Gopher in the pen, how to keep it out???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chick_newbie, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. chick_newbie

    chick_newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2008
    South Dakota
    We had a problem and DH thought that he caught it when we turned up a mouse. BUT today when I was putting the 2 wk old chicks in with the 8 wk old chicks I found a gopher in the pen. I found where it dug in but how do you keep it from happening again since they can like dig forever???

    Any one have any ideas of what I can try to do???
  2. redoak

    redoak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2008
    Russia, NY
    You could put hardware cloth around your coop fence and put it 6 inches underground. That should keep the gophers out.
  3. willheveland

    willheveland Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    I'd put a leg hold trap in the hole it's coming through or a box trap(outside your run) with an apple slice in it. Will
  4. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    You could build a wire floor (picture a wood frame with hardware cloth nailed to it) and screw the entire thing into place inside the frame of the run. Then add a few inches of dirt on top. This will protect them from invaders and still give them something to dig in.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2008
  5. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2008
    Somerset, CA
    Quote:This is exactly what I'm doing to the new run that we're building on to our chicken shed. We have gophers, voles, raccoons, bobcats, mountain lions, possums, hawks, etc., that I'm trying to outsmart.
  6. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    When I built my silkie coop, I did this too. Basically, I don't have to shut them up (except in the winter, the poor dopes don't always know to go inside the coop at night when it's FREEZING outside!) in the nice weather and they're predator protected too.

    The coop is 4x8, with 2' protected space underneath it. After they'd been in it a few months I then built an additional 8x8 hardware cloth run and attached it to the coop. It's a pretty good set up and I like the way it looks too. I've only got 3 silkies in there now but two 9 week old chicks will be joining them before winter sets in.

    Yearly, in the spring (this is the 2nd spring I've had them) I add some DE and more sand to the space under the coop and mix it all up. Since this area doesn't get rained on, it needs some attention to freshen things up a bit. The 8x8 run isn't covered with a solid cover just hardware cloth, so the rain does the natural cleaning. Once in a while I'll take my wide toothed rake in there and turn the sand over so it doesn't stay all hard packed down.

    I have to say the silkies need alot more attention and care than any of my other chickens do. I told my DH I'm going to go through one more winter with them and if I'm not a screaming meemee by spring time I'll keep them. But I'm remembering going out to lock them all up in the dead of winter and having to chase those dopes around the run (which is only 4.5' high at the peek) so I could put them in their INSULATED coop for the night so they don't freeze to death. I don't really look forward to doing that again this winter but I do like the way the silkies look. I'm just not sure they're going to be staying here indefinitely [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2008
  7. Jessika

    Jessika Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2008
    Eagle Creek, OR
    gopher holes have been showing up in my pen. Are they harmful to chickens?
  8. chick_newbie

    chick_newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2008
    South Dakota
    This pen was meant to be a temp pen so I really don't want to be digging big holes in the yard. I think DH would strangle me if I dig more holes in the yard.

    I don't know if they are harmful but the pen that I found it in was the little ones. 3 EE that are 8 weeks old and 10 chicks that 2 weeks old. It may not hurt them but it sure startled them and me. It just ran around the pen and then into the hole. They also eat the food and that is what is bothering us.

    So now the bigger question might be is why the 3 older chickens are afraid of the babies that I put in there? They just stay in their own corners.

    Anyone else have these problems???
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008

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