How to keep weasels out of the run question

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BirdBrain, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    My neighbor called the other day. She remem ered our plans for chickens this summer and wanted to report she had seem a weasel/ermine when she was outside last week. I am planning a 6 foot horse fence (like welded wire) with electric around the outside. I also plan to run chicken wire or hardware cloth around the inside. Will the electric fence deter weasels and if so how should I space the wire? I am also trying to deter bears and moose.
     
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is for your roofed run? Weasels are my nightmare, too. We're in a pine marten protection zone, and there are various weasels and mink. We had to make a template at the top of the run baffling around the roof joists, to discourage climbing, you can see it in the link for the run, below. We have black bears and because others have less secure chickens, they tend to go there. I would think the electric wire would have to be chest highfor bears, and guessing weasels can avoid them, plus you might need another strand at shoulder level for bear because it might stand on its hind. Will you be running the line out from the coop directly to the run? We haven't done this yet, though we have the equipment up high to an electric outlet by the back door of our barn. I know that the weasels require no opening greater than 1/2" but I'm not sure I could keep a bear out, I just hope the other poultry owners continue to be sloppier than us! I'll follow this thread with you, will be very interested to see what others suggest.[​IMG]
     
  3. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    I am building a 12x24 coop so I can have half of it to raise meaties and the other half for layers. Then during the winter I will let the layers into the meatie side as well. I don't know yet how big my run will be. I would love to roof it but don't know yet what to do about that. I don't really know what size to make the run either. You have any suggestions for how big to make the run so I can roof it? We have a few black bears that wander through. I thought to run a couple of strands at the hight you suggested as well as about a foot off the ground and along the top. My DH will run conduit from the house to the coop so I can have direct power.
     
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    The instructions for our run are below. We used vinyl roofing (PALRuf), and with your predator situation I think you would be wise to get yours covered. Pics, etc in the file...
     
  5. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,993
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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    [/quote=BirdBrain]My neighbor called the other day. She remem ered our plans for chickens this summer and wanted to report she had seem a weasel/ermine when she was outside last week. I am planning a 6 foot horse fence (like welded wire) with electric around the outside. I also plan to run chicken wire or hardware cloth around the inside. Will the electric fence deter weasels and if so how should I space the wire? I am also trying to deter bears and moose.[/quote.

    Do not try to put elec wire up just for weasels alone. You would likely get it too close to the ground to be able to control weeds around the hot wire. Use hardware cloth around bottom. Set both it and wire fence in a shallow trench and fill with a mix of coarse sand and portland cement, 5:1. Do cement only after main fence and mesh are stretched into place. I did 4 courses of hot wire and used 2" insulators. I set a 1" dia stretch-type spring 6" long (relaxed) in the middle of each hot wire course at halfway point. I pre stretched it via a 2x4 block and two nails. After completing each hot wire run (galv 17 ga wire) I removed the nails and the spring pulled the hot wire up good and tight. I did that on all 4 courses, from 8" to 42" height on my 72" fence. A wire top is no good against a weasel unless the sides are entirely of 1/2" mesh and the top is too. You could do some of the hot wires using 1" spacers. They are likely to hit one of those while climbing up. BUT, your fence must be pulled tight, not sloppy or loose. Otherwise it is likely that you will have a short-circuit.

    In your case, I would do 6 courses of hotwire. Maybe on the 2nd and 3rd course, they could be on 1" spacers to hit climbing ferrets, weasels, etc. And I would use minimum, a 50-mile charger or preferrably, a 100-mile charger since you are concerned about moose and bear.[​IMG]
     

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