Experiences With Hoop Coops?

Tervuren

In the Brooder
Aug 30, 2020
11
38
49
Southern Idaho
Thanks for all the responses everyone! It's really interesting to read descriptions and see photos of everyone's set ups. :)
Does anyone have any experience with predators and hoop coops/runs made out of cattle panels (covered in hardware cloth)? Even though I'm in the suburbs there are frequent coyote, fox, raccoon, and bobcat sightings, as well as the occasional cougar!!! 😬
 

Vacman

Chirping
Dec 25, 2020
51
120
68
Cadillac, MI
Here's what I have. I started out with that Amish-built chicken coop. I have it in a newly planted orchard surrounded with a protective electric net fence. In order to give them a sheltered place to scratch around in the winter, I built the hoop. Half of the south facing end is always open. There is an exhaust fan at the upper part of the northern end controlled by a thermostat turning the fan on at 80 degrees. It does get warm or even hot on a bright summer day, but the chickens always have the option to leave it and walk around the orchard. I have a greenhouse which I also built using the same idea except for 5' vertical sidewalls. The greenhouse measures 12' X 30' and the chicken coop hoop measures 12' X 18'.
 

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mowin

Songster
Jun 17, 2018
1,051
1,977
247
Upstate NY
Thanks for all the responses everyone! It's really interesting to read descriptions and see photos of everyone's set ups. :)
Does anyone have any experience with predators and hoop coops/runs made out of cattle panels (covered in hardware cloth)? Even though I'm in the suburbs there are frequent coyote, fox, raccoon, and bobcat sightings, as well as the occasional cougar!!! 😬

Yes. No predator has breeched my run. I've had coons, fox, coyote, even several redtail hawks try for a free meal. None have succeeded. One mamma red fox has tried several times to dig in. My 24" apron won that battle. The only reason I watched was because the gals were already on roost and it was very dark and they weren't going nuts. Same mama fox came back during the day, causing the gals to go ballistic. Her pups were orphanage at that point.
 

Vacman

Chirping
Dec 25, 2020
51
120
68
Cadillac, MI
I, too, have had a security breach but it was an aerial attack. One of my Rhode Island Reds was taken and a Buff Orpington was injured. She fully recovered but it was interesting that while injured, the rest of the flock protected her, Got between me and her most of the time preventing me from getting near her after I found her and moved her to the coop in the evening. Not sure how I could even prevent that type of attack. We have an occasional bald eagle, but mostly hawks of several varieties in the area. They only attacked that one time, so it didn't become a habit....at least not up to this point.
 

Vacman

Chirping
Dec 25, 2020
51
120
68
Cadillac, MI
While the birds were in the hoop run?

No. I should have made that point. At least I don't think so. The injured Buff Orpington was further away from the Hoop Coop in the orchard...probably 20-30 feet away. I assume that is where the attack took place as she was injured bad enough that she didn't want to move and feathers were out there as well. I'm also assuming that the Rhode Island Red was carried off, although one of the Reds had the ability to fly over the 4' tall electric fence. I never saw her again and when she had gotten out before, she had roosted in one of the several evergreens in the area. Not this time. Since my hoop is totally closed on three sides and only 1/2 of the end open, I don't think a predator bird would attack inside the hoop. Now a ground attack could happen in there if they got through the electric fence and the hens would be trapped.
 

Purlsnponies

Songster
Aug 10, 2020
81
116
101
Hawthorne, FL
I recently completed my bachelor pad hoop coop, and really like it so far! It was relatively inexpensive and easy to build, and seems sturdy enough. The ventilation is great, though I'll likely have to add a tarp during our rainy months.

I plan to add a shutter to that back window so that I can close it during bad/cold weather.

One thing I picked up from one of the builds here was to use pieces cut from a roll of conduit strap for fastening the cattle panels to the wood frame. After having spent many days replacing fence staples in my field fences, I'm comforted by the extra security of the screwed in strap vs staples. Plus it made slipping the hardware cloth in between cattle panel and wood extra easy and secure.

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HaywardHomestead

Chirping
Jun 6, 2018
11
21
52
Thanks for all the responses everyone! It's really interesting to read descriptions and see photos of everyone's set ups. :)
Does anyone have any experience with predators and hoop coops/runs made out of cattle panels (covered in hardware cloth)? Even though I'm in the suburbs there are frequent coyote, fox, raccoon, and bobcat sightings, as well as the occasional cougar!!! 😬
My hoop coop is two cattle panels, covered in chicken wire, and hardware cloth. It has worked beautifully for years, though I've added tarps on top of older tarps that have cracked in the Texas heat over the years (going on 5 years with the same coop.

A few things:

1. I cover the entire top of my coop and the sides with a heavy duty tarp during the winter and for rainy season - if not the shavings at the front get nasty and it spreads throughout the coop. The entire front is open for ventilation.

2. I had old pieces of plastic siding that I strapped to the bottoms for more permanent sides for 2 reasons, a) weather proofing as wind was blowing rain in the sides under the edges of the tarp and b) predator issues.

3. I've never had an issue with a chicken getting attacked in the hoop coop, but I lost ALL m my ducks to raccoons while they were in the coop. Coons will put their hands through the mesh and pull the heads of the ducks (probably chickens too if they weren't roosting) through....it was an AWFUL scene to walk into. So....if you have ducks or lower roosts make sure you have protection.
 

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