From run to coop: best method for entry into open door

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by leilanio, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. leilanio

    leilanio Chillin' With My Peeps

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    HI! We are in the process of building our coop and enclosed run. We were planning on a having the typical ladder ramp style from the ground to the opening of the coop for the girls; however, DH just told me that he is thinking of doing a hanging type bar a little above the group (coop is several feet off ground) and then from that platform doing a ramp inside. This will help with any predators trying to just mosey on up in there if they are even able to get into the inside of the run.

    Hope this makes sense... anyone done this? Is it worth it? Thoughts? Pros/cons? Thanks for reading.
     
  2. leilanio

    leilanio Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    Ok..so my DD says my post above is confusing and I need to put a picture. So here is the coop...any suggestions on how to get a "ramp" that will be predator proof if we keep the coop door open most of the time ? Thanks.
     
  3. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the chickens can get in then a predator can get in too. Raccoons, opossum, mink, weasel, fox can all jump and climb their way in. Make your pen predator proof, don't rely on the ramp design to keep them out. Use 1/2" hardware cloth and fully enclose the pen. Install an apron to prevent diggers from getting in. Put hardware cloth on windows and vents and make sure you have a well-fitting pop door.
     
  4. leilanio

    leilanio Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We will have it predator proof as far as the coop .... and the sides of the run will be buried with an apron since we are blessed with gophers. We were looking at using 1 x 1 netting over top of the run so hawks can't get to them. DH was thinking that to keep mice and rats at bay, he would do a floating ramp bar or something so they couldn't scale it. I am probably sounding pretty dumb and clueless right now so I will stop. We were just throwing out ideas and DH is quite a visionary/engineering/fabricator type so he is always throwing out of the box ideas out. I just don't want this one to be one that ends up having to be "revised from the prototype" when I have all this expertise at my fingertips here on BYC.
     
  5. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

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    I personally do not leave the pop door open at night. Even if you take the precautions to make your run predator proof you will still have mice and other small vermin find a way in. I have seen mice chewing feathers on the sleeping hens. I tore down the entire coop they had chewed a hole in from the bottom and built a new one. (The old one had other issues as well)
    I have discovered that they can and will easily go through the 1/2 inch hardware cloth. I have 1/4 inch on my new coop. I will double layer it if I need to in the spring with 1/2 inch as well since the 1/4 inch is of a smaller gauge.
    I cannot imagine the horror I would experience if I went out in the morning and found a fox or other critter had proven that the apron and chain link and roof on the run were not enough by killing all my hens.

    I close and latch the pop door every night from the inside of the coop. I open the pop door every morning. It is not so hard to do really.

    Babs
     
  6. leilanio

    leilanio Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Babs! I will let him know...(he has no idea I have even posted this thread only our daughter does).... But we were planning on 1/2 inch hardware cloth so I will let him know. No foxes here where I live but coyotes have been heard but rarely down in this part of town where I am (but not risking it). He mentioned making a door with a counterweight hanging thing reachable from the outside and doing the door swinging in the coop instead of out so it doesn't warp or weather. Maybe that's overkill ? Our coop won't be designed to go inside daily. We will have poop boards and nesting boxes accessible to the outside. I can't even imagine my babies attacked by some unwelcome critter coming in our yard..my stomach dropped when ready that. I, too, would be beyond horrified.
     
  7. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

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    I do hope it helps.

    I have racoons passing through here fairly often so I put a latch on the inside of mine just in case one got in the run and tried to open the door.
    I also have a motion light on the front of my coop that if it comes on during the night it wakes me up. It woke me 2 nights ago to an owl getting a mouse in front of the coop. Freakish thing to decipher with bleary eyes. Weird shape in the yard, movement, about the size of my large hens, feathers. Did I forget someone when I counted the hens? Could something have happened? Rush to back door and flip on giant flood light, scare the daylights out of a barn owl, go back to bed. DH thought it was hilarious.

    Edited to add

    If you have even the possibility of coyotes I would go with a stronger wire like chain link and perhaps even an electric wire to keep them out. They can jump very high, dig very well and chew like mad if they want something.

    A friend of our lost all his chickens and a yearling calf to coyotes year before last. They chewed the coop apart to get in.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
  8. leilanio

    leilanio Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Will do. I am going to be reading more about reinforcement. Fortunately we also have 3 dogs that are very in tune with sounds out back. We are only on a 1/2 acre so if it is out there they hear it and bark like crazy... The motion light thing is a GREAT idea as I have 3 brand new ones that are in the garage with other crap DH picked up that we HAD to have that haven't been used or installed. Got a reason to now! :)
     
  9. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

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    I am hoping it helps you to have a happy chicken experience.

    Best wishes

    Babs
     
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