1. chickenteen

    chickenteen Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 26, 2009
    richlands N.C.
    has anyone made a fort knox coop?
     
  2. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    I'm all ears too - we have raccoons, bobcats, gray and red foxes, hawks of all kinds (a pair of cooper's nest on our acreage every year), and the occasional bear or least weasel.

    I'm listening in Ky...
     
  3. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Olympia WA
    I'm betting that the majority of BYC users have "fort knox style" coops. Standard predator protections include:
    --using a welded wire mesh or chain link instead of chicken wire (chicken wire won't stand up to predators)
    --using a smaller mesh around the bottom 2' of run, so nothing can pull their head through.
    --either creating an "apron" of welded wire 2' wide around the run, or burying wire 18" down for digging protection.
    --making sure there is no gaps on the coop bigger than 1", hardware cloth on all openings.
    --all latches are backed up with either padlocks or carribeaners, depending on how paranoid you are.
    --run is covered with netting, or wire if they may be exposed after dark.
    --pophole is shut tightly at dusk and latched shut.
    --some use electric wire around the coop and run.

    Sounds drastic, I'm sure, but if you read a bit in the P and P forum, you will be happy to do that for them!
     
  4. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oregon
    I think ours falls into that category, though we are not experts.
    We built a combination tool shed/coop. The end closest to the house is for the chickens. It is double-walled, and insulated. Even the door. There is a padlock on the door, and window locks, and the floor is primered wood with sheet vinyl flooring and base around the floor/wall joints. There is a pop door inside the attached run, but it is fairly heavy, so it wouldn't be easy to slide up without both hands. The sides of the run are hardware cloth (1/2 inch, I think) and seven feet tall. The hardware cloth extends down underground and outwards from all sides. There are two slide latches on the run door, one high, and one low, and between the two is a padlock. The coop door has a padlock and a half door of screen/wood inside which is bolted in place with turn screws for removal while cleaning. The nest boxes are actually through the coop wall into the tool shed, and open up on top. Both have carabiner closings through hinged pieces over the top and down the front of the box. The door to the tool shed has two sliding latches (low and high) and a padlock in between. The run is completely roofed with fiberglass? corrugated panels. Clears and solid panels, grouped to allow sun and shade. The roof is heavily secured (large wood screws) in multiple areas on each panel as well as overlaps, and the lengths of hardware cloth are overlapped and woven together with wire---I guess you might almost say they are sewn together.
    We think of it as fort knox, but keep a keen eye on everything, all the same.
     
  5. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    We do. We're on the edge of the woods and also in a pine marten release zone.
    Years ago it was a ringneck protection zone.
    So we're predator-rich and had to adjust to that.
    We also have a raccoon that was raised by our cats and she appears from time to time so the coop, which is built into a horse stall, had to be secure from the insude as well as from the run.
    It's in our BYC webpage, lots of pics and construction ideas.

    Worth every penny, believe me! [​IMG]
     
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    Dora's mom, wow you thought of everything. Should even keep two footed predators out. I think it's fort knox with a heavy touch of Alcatraz. I love the idea of alternating solid and clear fiberglas panels so they get sun and shade - most excellent.
     
  7. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    My homebuilt might qualify, but it is a first atempt. I had some practice building my home and my workshop.

    My coop is 8X16X7 1/2 ft tall. Is elevated on six 6' creosote legs set in cement. 2 x 6 floor joists 16" OC. 3/4" T&G OSB floor with linoleum. The floor-framing sytem is tied down to legs using steel bands and #16 D masonry nails. Did all of that before framing with 2 X 4, 16" OC. 1/2" OSB sheathing that overlaps down onto floor joist perimeter sills, and 1/2" OSB roof decking. Home made roof trusses are tied down with Simpson diamond-shaped truss clips. Has vinyl siding and 4 operable windows with permanent screens inside. Soffit ventilated/screened entire length of 18 ft , front and rear. Entrance door is a lockable 6-panel door. Pop doors are dual guillotine-style using cables and overhead pulleys, made of 1/2"OSB. Run is 6 ft 2 x 4 welded wire set in cement. Has 2 ft tall roll of small-holes chicken wire around inside to keep chooks from poking their heads out of their run. Has fence-charger with 4 courses of hot wire and hot gate too. [​IMG]

    We lock the coop down at dusk and open after daylight. When in lockdown, nothing but a bug can get in and not even a bug if windows are closed/locked too. So far no losses to preds. Run is open to sky due to size, but large vocal crow population has come in handy in that category. There is an 8 ft clear break on the two sides that are near the woods so I can keep it cut. No cover there for preds. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  8. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 14, 2009
    Oregon
    Thanks, Diva. We really tried to make it as predator-proof as we possibly could. It's not a security-thing, but we also added in tubing and nozzles on the rafters so that we can mist the girls on hot days. So far I'm not sure how much they like that feature, though. [​IMG]
     
  9. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    Thanks for all the ideas. I suspect local folks who truly free range just keep more chickens (50-100) and absorb losses, or keep them in cages full time. Mine are shaping up more as pets, so the stakes are higher emotionally. I know I need to improve my setup.
     
  10. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    wood&feathers :

    I'm all ears too - we have raccoons, bobcats, gray and red foxes, hawks of all kinds (a pair of cooper's nest on our acreage every year), and the occasional bear or least weasel.

    I'm listening in Ky...

    [​IMG] where are in KY ? down here in my neck of the wood, foxes gone finely after I started a hunting game with them 2 years ago [​IMG]
     

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