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Dog Pen Conversion?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MeanV2, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. MeanV2

    MeanV2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, I have a nice Dog pen connected to an even nicer outdoor building so it will make a Great Chicken coop.
    The Dog pen is 2 X 4 Welded wire and has been powder coated, So it is very sturdy. I am planning on putting 1" chicken wire over the top (sides are 6' tall) My concern is even though the chickens will be locked in the coop at night is the 2 X 4 wire.

    I don't think I would have trouble with Coyotes, coons, foxes, skunks, or opposum, but I am concerned about the possiblity of weasels or mink being around and getting into the pen during the day and killing chickens.

    My question is: Should I line the outside dog pen up 3'?, 4'?, or all the way up the 6'? If so is 1" chicken wire suffecient or should I use 1/2" Hardware Cloth. Also I guess I should tighten cracks around the gate to a bare minimum?

    Can weasels and mink climb?

    The building has corrugated metal on the sides. Can anything get through the small holes created by the ribs in the metal and should I fill them up?

    Just trying to keep from learning the hard way! :)

    Dan
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Use hardware cloth - chicken wire is good at keeping birds but not predators out. And not just crashing through it either. A raccoon will snag a bird from other side of the wire and eat it from his side! I think CW might be okay for the top - should keep hawks/owls out - and at night your birds would be locked up tight so that shouldn't be an issue. Good luck to you!
     
  3. MeanV2

    MeanV2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How high on the sides should I cover with Hardware cloth? Or should I cover the entire 6'? Can weasels & mink climb?

    Dan
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    duplicate post
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yes!
     
  6. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Many people say you should put the bottom couple feet with hardware cloth but I don't really see how that will help against weasels, the only thing that will help is keeping coon from reaching in and grabbing a bird and pulling it's head out through the welded wire. Weasels are small and can climb, and about the metal shed, yes a weasel could easily fit in the ribs in the steel.

    I would ad that I used to have dog kennels homade from rolls of welded wire, that wire was junk, I had a few beagles that would chew the wire until the welds broke then they were out, maybe the kennel sections use a heavier welded wire than comes in the rolls, I don't know. My kennel sections are chainlink.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  7. MeanV2

    MeanV2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    These Powder coated panels are nothing like the welded wire you are referring to. I guarantee a beagle would never get through them or destroy them. Seven Rottweilers couldn't put a dent in them in 10 years.

    So I am guessing I need to cover everything with Hardware Cloth? If I do that what will keep a weasel from scaling the sides then dropping through the chicken wire across the top? I guess I can fill the holes in the ribs with cement?

    Dan
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  8. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The ribs you could cement, caulk, spray foam(Great Stuff), whichever you feel comfortable with. As far as the hardware cloth, I would say it depends on how secure you feel you need it, do you have a lot of weasels in the area? Yes I am sure a weasel could possibly climb up and through the wire roof and down inside the run if one were so inclined. The problem is that cloth is expensive stuff and you may not really have a weasel problem. But if you have the money to spend and want to be sure nothing can get in then it is the best way. We had 50-75 chickens in a pen made of 4 ft snowfence and 6 ft 4x4 welded wire with chicken wire around the bottom and no top at all for years, and never lost a bird to predators other than one of our beagles who would attack when he got loose. But our birds were inside at night and nothing could get in.

    I am just getting back into chickens and I am going to use my chainlink dog kennels with doubled chicken wire or hardware cloth on the bottom and with a top as a run which I will be able to let the birds into my fenced in yard to roam when I am home with them, this won't have a top it's too big an area, then I will also have a good coop attached for night time security.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  9. MeanV2

    MeanV2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am just wondering how people keep predators from getting under these so call Chicken Tractors? Seems like the bottom would be hard to make predator proof. I like that idea but I am worried about the predator underneath the run thing. I know I could lock them in the coop at night but daytime is no insurance predators won't attack is it?

    There is a creek that runs at the back of my property. Although I have not yet seen a mink or weasel I am thinkin when the food is here they will rear their ugly heads.

    Dan
     
  10. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are right on that, daytime doesn't mean there aren't predators, probably not as many but they can still attack. Also domestic type predators such as stray dogs don't care what time it is. One thing you could do is take a proactive approach to killing the predators, put out traps for weasels, and try trapping the creek area or have a local trapper come in and set traps on your land to try and rid the area of some of the predators. My worries are weasel, coyote, fox and dogs/cats in my area, I live in the big woods only a few houses around, the only way I'd do the tractor idea is if I wanted to move it around my fenced yard which would then be giving an added layer of protection, except for weasels they could go through my fence. Or I could see doing it if I were doing a larger scale on a bigger piece of property where I could leave a dog or donkey or llama out with the birds for protection.
     

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