Help with chicken coop and run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jjchickmom, May 25, 2017.

  1. jjchickmom

    jjchickmom Out Of The Brooder

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    May 23, 2017
    This weekend, we plan on gathering the supplies for our coop and run. We were wondering if this sounds secure. Keep in mind we live in the country by a river and have tons of predators.

    We are going to start with a 10x10 dog kennel. We are going to run hardware wire on the ground below the kennel edges and hold them down with 6 inch landscaping staples. We are doing it this way so we can move the enclosure from time to time. This is to keep the foxes and coyotes from digging in.

    We are also going to wrap the bottom of the chain link fence with 3-4 ft of hardware wire that is zip tied on to prevent raccoons from reaching in and grabbing chickens.

    We are going to run chicken wire along the top as a cover to keep owls, hawks and turkey vultures out.

    We are going to buy a large Ecoflex Fontana coop. I like that we can take it apart with easy and powerwash it as needed. We will probably upgrade how it latches just incase a critter get in at night.

    I understand nothing is completely secure but I think this would work. What do you think?
     
  2. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a dog kennel run that gets a lot of larger predator attention. The hardware cloth down low keeps everything out for now but if any of the smaller critters get the notion to climb, the stuff will hit the fan. I'd like to 1) reinforce the upper part with the smaller wire and 2) rebuild the doors to shrink the gap around them. We haven't had weasel/mink/marten attention yet but it's a definite worry.
     
    Ol Grey Mare likes this.
  3. jjchickmom

    jjchickmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks :) I have not seen to many minks/weasels on my street. I saw one by the swamp but there is a neighbor that free ranges chickens over there. She has tons so I am guessing they are not a problem. The other predators are around. The foxes (seen one visit yard), Coyotes (hear them visit the yard and hear them chase prey at night), raccoons (a mama nests in our yard), hawks/turkey vultures (see them all of the time) and river otters (have not seen by house but have seen by the river).
     
  4. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    As I understand it, the weasels do their chicken killing at night -- chickens are easy targets while sleeping.

    Turkey vultures startle the chickens but they don't harm them. Ditto on the bald eagles if you're lucky enough to have them around.

    Hawks are another story. The migration comes through in fall and early spring and that's the worst because a hungry migratory hawk is bolder than a year-round resident. I have to severely limited ranging seasonally or there will be losses. I had a stubborn northern goshawk this year that was just relentless. I even caught it perched on the coop roof watching the run. The chickens were cowering inside because a wire roof doesn't make them feel secure. Add to my "I wish" remodeling list a run roof.
     
    Ol Grey Mare likes this.
  5. Patinas

    Patinas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with debid, cover the upper with hardware cloth. hardware cloth will help keep out the smaller rodents like rats and mice. My approach to building my coop was prevention, prevention, prevention. I have friends with chickens that have battled rodent infestations and they're hard to get rid of once they move in. Just something to keep in mind as you put it together.
     
  6. jjchickmom

    jjchickmom Out Of The Brooder

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    I'll keep your suggestions in mind. Maybe we will buy the kennel roof and put chicken wire or hardware cloth under it to keep critters out. We have a lot of mice around here but they tend to live in the shed and no rats that I know of other than the muskrat variety. The coop will be easy to break down for a full cleaning so I can't see mice moving in for good. Maybe I'll get an outdoor bait station to put near but not in the run to take care of mice. I think the mice prefer the farm fields around here that grow wheat, soy and corn.

    We do have lots of snake. Little garter snakes, the large size garter snake, blue racers, water snakes and rattlesnakes.

    We have 2 kinds of hawks, owls, turkey vultures and during migratory times a pair of golden eagles.

    I know that mice are excellent climbers. In our old house I actually watched them climb the brick wall in our family room and squeeze through the tiny gap in the ceiling between the bricks and drywall ceiling.
     
  7. jjchickmom

    jjchickmom Out Of The Brooder

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    I was thinking that the gap that is always between the gate and side could be filled with a pool noodle or a large pipe insulator that has a slit cut into it to put on the gap area and maybe zip tied in a few spots. Then we could remove it if necessary.
     
    gridgeway66 and gandydancer1 like this.
  8. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    The chickens will eat the pool noodle or pipe insulation. We have a split system heat pump for the studio in the garage and look what they do with access during range time (I've fixed this a couple of times, it's obviously due again). Not sure why but they tore through duct tape to get at that foam. 14957302406782049127454.jpg
     
  9. jeria

    jeria Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Coons climb they will go through the chicken wire quickly. I have lots of coons as woods behind my house. Just starting to build mine and it will have a plywood roof covered by metal roofing. It will also help with shade during our scorching summers.
     
  10. cholland

    cholland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 12 chickens and an assortment of predators. Fox, resident Cooper's hawk, raccoons, coyote, etc. Here's what works for me.

    A 4x8 coop that is rodent and predator proof. Hardware cloth on windows, automatic door. Maximum security for night time. I keep a PVC feeder and small water in there. No feed left outside overnight.
    Right off the coop I have a 12x8 run that is mostly secure. 2x4 welded wire, with a clearish corrugated fiberglass roof for some shade and rain protection.
    From there I can use tunnels and a hoop coop to move them around or I can open the small run into a 40x50 fenced area. The fenced area is also welded wire and is covered with 2 inch poultry net. Nylon type not wire.

    We have a dog and someone is usually home so the daytime threat is really only the hawks. They have definitely checked it out but I have not had any losses. At night in the coop they are safe from everything but a bear. And those are not a problem here.

    We have mice and rats everywhere but I keep the feed in a metal garbage can and in the coop. No rodent problems in the chicken area. I'll feed stuff outside during the day, but the girls eat all that.

    If I ever do get a problem my next step would be an electric fence charger and some wire.
     
    gridgeway66 and PennyM like this.

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