15x20 with 8' tall fencing. It has two parallel gates so's the animals don't go running away as soon as you open the door. It has an open top. I've kept my lil pygmys in there, but they're going to a new home soon, and I'm going to get some chickens.

    My question is, what should I do to help reinforce the area for chickens? I've already planned on renovating the goat house for them, and it has a wood floor so the chickens can roost at night without worry of predators. Do I really have to cover the ENTIRE thing with chicken wire?
     
  2. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northwest Hills of CT
    Welcome to BYC! You don't say what kind of fencing the dog pen is made of, but I am guessing it is chain link fence. Chain link is a soft metal fence, and not considered 100% secure. Large dogs have been known to chew through it to get out.

    You don't mention what part of the country you live in, or if it is country, city etc, and all of this comes into play in planning the design of a coop. Chicken wire is good for keeping chickens in, but will not keep out many predators. Raccoons, coyotes, dogs can all rip through it without much difficulty. A stronger fence solution would be 1/2" hardware wire. This is a welded fence with 1/2" squares. Anything larger in size can allow predators to reach in and grab chickens, and you would be surprised at what can fit thought a 2" opening in chain link fence.

    Since the pen is good size, you can fit a nice coop inside, and this will certainly go a long way in keeping the chickens safe at night.

    Good luck, and welcome to the world of raising chickens!
     
  3. hpines

    hpines New Egg

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    Oct 24, 2014
    You're correct, it is chain link, and I did some measuring and it's actually 20x25, so it's very large. The house inside has a door and locks up tight, so I'm not concerned about nighttime predators. I'm mainly just worried about hawks and the fact that we live on a busy road.

    It's a rural area in NW Washington, we live in a very hilly area. It rains a lot, so I thought maybe just cover the entire thing with a tarp, like my friend does.

    But I'm home all day, and the coop would be right next to my house, we live on about 2 acres. I would free range them, but that road is super busy, and I'm iffy about all the hawks and eagles.
     
  4. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sunny side up :)
    I have a few large dog kennel/chain link fences for some of my chicken pens. I love them. I have coops attached and the chickens are locked in the coops at night. I never ever leave chickens out in the pen at night. A left out chicken is a dead chicken around here. Something always seems to find a way in. I even had to put metal roofs on the chicken coops because a racoon had chewed through 1/2 inch plywood two different times right through the roof and roofing on a couple coops. I use hardware cloth framed on the inside for windows.

    You can use shade cloth for your run if you can't do the wire over the top. You can get it at Lowes or H. Depo. Sometimes if you can't get the right amount you can stitch a couple together. I have one run that is really more rectangular so I did this.
    Then use sturdy zip ties to fasten it to the poles on top of the chain link.
    I have used the shadecloth on the run tops since I keep our birds in their coop at night. It keeps the hawks out during the day and gives them some shade. I like the shadecloth better than tarps because the tarps get too heavy with rain and end up falling in. So far it has lasted 5 yrs in the FL sun. I think next yr I may need to replace it. No tears or anything...it just is starting to look kind of ratty lol.

    This is the brand I bought. I have seen it on the roll sold by the yard at a few stores
    http://www.homedepot.com/b/Outdoors-Garden-Center-Landscaping-Shade-Cloths/N-5yc1vZbx4g
     
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    X2 on the shade cloth cover. I've used that for years, it holds up really well and won't get weighed down by rain. Some smaller hardware stores will cut it to the exact size you need, stitch the edges and add grommets for you. My run is about 18 x 24 and I don't remember exactly what I paid for that cover but I know it was less then $200.00 bucks out the door. It's over 6 years old now and still looks great. It's certainly not predator proof but it keeps out hawks and keeps the run a bit cooler in summer.
     

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