Fort Knox for Chickens


In the Brooder
Mar 18, 2018
I bought this to use as a chicken coop

In my area we have coyotes, raccoons, bobcats etc.

I am going to set this up within a fenced area. I am thinking it would be a good idea to make a pad of at least 6" of gravel underneath that extends out 1 foot on all sides (the gravel would be enclosed by landscape timbers (width x height = 5" x 8)." I can dig down if more depth for gravel is needed. Would putting hardware cloth across the bottom of the cage be overkill? I want to prevent anything from digging up from underneath.

The roof is just the tarp so I will need to use hardware cloth or something so no critters can climb up sides and get in underneath the tarp. The spaces between the wires are 4" x 2" so I am thinking it would be a good idea to add a few feet of chicken wire around the bottom perimeter to keep raccoon hands out). I will be building a wooden chicken house inside that will likely be three feet off the ground so the chickens can use the whole footprint of the kennel for picking, dust baths and other chicken activities. Greatly appreciate any advice/suggestions. I'm planning on having 3 to 6 hens.


7 Years
Sep 2, 2014
NE Ohio
When you are talking about hardware cloth on the bottom perimeter, I hope you are talking about L shape apron 2-3 feet against the outside wall and 2-3 feet wide flat on the ground then either cover with gravel, railroad ties or bricks. So ground predators can’t and won’t dig through the fence.


Feb 16, 2018
SF Bay Area
My Coop
My Coop


Mar 11, 2018
Raccoons will just rip through chicken wire. Use 16 gauge 1/2" hardware cloth to reinforce the walls/roof of your enclosure.

Some threads to show how strong raccoons are:

This one includes a video of a raccoon lifting a garage door:

Great so heavy duty bird netting won't work. Of course if they get through that, they would still have to break into the actual coop which will be locked in all locations. I guess a good thing is that in the summer I leave my back door at night open quite often and the dogs come in and out, so they would alert me to any critters.

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