I started out by covering my run/coop with bird netting, 6' tall fencing, coyote proofing (chicken wire laid flat on the ground under the fence to prevent digging), solar night lights, the red-blinking-eye box, coyote urine sprinkled around the perimeter, and traps. And I lost chicken, after chicken, after chicken to possums, raccoons, snakes, bobcats, and dogs.
This year I moved the chicken run, and when I did I added a hotwire all around the bottom, about 6 inches above the ground, and over the gates. Haven't lost a chicken yet, except two young one that got stuck on the hotwire. I use Roundup to keep at least a foot of bare ground on the outside of the fence; keeps tall grass from grounding it out.
Oh, and we fixed the chicken electrocution problem by adding a photoelectric cell. It turns the shocker off as soon as the sun comes up, and turns it back on at night, when predators are a problem.
It cost about $100 to hotwire 225 linear feet of the fence. Best money I ever spent.
joe bryant your coop and run is an awesome example of chicken luxury. i see a few elements i going to lift off of you lol. much kudos. oh is that you in your avatar. you look like robert redford lol. anyways maggie rayheres wehat i did to make my pen into chicken san quentin. its a combination trap and pen. i started off by building a fence around it. i used 4"x4"x8' square poles set 6' exactly with concrete holding the poles in place and square. after that i used 4' red top brand field fence all around and on the top minus my coop area. i placed it on the outside of the fence so that if anything big and bulky butted up against it then it wont snap the poultry wire. i placed it on top as a preventive and protective me measure that has actually payed off. basically anything that can GET IN THROUGH THE HOLES(I.E. A RED TAIL HAWK (WHICH ARE BAD AROUND MY PLACE) . it worked because i killed a YOUNG HAWK IN MY PEN ONE DAY THAT GOT IN WHILE I WAS MOWING THE YARD, OOPS SORRY i hit the caps button. anyways nothing can fly out. i then framed out the tops and bottoms. i then made my coop dead center of it all. i placed tin and wood leftovers on the ground all around the outside next to the pen then buried them under a few tractor buckets of dirt so that it all looks seamless. only escapes ive had were due to a small tear when ike hit that sent a tree limb into it and the occasional dumba** moves of mine like forgetting to lock it. no further break ins other than that 1 hawk. and since it is like it is then i can kill 2 birds with 1 stone so to speak lol.
Electric fencing is a great option, if you don't have a plug close to your coop you can buy small scale solar electric fencers. Our large solar fencer for our horse fencing cost about $250.00 but the smaller 3 mile fencer is only about $100
Same here... I added an electric fence (about $100) and know that its not likely that I will lose anything. the BEST money I ahve ever spent too! Glad I did. I see too many chicken owners misarible every day from the losses..... I wish every one would give this a try its so easy!
I believe weasels and rats can get through standard chicken wire and stronger predators like racoons and dogs can break it apart. If you are relying on non-electrified system, you'll need at least 1/2 in hardware cloth.
I like electric fence around the outside of permanent runs, 4 inches and 18 inches up from the ground. This is good around the outside of veggie gardens too.
I am looking for mobile solutions too. I am currently using electrified poultry netting and only worry about hawks.
Thanks everybody! I'm pretty sure we'll try out electical fencing.
For fencing in the run, I think we were talking about 1/2 inch wire fencing, and maybe chicken wire on top of that, just to go the extra mile.
Any other posts would be much appreciated, too! I feel like I'm missing something...