How do you know when you're predator proof?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by nikki1, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. nikki1

    nikki1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 16, 2011
    Eatonville, WA
    Hubby and I are in the middle of building our first coop, and we don't want to have to retrofit the thing after predators eat our chickies. We THINK we're building it along the lines of Ft. Knox, but are there some pitfalls a couple of newbies might overlook? We lost 2 cats within 3 weeks of moving here, so we know we have a bunch of neighborhood carvivores.

    Thanks for helping us save our chickens from the same fate! [​IMG]

    --Nikki
     
  2. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We need to see some pics of Ft Knox so the great minds with greater eyes to point out some weak spots if you have any.
     
  3. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

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    You are going for gold vault secure? normally folks suggest 1/4 to 1/2 hardware cloth for chicken tractors. Or buried fencing . But, yeah sohw us a pic of your set up so we know what to do. BTW the real FT Knox used to be a open post, not so super safe. But we can make your coop as safe as the 3rd hole on the Lindsey golf course!!!!
     
  4. nikki1

    nikki1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 16, 2011
    Eatonville, WA
    Okay...I'll have to refer the golf reference to hubby! Can't post pictures yet, as it's not built enough to show, but here are the plans:

    --The run will be completely roofed.

    --2 sides of the run will be our existing board fence, reinforced with hardware cloth. Gaps between the fence and the roof will likewise be covered with 1/2 inch hardware cloth.

    --Buried skirt of 1/2 inch hardware cloth all the way around.

    --2 latches on the "people door" to the run, top and bottom, so little paws can't pry the bottom corner out.

    --People door to enclosed house is a former exterior door...solid wood. All prop-up windows will be backed with hardware cloth, as will all vents. Door and "egg hatch" will have stout latches. (Thinking of borrowing a 2 year old to test how hard they are to open.)

    --Mesh under the entire run, if we can afford it.

    I'm toying with the idea that once it's up, before we put chickens in it, to leave some smelly, enticing food (like tuna or something) in it, and see if anything can get in to eat it. It would certainly give us an idea of our predator proofing, but we also might do little more than alert all the local carnivores to the existence of a new all-night deli.

    Does this help?

    --Nikki
     
  5. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds pretty good. Mine is built like that with hardware cloth on all sides and top. However I would not want wire under the whole run. Those chickens dig like they are digging to China! If you put the apron of wire on the outside....it should stop things from digging under. I am going on two years now with mine...so far so good. I know I have possums and racoons...they come up on the porch to eat the left over cat food.
    sharon
     

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