How predator proof is my coop & run?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Hummingbird Hollow, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,480
    119
    201
    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    OK folks. My babies are 4 weeks old today and my coop and run are almost complete...I think... but would value your opinion.

    My coop is 4'X8' and raised about 30' off the ground. It has double walls with insulation between them. The vents are covered with a metal grate (the kind of decorative perforated metal that folks buy to put over old steam radiators). The egg door and pop door are solid wood and have fairly solid bolt style latches. The man-door has a regular doorknob type setup.

    The run is 6'X9' and about 6' high. It is covered on all sides plus the top with chicken wire that is stapled to the outside of the 2"X4" studs that make the frame and then has a 1"X3" nailed on the outside to secure the edges of the chicken wire. There is a 18" skirt of chicken wire around the whole outside of the run. I don't have a bolt or catch for the man-door into the run installed yet but will invest in something pretty strong before my girls go out.

    I plan on keeping the chickens in their coop at night, allowing access to the run during the day. I thought I had made it safe from the foxes, raccoons and occasional coyotes that come around after dark, but some of the posts on this topic are making me afraid that this isn't enough. What do you think? (do you need photos or is the description enough).

    We do have bears in the area (Colorado mountains) but I figure there isn't much I can do if a bear wants into my coop. I've had friends who had bears force the doors of their homes...thank goodness never anything like that for us. I intend to keep all chicken feed inside our garage because I've heard that bears are more interested in that than in the chickens.
     
  2. Tenmore

    Tenmore Chillin' With My Peeps

    263
    0
    99
    Jun 2, 2011
    Ogden utah
    Coop sounds good Maybe something on the egg doors if you have Racoons around they can figure things out they are pretty smart. Some say chicken wire not good enough If a dog or some thing wants in it will get in. My dog tore apart those chainlink panels they make for a bolt together dog run and I mean shreaded.... So something to think about good luck
     
  3. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,480
    119
    201
    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    Thanks. I know from experience how clever a raccoon can be. They're pretty intelligent critters and can use their hands almost as well as a monkey could.
     
  4. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,949
    73
    218
    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I used hardware cloth after reading on here post after post on how ineffective chicken wire is against pretty much any animal except a chicken but I don't have a coop to put mine in at night so the pen has to be as secure as possible.
    sharon
     
  5. lowry075

    lowry075 Chillin' With My Peeps

    428
    1
    113
    Mar 29, 2011
    Southern California
    Chicken wire is no good for keeping out predators. All the four legged ones can chew through it. Hardware cloth or welded wire are safer bets.
     
  6. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,480
    119
    201
    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    Quote:Oh Pooh! I was afraid you were going to say that! I guess it's back to Home Depot for some hardware cloth or welded wire to go over the chicken wire I already have in place. Do you think I need to do all the way up the sides and the top of the run as well or would doing say the bottom 3 or 4 feet be enough?

    Thanks for the advice. I'd rather make the investment before I lost any birds than after it was too late, but my relationship with my husband is inversely related to the amount of money I'm spending on chicken supplies so it pays to be frugal where I can.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  7. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    I put chicken wire on the inside of the 2x4s and welded wire on the outside, I usually figure three or four feet high is good, since dogs and foxes hit areas at mouth level. The double layer helps keep out coon paws since their arms are only so long and the wire layers are 4" apart. Do you have an apron to prevent digging?
     
  8. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,480
    119
    201
    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    Quote:I'm working on that apron. I'm still a few good afternoons of work away from being done with the coop and run (more if I upgrade the fencing) but my chicks are four weeks old, so I should have time to get everything finished before they go out to the coop/run full time. I think I'm going to miss having them in the garage where I can easily check on them and say "Hi" multiple times during the day and evening.

    Thanks for the advice about keeping the double layer of fencing several inches apart. It makes sense.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by