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How secure does the run need to be if we shut them in at night?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by susanah, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. susanah

    susanah Songster

    Mar 23, 2009
    We were planning on building the run with chicken wire on sides and top and leaving access for the birds to go in and out of the closed coop. Someone told us this was not safe as a fox will tear through the wire (and there are foxes in our area) so I guess we are going to close them up in the coop at night and let them out in their run in the morning. If we do this do we have to worry about burying the wire deep...since foxes, etc. are nocturnal? The wire on top should keep the hawks out...we see those too. Or are we going about this the wrong way? The coop is finished and up on stilts about 18 inches off the ground...haven't started the run yet since we are so confused. Any advice appreciated since we are new to this. We have 4 chickens that turned one month old today and need to get them outside soon. Thanks!

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Bury the wire. Dogs dig in the day. Sometimes they'll dig a little bit every night until they can pass through.
  3. susanah

    susanah Songster

    Mar 23, 2009
    I forgot to mention our yard is fenced so no dogs. Just cats, hawks, foxes, possums, racoons and possibly rats...haven't seen rats yet but I bet they are out there. Our property backs up to a wooded lot.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    During the season when they have kits at the den, foxes are pretty active in the daytime; and loose dogs are ALWAYS formidable daytime threats.

    I would suggest using 1x1" welded wire mesh (decent gauge), or strong well-installed chainlink, or decent gauge 2x4" mesh with an additional layer of hardwarecloth or 1/2" chickenwire inside it for the bottom 2'3' of the fence to prevent reach-through. And either bury the bottom of the fence at least 18" deep or run a 3-4' apron of 2x4" wire out from the base of the fence (see other threads for details).

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. tulie13

    tulie13 Songster

    Feb 12, 2009
    NW Florida
    Hey, are you my sister? [​IMG]
  6. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    Medford, Oregon
    How do the fox get in but dogs can't?

    Follow Pat's advice so you don't have to worry.
  7. Foxes can jump fences..climb trees and fence post...trust me ..if a fox knows you have chickens , he will have them if they are the least bit accessible.
    So will coons!!! [​IMG]
    We had a flock of 9 beautiful hens and a very big mean rooster, last year , and the foxes/coons ? wiped them out in 2 nights....the 2nd night they dug under the door and got the remainder of my flock!! [​IMG]
    So always assume the worse if you see them around!! HUbby and I built a fort knox type coop this winter
    ( Pix on my page
    So, hopefully, we wont loose anymore girls, ever again, to the predators [​IMG]!!

  8. TeaLady

    TeaLady In the Brooder

    May 9, 2008
    I've had raccoons checking out the chickens in broad daylight. I think of them as mini-grizzly bears. Teeth, claws, smarts, opposable thumbs... they really don't need to be afraid of anything. And boy are they strong! We had to block a cat door against them when we lived in the city. They ripped out the frame of the cat door in annoyance.

    I've had a raccoon rear up & bare his teeth at me. I reared up right back at him with the most ferocious look I could muster (it helped that there was a glass door between us). Apparently I made an impression, since he (she?) looked a little taken aback and then left.
  9. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Quote:If they are coming out in the daytime and threatening you, they are likely rabid. There is a big difference in being un-afraid of people/unconcerned (city raccoons) and being downright threatening/barring teeth at humans.

    If you cannot shoot them yourself, call animal control and tell them you suspect you have rabid raccoons in your yard. Hopefully they can trap/kill them and test them.
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Except TeaLady says this was thru a glass door. Coming up to the house and looking in is not unusual raccoon behavior. Baring their teeth is almost automatic, they don't have a lot in the way of lips [​IMG]


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