how to keep vermin from living under shed style coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cobrien, May 8, 2009.

  1. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    Time to expand the coop. I am on the 9th revision of my coop design and am feeling pretty close!! I have a handicapped chicken who hops on one leg and cannot go up a ramp. I need to have the house at ground level and cannot elevate the coop.

    How can I keep rats and mice from moving in under the shed? I'd rather not pour concrete, I have a small city yard and will remove the coop if/when I ever sell the house. Should I put pressure treated wood right on the ground? Would gravel make it less inviting? I can put trim around the bottom edge of the shed but the little buggers could always dig under it.

    Thank you BYC!
  2. wanda047

    wanda047 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2009
    Hardy, Arkansas
    Hope someone can help you. My only suggestion would be the concrete which you've already said you don't want to do. I had a groundhog which resided under my shed-type coop until I eliminated it.
  3. citrusdreams

    citrusdreams Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    My henhouse was mouse infested last year at this time too, as was an adjoining shed in which I stored their feed.

    I don't know how opposed you are to this, but I used mouse-poison baits. Those black boxes with poison blocks in them. I know there are some people who don't like to bait rodents with poison.

    But when I want them gone, I want them gone. The bait boxes are small, only mice can get in (and I suppose other tiny rodents) and if you're also free ranging your chicks, they'll get in too. But if you're keeping your chicks in, this will work for you.

    It's significantly improved the situation. I'm sure the buggers are there, I mean, I live in the country. But I haven't seen one alive since. And my feed bags haven't been broken into since.
  4. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    Thanks for the responses. I can't use poison because I have dogs who could eat the poisoned critters. The chickens free range on occasion, too.

    I have tried to think of ways to have an elevated coop but Special Edna would have a hard time getting up a ramp. I could make her a special "in-law" unit with handicapped access, but think she wouldn't use it, she would likely spend an hour struggling up the ramp, as she wouldn't want to sleep alone.

    Still thinking - thanks so far for the ideas!!
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Could you just use dirt as the floor or dirt topped with sand? Use the wire "aprons" to keep the predators out. It will depend on the size of the coop and how it is constructed, but you may be able to move a coop without a floor. I can't come up with any way to keep mice out from under a coop with a solid wood floor.

  6. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Try mothballs.
  7. YeOleBroodie

    YeOleBroodie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    I have built all my houses close to the ground. They all sit on concrete blocks to keep them from touching the ground.
    What I have done is put a skirting all away around the bottom, that goes right into the ground. You can use anything you like for that. I use boards as I have a large over hang on the roof so they stay dry.
    Then apply any type of siding wanted to the rest of the house.

    In many years I have not had any problems with critters getting under there, even tho I am in bush country.

    As to a ramp, try building up the ground up leading to the pop door.
    You wouldn't need much of a slant to it that way and she probably could tackle that slight slant.
    It may get worn down but easy enough to build it back up again.
    Or put down one or two some small boards to build it up somewhat then put dirt over that. That would stop them from scratching it lower quicker.
    The boards will rot over a period of time but you can get pieces pretty well anywhere.
    Good luck.
  8. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    My coop floor is the dirt floor - I just put shavings right on top of it. I didn't have any problems with mice until I decided to build a wood floor and mice moved in. I plan to remove the wood floor and go back to the dirt. I also use galvanized trash cans to keep the feed contained.
  9. mediazeal

    mediazeal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2009
    You can put hardware cloth under the coop and then wrap it up the sides. You are basically closing in the space under the house with hardware cloth.

    If you are doing too large a space to run it all the way under as a wire floor right on the ground, you can wrap a hardware cloth 'skirt' all the way around and bury it a couple of feet down to deter digging under it. This will not be as effective as someday someone will dig under it and if you have a wire floor at ground level they won't be able to live in the space 'between'

    my 2 cents

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