Hardware cloth behind the wooden frame

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JohnPeel, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. JohnPeel

    JohnPeel Chillin' With My Peeps

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/spare-wood-and-spare-space-i-think-i-will-build-a-coop

    Hi, I have nearly completed my coop and my chickens will be here in a few weeks. I have put the hardware cloth around the outside of the coop to stop the critters getting in, and I have put the hardware cloth around the base of the coop so the chooks have somewhere to go in the day when we are out.

    After u nailing and staple gunning the hardware cloth to the inside of the frames around the coop, I couldn't help but wonder if a critter could chew through the wooden frame, before pushing its way through the hardware cloth. Am I being over protective or should I cover the wood too?
     
  2. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Taylors, SC
    Given sufficient diligence, an animal could chew through the wood of any thickness. I doubt that this would happen unless an animal were trapped and trying to escape.

    I believe that our predators are going to be clawing at the physical barrier to gain entry. I believe that they are going to give up before clawing through even OSB to the point that there would be enough of a hole to enter.

    It seems to me that an animal would have to simply be powerful in order to break through the wood. This seems to be limited to large predators such as bears. I doubt that any coop would survive an attack from a bear.

    It seems to me that our likely predators are raccoons, opossums, cats, dogs, snakes, coyotes, and such. These are not large, powerful animals. I think the wood is sufficient.

    Chris
     
  3. JohnPeel

    JohnPeel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks Chris. We don't have bears, but we have badgers, but they are not supposed to be that keen on taking chickens, but will if there life depends on it.

    We have foxes that look at us from the next field, and stoats. We have seen stoats chasing rabbits through the garden. The hardware cloth holes are only half inch, so I think the stoats would have a hard time chewing through the wood. They can climb though, so I have made the walls double skinned and even put hardware cloth on the inside in place.
     
  4. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    In the final analysis, you have to prepare for the predators you have. We have bears here in South Carolina, but I doubt they are in this built-up area. My local predators are dogs, cats, coyotes, hawks, and owls.

    The last snake was eaten by the chickens, so they apparently stay away from the coop. The snakes still keep the rabbits and chipmunks under control.

    My chickens tend to stay under cover when foraging, unless they are feeding. I don't see hawks often, and my rooster is standing watch. I suppose that he will be the primary target in a hawk attack.

    Good luck.

    Chris
     
  5. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    Using u staples will hold unless the wood is gone. It would have to be a mighty motivated predator to chew through that much wood.

    Here at my place our predators are (in order of prominence) 1. Dogs, 2. Coyotes 3. Birds of prey 4. Badgers.

    Make it part of your routine to do a regular inspection of your coop / pen / run to assure that everything is in order. You will be able to tell if something is or has been trying to get in.
     
  6. JohnPeel

    JohnPeel Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have been out working on the coop today, and thought I would add some really thick and strong u-nails to the hundreds of long staples from my electric staple gun. I have also been looking at posts about stoats. We have stoats running across the garden from time to time chasing rabbits, and I have read that they will cimb up the outside of the coop to the roof, and try to find a way in under the eves or any other small gaps, so I have finished lining the inside of the coop and have been all over it making sure there isnt the tinies of gaps. We have buzzards and other birds of prey too, so I will put some netting over some of the grass area when we let them out to play. God help anything that takes my chickens. Only a few weeks to go till we get them. Can't wait.
     

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