How high to make roosts to be safe from possums or coons?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Feanor, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. Feanor

    Feanor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There has been a lot of rain lately and I'm worried that with the soft ground, a predator may be able to dig under and get into my coop. All of my roosts are between 3 and 6 feet off the ground. I couldn't find any info in the forums about how high is high enough, just in case something gets in at night. So, can possums or coons jump? are my birds safe at 3+ feet off the ground? Or should I make the roosts higher just in case something gets in? Thanks!
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    If your roosts are too high the chickens legs and feet can get hurt when they jump down, especially larger, heavier breeds. Rather lay some mesh along the sides of your coop and run and pin it down, or even better, bury it, to stop predators digging their way in. A really determined predator will not be deterred by high roosts.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Raccoons and oppossums are weak jumpers. I like a height of 5 feet or more. Make certain raccoon or oppossum can not climb wall to end of roost pole otherwise height will not matter. If concerned about impact with ground when coming off roost, then provide a softened landing zone like straw bale. Also consider by birds roost during summer sometimes as high as 30 feet in trees and fly down each morning. I have never had bumble foot in those birds so problem involves more than simply impact with ground. Many of my birds are dominiques which have some weight to them.
     
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    A roost 6 feet above the ground is no guarantee that you'll have live chickens tomorrow morning if one of these vermin gets inside your chicken coop tonight. Put your effort and money into keeping them away from or out of your coop.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Do both raise roose and make access to coop more difficult!

    Many times I have found evidence a raccoon or oppossum beat perimeter yet caused no problems because birds could not be accessed. A properly constructed roost that can not be accessed by a climbing raccoon should be a requirement for all containment of chickens. Always remember predator management is putting up multiple layers of obstructions predator must go through just to get at birds. If all effort invested in structure of coop perimeter, you will get beat and a lot harder than if multiple layers of defense in place.
     
  6. Sally8

    Sally8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My thoughts are that you could never make them high enough. Both are resourceful in getting around and up. Around here raccoons are seen 50+ feet in the air in trees. If it were me I'd concentrate on securing your coop. Remember, raccoons have nimble little fingers and can unlock many things. Good luck.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Come on! Raccoons and oppossums can not scale a smooth surface. I can climb 120 feet into an oak tree but cannot climb even a 7 foot wall without something to grab onto.

    The nimble fingers and unlocking get them into your coops. I have had them as pets with chickens present and know from experience raccoons can be beat.
     
  8. Sally8

    Sally8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most chicken coops that I've ever seen will have cracks in the wood, 2 x 4 studding, nests for layers, food and water dishes that are 12 - 24 in high, at least ours do. Just my opinion and it was asked for. Sue
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    That is were a redesign is in order. You can also mount roost poles to ceiling and keep ends away from walls that can be scaled. In our efforts to make coops more compact or otherwise convenient, we are making them more difficult for chickens to survive when perimeter defenses fail.
     
  10. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I recommend an electric fence 6 - 8" (That's right, INCHES!) They won't dig under what they can't get close to. [​IMG]
     

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