Fox proof coop

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Musolff2015, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. Musolff2015

    Musolff2015 In the Brooder

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    Can anyone tell me if a fox can chew or scratch through a dog ear fence panel? Long story short we didnt know the extent of a fox's capabilities when it comes to fencing and unfortunately lost our favorite duck this week. We now keep them locked in their coop that is solid, sturdy exterior paneling. Theres a layer on the inside and outside of the main support so no way predators are getting in. With all of this coming about I realized the ducks were lacking space in the coop. I had went off a plan I found and the person stated to have 7 ducks in this 3x6 coop, 6x10 run. Mistake on my part for not checking sq² per bird. We are now adding a 8x4 addition using the wood we have which would include 2 of the 8ft walls being dog ear fence. The boards have about ⅛" to MAYBE ¼" absolute max. Will this alone keep them safe from fox and coon? Should I add chicken wire on the outside of those 2 fence panels? Or is it mandatory that I panel the inside of those 2 panels? I should also add that everything has a steel roof and we no longer let them in the run at night knowing they can chew through multiple layers of chicken wire.

    Sorry for the long post! I truly appreciate advice. I'm really irritated with this all as I spent literally weeks, at minimum 2hrs a day reading everything I could possibly find on raising ducks and coop designs. Unfortunately I missed the part where fox can chew through wire, climb fencing and jump 4ft high...
     
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  2. WannaBeHillBilly

    WannaBeHillBilly Enabler

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    I doubt that a raccoon or a fox can chew through even ⅛" wood if it is not rotten. But i would be worried about a fox digging under the panel and a raccoon climbing over it.
    I have chicken wire outside of my duck house, that i connect to a 3,000V neon-transformer when i know there's a predator lurking around. That will be instant death to a fox, raccoon or weasel and intense pain to a coyote, dog or a bear. - I just don't own a fence electrifier (yet), so i had to go with what was available. The ducks inside are protected from touching the life wire with epoxy OSB-boards.
     
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  3. Musolff2015

    Musolff2015 In the Brooder

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    Thanks! We have raised solid flooring so digging isnt an issue and in the run we layed half chicken wire stapled in with 2" of sand on top and the other half exterior board with the pool on top. As far as climbing we have a steel roof. Knowing they can chew wire now, we lock them in the coop at night with a drop down door within the run. My biggest fear is them scratching just enough to start chewing in that tiny gap. The panels are pretty old but still seem very solid.

    I would LOVE to do electric fencing! We have a large yard fenced in with welded hog panel (just to keep kids and dog in our yard) that would be perfect to run some lines on BUT I have a 5 and 2 yr old and a pitbull who would be traumatized to ever step foot outside again
     
  4. WannaBeHillBilly

    WannaBeHillBilly Enabler

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    I had connected the Neon-Transformer to a remote controlled outlet and switched it on only during the night-hours when nobody was outside.
    Metal roof is fine, just make sure that there's no gap between the roof and the wall(s) - like in my duck-house, i need to fix this asap… ;)
    And just keep an eye on the wood, replace any weak panel and your chickens will be safe.
     
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  5. Musolff2015

    Musolff2015 In the Brooder

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    That's exactly what I wanted to do with electrical wire and told my husband I would just turn it on when we coop the ducks at night or if they are free roaming without us outside but he said no ‍♀️ I mean I had an electric horse fence as a kid, touch it once and you wont do it again but I dont know. Also since your replying, would you know if the can climb lp paneling? It's like plywood but has a natural looking laminate grain on the outside. I ask because our roof is 8' slanted to 6' and the roof on the coop has a 2" gap between the wall and the tin. I wouldn't think they could climb it 6' and then climp through a 2" hole but at the rate I'm going I feel like I should have built a brick house haha
     
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  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

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    I have a question for @WannaBeHillBilly ; you have a jerry-rigged electrocution device out there?!!! Do you have farm insurance, and does your insurance company know? This sounds like a terrible idea to me!
    Just set up electric fencing instead...
    Chicken wire and thin boards aren't all that safe. The birds will be in, and predators can breach this sort of thing.
    Mary
     
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  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    I have electric wire around my coops and pens and I have turned it off during the day. My pens are welded wire with chicken wire hog ringed to it. So far no breaches in the fencing. Anything that touches the electric wire will get the message and not touch it again including predators. I have netting covering the pen and concrete under the gates. This is a chick/grow-out coop. Coyote and a fox.
    DSCF0002112019 01.jpg DSCF0002124 05.jpg
     
  8. WannaBeHillBilly

    WannaBeHillBilly Enabler

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    I have seen (trail-cam) a raccoon climbing up a bare post (8x8) of treated lumber to get from my work platform onto the duck-house's tin roof, so i am sure they can climb any kind of wooden or wood like surface. Back in Houston i have seen a family of raccoons climbing up the cement-siding of my neighbors house to get into the attic…
    2" gap - that's about the same that i have in my duck house, not wide enough for a 'coon, idk about 'possums and skunks, but weasel & co fit easily through 1" and less. I have see a full grown Raccoon male squeezing itself through a 4" opening (pallet) to get to my duck food stash. Fortunately he could not get out after filling his belly and i found him stuck in the morning, bad day for him…
    Larger predators like Fox, Coyote, Lynx, Cougar, … are easier to keep out with sturdy building material than the small ones (weasel, mink) or the clever ones like Raccoons.
    Are you using a carabiner or something equally complex to lock the door? 'Coons are intelligent enough to open latches, for example. And i have heart stories of raccoons luring poultry to the fence with food, grab them and drag them through piece by piece.
    I consider Raccoons to be the greatest threat to my ducks and electricity the only reliable defense measure. Once they have burned their greedy paws the don't come back.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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  9. WannaBeHillBilly

    WannaBeHillBilly Enabler

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    Electric fences have one disadvantage: The electricity is sent out in pulses. I have observed a raccoon ripping through an electric fence during the short periods while the fence was not electrified. A neon transformer provides the same voltage as an electric fence without any interruption, so if the 'coon grips the fence it will have a problem.
    I don't have a farm and therefore no farm insurance. The duck house is ~½Km away from my property line and any unauthorized body lurking around there at night should consider themselves lucky to just receive some blisters instead of being shot.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  10. WannaBeHillBilly

    WannaBeHillBilly Enabler

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    Consider yourself lucky! @Magnolia Ducks can tell you a different story about the »protection« by an electric fence. She has lost a lot of birds this year to 'yotees and bobcats. And Raccoons quickly understand that the fence does not always hurt and does not hurt if you touch only one wire. (Did i mention that i hate raccoons?)
     
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