Hi! I am a beginner in Texas!

WhenInRhome

Chirping
May 6, 2015
141
4
96
Rhome Texas
My family bought a house in the country on 2.5 acres almost 3 years ago and I have been dying to get chickens from the start. We finally started the coop last year but it was not finished till last week. We start too many projects lol. My coop is 4x8 and we fully inclosed the run which is 9x25. My neighbors free ranged chickens but both flocks were killed. Some during the day while they were out by hawks and the rest in the coop by raccoons. Hopefully we protected ours enough. We buried the wire a foot down and we have a concrete block retaining wall that is cemented in.
Yesterday I picked up our first 4 hens. They are 10 month old Buff Orpingtons. Later this week we will be getting some 8 week old Ameraucanas. I cant wait! I have been having dreams about chickens all week! My husband thinks I am nuts.

Jen
 

Chicken Girl1

Queen of the Coop
5 Years
Mar 3, 2015
12,319
4,657
557
Virginia
Hello and Welcome to BYC!
I've had both hawks and raccoons get my chickens
rant.gif
. They can be real pests. It sounds like you have two great breeds I've never had Ameraucanas before but I have had Buff Orpingtons and they are one of my favorites! I hope you have fun with your chickens!!
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
137,994
264,125
2,027
Out to pasture
No one here thinks you are nuts. I bet your husband will get to love the birds - most spouses do. It only matters that you enjoy them. Good luck and thanks for joining us at Backyard chickens.
 

Mountain Peeps

Jesus is my life
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Apr 23, 2014
28,457
6,115
677
Colorado
My Coop
My Coop
Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

I'm very sorry to hear about your losses along with your neighbor's!
hugs.gif
Predators are the worst!

Congrats on your buff orpingtons hens! That is my favorite breed. I have three and I just love them. Good luck with them and your future Ameraucanas. Feel free to ask any questions.
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,436
438
Montana
Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided join our flock. My wife and I were both raised in the great state of Texas. I hope you used hardware cloth instead of chicken wire to enclose your run as too many predators can either tear through chicken wire, or squeeze through the openings in the mesh. Also, with racoons around be sure that you either use a padlock or a double action latch on your coop door as racoons can easily figure out how to open a single action latch. There is a good article at http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/07/11-tips-for-predator-proofing-chickens.html on predator proofing your chickens. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your chickens.
 
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WhenInRhome

Chirping
May 6, 2015
141
4
96
Rhome Texas
We used the larger opening welded wire, but not chicken wire. We do have a lot of raccoons here. We did not for a while, never saw them at all and neighbors had completely free range hens. Then one day out of the blue a few came up missing. They thought it was coyotes so they started locking them up. Then they caught the raccoon in the coop. Soon after we started having problems with them in our dog food and my dog treed a few. I did not have the heart to shoot them but my neighbors did not have the same problem. They are still a big problem. We have not heard coyotes at night for over a year now so at least one predator seems to be gone!

This is my coop. The wire goes down to the bottom of the bricks and is concreted in all around. Where there are no bricks we poured a concrete footing to hold the wire in. The door has two spring latches, one on the bottom and one on the top.

My only worry now is that snakes could potentially fit through the openings. We have copperheads.


 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,436
438
Montana
We used the larger opening welded wire, but not chicken wire.
My only worry now is that snakes could potentially fit through the openings. We have copperheads.
Snakes can and will go through the openings as well as rats and weasels. Also, even if they can't break the welded wire, raccoons will reach through the openings and grab chickens and tear them apart. I would strongly recommend covering that welded wire with hardware cloth.
 
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