How safe is my run??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by horsewishr, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    Our entire run is hardware cloth--buried about a foot underground. We've got poultry netting on top. But the fence is just under 5 feet tall, and my cat routinely jumps up to the top rail. (We have 2x4s along the top--flat side up. In retrospect, probably not the best idea.)

    I wonder what, if any, predators could possibly jump or climb into the run.

    We have coyotes, skunks, possums, and raccoons. I've heard rumors of cougars, but not too close to here. No bears.

    Are my girls safe--or is it only a matter of time?
  2. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    Not to sure. I would think a motivated raccon could get through, or weasel. Do you shut them away at night?
  3. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    I do generally close them in at night. But there have been a couple of nights when I didn't, and so far they've been fine. [​IMG]

    The neighbor also has a coop. It's about 100 feet from mine, and is considerably less secure. They've had no problems--but we both just got the chickens this spring. And they've got a rooster, so I'm sure that helps.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2007
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    As long as you lock them up at night they will be fine. Coons will be able to go anywhere your cat can go so be careful. I had a pest coon once... it learned how to open the coop door and killed all my birds.
  5. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    Good to know. Actually I've never seen a raccoon around here. We used to live just a couple of miles away--within the city limits--and routinely saw coons. Now that we're out in "farm" country, I don't see them. I just assume they're around.
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I bet those coons are around. Just that since you aren't in the city, they are more people wary and prob hide much quicker at any indication of present human.
  7. Wolfpacker

    Wolfpacker Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    I had a poultry netting top last year and something - probably a racoon - meticulously picked his or her way through making a hole just large enough, came down, killed my RIRs, ate their feed, left a couple of piles of skat, and then left through the same hole, leaving behind one lone gray hair in the twisted wire of the poultry netting.

    I have hardware cloth top this year.
  8. CtlisencedArborist

    CtlisencedArborist Songster

    Jul 20, 2007
    Only takes one time to change ya mind.
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    During the day, you are probably ok. If you leave the coop door open at night, I would say it's just a matter of time.

    My biggest concerns would be raccoons, weasels and possums. They are climbers and the netting will be your weak point. They'd have a nice comfy spot to sit and plenty of time to work on creating a hole, while you sleep peacefully unaware.

    The thing that's so tough with predators, is that it's just such a crap shoot on any given day, who happens to be in your area and also how desperate they are for food. You never know when a new animal will move into your territory. Natural food choices and availability changes, whether they have a family to provide for, the weather, all these things can drive a predator to hunt more or less aggressively. Some animals prefer to hunt at night, but if they're more desperate, they'll hunt in the day.
  10. Southern28Chick

    Southern28Chick Flew The Coop

    Apr 16, 2007
    Quote:I'm from the south and I've only seen maybe 5 (live) coons in my entire 24 years of life!!! That doesn't mean they aren't there. Being out in "farm" country just means that they have woods to hide in so they won't be seen, as opposed to no cover in the city. Just be careful.

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