how to predator-proof my urban coop...is it possible???

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by IveLanded, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. IveLanded

    IveLanded New Egg

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    Nov 18, 2011
    I live in the city and will be having a coop in my little back yard. We have LOADS of squirrels and I see possums in my neighborhood. I've heard we also ave racoons and skunks.

    I will have a coop that my hens will go in at night that will have an attached run that is currently covered in chicken wire.

    What are the best things I can do to make sure the possums and racoons don't get in???
     
  2. Patricia Jane

    Patricia Jane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chicken wire is not predator proof. Racoons will get in as well as dogs can tear right through it. Attach hardware cloth/welded wire around side of coop approx 4' high. Keeps racoons from reaching in and garbbing your chickens. Also bury hardware cloth skirt around outside bottom of run, secure and cover with dirt or brick. Keeps animals from digging into your run Make sure you have secure locks on your coop so nothing can get in. Hope this helps.
     
  3. Moabite

    Moabite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2010
    Utah
    Well, locking them up at night until you replace that chicken wire with some heavy gauge hardware cloth. Chickwire is only good for keeping chickens in. You have to protect from every direction too. Dogs are the biggest concern because they are everywhere and any time of day too. You gotta protect the bottom and the top. If there is a week spot, predators will find it.
     
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anderson, Texas
    I use Hot Wire on one of my coops.
     
  5. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    Replace the chicken wire.Get a havahart trap and set it 24/7 away from the coop.Dispose of the animals as permitted by law.Someone posted about hot wire at home deopt that was cheap.That is useful too,but I go the traping route.
     
  6. DraigAthar

    DraigAthar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Plainfield, NH
    You just have to make everything as tight as possible. No gaps anywhere in your coop (except for ventilation, and those should be screened). Use hardware cloth on the run, like others have said. Dig a trench all the way around the run and make the wire extend down into the ground and flare out in the bottom of the trench, to keep things from digging under the fence. Give the run a roof of some sort, either more hardware cloth or something else. When we built a coop last spring, we tried to make it as predator proof as possible, you can see pics of it here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=74995-new-hampshire-coop-and-run
    We haven't lost a bird yet, and we have oodles of predators. For a while there, we'd find fox prints ALL around the coop and run every morning, like he was stopping by to check for holes every night. And there were bigger muddy footprint on the wall of the coop a few times, like a stray dog had leaned up on it to sniff in the window. And a few times it looked like something had tried to dig under the fence in the flowerbed we put along the edge of the run. But the girls have remained safe. So it's working so far! Fingers crossed. [​IMG]

    Amy
     
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Closing the coop at night is the best predator protection you can do. As others said, stray dogs are a daytime concern so if they can get in your backyard the chicken wire on your run may not hold up to them.
     
  8. IveLanded

    IveLanded New Egg

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    Nov 18, 2011
    Awesome, thank you.

    I don't *think* I'll have problems with stray dogs....my back yard has a 6 foot fence around it and only has one "exposed" side...my yard is bordered by my neighbors yards (they are dog-less) on two sides and my house on one side.

    Does anyone know how sneaky chickens are in terms of trying to get out of their enclosures? The woman who's giving me the chickens has kept their feathers clipped so they can't fly so I was thinking of letting them occasionally just be out in the yard, but there is one section of fence with slight gaps between the boards......I'm wondering if chickens get curious and try to get out.
     
  9. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I live in the city as well (not really a city, but a village) and have no issues other than night predators. The coop needs to be safe. Off the ground and no way for an animal to dig in to it. I don't have windows in my coop, as it's only a night time sleeping quarters. They have a converted garage as shelter during the day (and the night for a couple of them) and I padlock everything up. Raccoons can open latches. I've found this out when one opened up a latched treat jar and emptied the contents to eat. They did not get into my coop. [​IMG] Fort Cox is right! [​IMG]

    I haven't had any issues with pet animals. My fence for them is chain link. It keeps our dogs in, so I'm assuming it will keep other dogs out. I'm really not worried about cats. I have my own cats that stay close by the chickens and hate other cats, so I'm not too worried about that.. Really, I have had no problems. Flying predators would be my worst fear. A covered run is suggested. I don't have one, but it's recommended.
     
  10. kota1369

    kota1369 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I can only speak for my chickens..... they have NO interest in leaving my yard! And if went over the fence would raise a big ruckus.[​IMG]
    I still trim their feathers, and especially the 6 mo. olds.
     

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