grrr my coop and run is supposed to be secure.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by smilingcat, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. smilingcat

    smilingcat Chillin' With My Peeps

    154
    9
    101
    Jun 1, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Well this morning I went and checked on my layer coop and run. All chicken are accounted and safe. They go into the coop at night and the hatch is locked down tight. Only things that can get inside it are flat bugs.

    The attached enclosed run is also secure, I thought. Never had problems until last night. It is covered in 1/2 inch hardware cloth, secured in place with fender washers and #8 1-1/4" wood screw every 16 inch or so. Top of the run is also secure with same thing and it also has corrugated clear plastic roof. Only thing that can rip it apart is potential cougar or a bear. Other wise its secure.

    The base has a concrete apron all around so no diggers can dig its way in from underneath.

    Well some varmint (looks like a size of a weasel hole) has managed to tunnel from the raised bed, under a river rock walkway, under the concrete apron and into the run. That varmint must have been digging all night long. Sometime between midnight and 7:00AM when I go out to check.

    I'm going to fill the tunnel with extra 2"- 3" river rock and for safety measure bury more river rocks along the inside edge of the run and add hardware cloth backing to a depth of about 16 inches on the side that was attacked.

    Just what I need more friggin work!! [​IMG]

    Meaties coop has yet to be cleaned out and covered in tarp for the winter. sheesh.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    22,019
    3,052
    506
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Good work on all that.
     
  3. pegm

    pegm Chillin' With My Peeps

    208
    17
    73
    Jul 28, 2013
    Northern California
    Before you dump in the river rock, pour a bottle of cayenne pepper down the hole first. Just dump it in and put in your rock. If they come thru that, well, they will never be able to see or smell again. It's what we use for gophers and moles and it doesn't take long before they go to more hospitable areas. Good alternative to chemicals or bait (that doesn't work) and won't hurt a thing.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    35,795
    9,307
    656
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    So it got into the run but not the coop?
    Was there food in the run?

    How deep is your concrete apron?

    Sounds like a ground squirrel. Before you do all that, I'd figure out what it is and if it's a real threat.
     
  5. smilingcat

    smilingcat Chillin' With My Peeps

    154
    9
    101
    Jun 1, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Good idea about cayenne pepper. Already have a vertical barrier on one side. Took most of yesterday.

    This morning, we found a new spot in the run where "it" came up. Can't find a tunnel where it came from and the hole is around 3 to 4 inch in diameter. Could be a ground squirrel, definitely not a mole or gopher. The tunnel I found yesterday from the raised bed, and under the river rock walkway and the concrete apron was a direct straight line into the coop; Moles tend to dig tunnel that meanders and never straight. That's been my experience. And gophers tend to leave a mound and this didn't.

    I also found a spot on the hardware cloth where something tried to pull it back and gave up. (Never use staples from staple gun to install a hardware cloth. Always use fender washer and long screw!! So I don't think it would be a ground squirrel. And yes my layers tend to scatter some feed pellets out in the run.

    Apron isn't that deep. it is about 15 inches wide. Not wide enough I know but it deters lot of critters from trying to dig right next to the coop and the run.

    I don't know where the bugger started the new tunnel. Walked all around and the dirt feels rock solid all the way around the run and the coop.

    I'm going to have to set up a snare after all the layers are in the coop tonight. He'll be back tonight. During the daytime, our golden and Pyrenees are out so no worry about daytime attack.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    35,795
    9,307
    656
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Could be a rat? Chipmunk?

    Good luck catching it, let us know what you find.
     
  7. c2chicks

    c2chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    sounds like he might need some "special" food in his favorite hole....
     
  8. smilingcat

    smilingcat Chillin' With My Peeps

    154
    9
    101
    Jun 1, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    stuffed tunnel with 0000 steel wool. made it nice and fluffy. Well "it" kicked it out this morning and the trap was tripped but no "it". I think it was smart enough to kick enough debris on the trigger to trip it. Rat? don't think so. First go around it managed to push around whole bunch of two to three inch river rocks packed under the walkway. Besides thinking about the other night, our golden went ballistic and wanted to go out. If it was a rat or mice he wouldn't have gone that crazy. And it wouldn't be a ground squirrel either because he is so used to being taunted and chasing them.

    The good news is that otherwise no new activity. will reset the trap for tonight. Don't want to use poison because if "it" dies anywhere my dogs patrol, they could die from eating it. And I know my Pyrenees will make a snack of it. Even my elderly golden-pyrenees managed to chomp down one and swallowed a live field mice before I could get to him. And he was only two step from me.

    Maybe "it" is spooked enough that he wont return.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    35,795
    9,307
    656
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Maybe a coarser steel wool would work better?
    Got a game camera?

    Just can't imagine what would tunnel that far in a 3-4" hole and move 2-3" rocks.
     
  10. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well my money is on moles. They are terrible this year in our area. Maybe ours are using rulers or yardsticks, because their tunnels don't just meander...some run straight for several feet stretches. They move dirt, rock, pretty much anything in their paths. They are very industrious little sh*ts!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by