Help with Chicken Coop Pests and Predators!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lyndatu, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. lyndatu

    lyndatu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chicken Kill :eek:

    I'm designing my chicken coop now, but I thought about the pests and predators! We have some rats and some stray cats roaming around. Please give me some advice about designing my coop that is safe from predators? I'm thinking about placing some traps in the yard, but my chicks and chickens might get caught. I'm also thinking about a guard dog, but ours ate a chicken once (poor chicken)! Please help!

    Many thanks in advance!

    My future chickens thank you also!
     
  2. greenmulberry

    greenmulberry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Use half inch hardware cloth over all windows and vents. I have heard that if you have rat problems, that dirt floors are not good as they can dig in.

    I have a raised coop with a wooden floor. My attached run includes the area under the coop. The chickens like to relax under there. We have a big mice problem here and I have seen no evidence of them in the coop, and I believe it is because the chickens can hang out under the coop, and the mice stay away.
     
  3. lyndatu

    lyndatu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the helpful info!

    Your idea of the run is great! I'm going to use it! Thanks![​IMG]

    Oh, wait! Just another question: You said you have a raised wooden floor; I'm thinking of using a thick metal screen for the floor. Is it ok? Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2007
  4. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Clarification, for floor or on floor?

    If for floor, the mesh has to be large enough for
    "stuff " to fall through. and that sometimes is hard on chicken feet.

    If on floor you will have hard time cleaning "stuff" off.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2007
  5. lyndatu

    lyndatu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm using it as the floor. And what do you mean by hard on chicken feet?

    Sorry for my questions!
     
  6. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It has been said here that wire is hard on their feet,( weight of chicken not spread out but on small portion of wire) and if your mesh is large then toes will go through and could catch if spooked or bumped. Not making editorial comment, just telling you the ins and outs. Personally I think 1/2 inch mesh would work with a catch board or something underneath. but it would require stomping some "stuff" through by the chickens. for somereason it has enough consistancy to hang up on that size mesh. I've tried 1/2 by 1 inch mesh and had that problem.

    oh and the only wrong question is the 1 you dont ask!
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2007
  7. lyndatu

    lyndatu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I think I'll go with wood floor and just cover it with some litter so if they poop I'll just rake away the litter and put some fresh litter!

    I mean by litter is the bedding, like straw or wood shavings

    Thank you for your usual kindness!
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2007
  8. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

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    Both of our coops have wood floors. In the main coop (houses 13 Bantams), we bought a linoleum remnant for $15.00. I forget the exact dimensions of it, but there was enough of it that we were able to cover the entire floor...plus, run it up the bottoms of the walls 10 - 12" (will check the height when it quits pouring). Just did an egg check, linoleum on the walls is 13" from the floor, up.

    [​IMG]

    We are using pine shavings for their litter and using the Deep Litter Method so I'll only clean the litter out once a year. I love just being able to stir the shavings every couple of days and add a bit of new when needed. I've been building up the litter since June and there is no smell what-so-ever.

    Hope this is some help!

    Dawn

    Edited to add correct linoleum height along walls.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2007
  9. skatcatla

    skatcatla Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For the run, I put a whole sheet of hardware cloth on the bottom, tied it to the run frame, and then put bark chips over it so its easy to walk on and clean.
     
  10. greenmulberry

    greenmulberry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think using a mesh (hardware cloth) floor depends on your climate. My mom lives somewhere hot, and has a mesh floor with roosts above it. This works because the poop falls though, and there is lots of ventilation on hot nights.

    The chickens spend almost all the time in the coop on the roosts, so it's not like they are having to stand on the mesh. They have a separate box in the coop for laying eggs too.

    Now where I live, it can get 20 below. My chickens would freeze their butts off if I had an open mesh floor in the coop. So I have a solid wood floor with pine shavings. Read the threads in this forum and you will get lots of ideas, and find some that work for your situation.

    For my run, I used welded wire. I bent the bottom part out, and laid patio pavers on it. This prevents animals from digging under.

    If I had more money to put into it, I would have done the whole run in 1/2 inch hardware cloth, but the 2 inch by 4 inch welded wire is working well up to now!
     

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