I have this crazy idea.....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by PamelaTX, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. PamelaTX

    PamelaTX Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 23, 2011
    Central Texas
    So my idea is kind of crazy so I wasn't even quite sure where to post my question....so here it is. Over the years, feral cats have arrived on the ranch and had kittens and then the mamas have disappeared. So I have ended up raising the kittens and have fallen in love with all of them along the way. Lately, the disappearances have increase and I have heard the coyotes at night and even saw one bold as can be in the daylight today. I can't have the cats inside (allergies) and I don't have a garage or any other place to put the cats at night.

    So here's my idea...Can any of you experienced chicken folks think of a reason, after the chickens are locked up in their coop for the night, that I couldn't then put the cats into the predator proof chicken run for safety during the night time hours? Then in the morning I would make sure all the cats were out of the run before I opened the coop and let the chickens back out.

    I could put a sandbox (no kitty litter--just sand) in for the overnight of the cats and take it out before the chickens went back into the run. I was also thinking that I could put some boxes with holes on high ledges way up in the corners for the cats to use to keep warm at night (I'm in Texas and these cats prefer to "winter" outdoors--even when I offer heated areas on the porch, they stay outdoors).

    So my question is, as I said, could this work or am I overlooking or too inexperience to recognize the obvious flaws here. Pathogens? etc?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Don't see why this wouldn't work, or, how about a dedicated run or "cat house", just for the kitties.
    Coyotes getting bold, is not good, next thing they will be trying chew or there way into the chickens, you any good with a 22?
    2 weeks ago I saw a Timber Wolf in my front yard, my large Golden Retriever, and Border Collie cross, took after it, both lived to come home, my GR, had a bite mark in is hind leg area....Good Luck RR
     
  3. PamelaTX

    PamelaTX Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, I wished I had a 22 at the time. I had one on the ranch for a long time but the friend who kept it here was so stingy as to "borrow it back" LOL!. How dare he huh? I did go out and fire a 45 from my Judge out at the coyote. I knew I wouldn't hit him at the distance he was away but figured I'd scare him pretty good. It worked. He took off into the woods like I hit him! Ha ha

    Glad your dogs are ok! I plan on getting a German Shepard puppy to raise soon. But I am going to wait until after my husband and I return from a planned trip coming up. I don't want to disrupt the training or confuse a puppy with our sudden absence. I really can't wait!!

    Any other thoughts anyone?
     
  4. Another favorite weapon of mine a Remington Model 870 wingmaster, with load of buck shot. If you need a varmint gun, go with a .223 or 22-250, Coyotes are a real nuisance up here, straight north of Texas just over the border from North Dakota into Manitoba where we live. Hey listen to me, Johnny Canuck, giving Ms.Texas rifle advice..........LOL have a good one good luck with the new puppy, always fun for the 1st 6 months
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  5. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds to me like it would work. About the critters, have you tried an electric fence? Its cheap enough that you could enclose a large area around your yard with it and dogs & bears at least really don't like them, so it should work for coyotes and wolves. The trick is for them not to "see it coming" and for them to get a good jolt the first & second, if necessary,time. If the critters are coming from one direction, you may not even have to enclose an area, just block the direction they are coming from.
     
  6. PamelaTX

    PamelaTX Out Of The Brooder

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    Central Texas
    Great idea about an electrical fence but unfortunately it's impractical in my situation. We live deep in the woods and the coyotes come from 360 degrees. We have a barbed wire fence around the house and barn and out buildings to keep the cattle out but it is a perimeter around a full five acres so that would be pricey to wire up. Also, I don't want to zap the other wildlife or my own cats etc. I want the cats to have the full run of the five acres because they are great at keeping the mice, rats, and snakes away. So I think having them confined at night to a safe, enclosed, predator proof area is my best option. I just didn't want to build two enclosures if one was going to be used only at night and the other was going to be used only in the daytime. It just seemed like such a perfect solution that I was sure I was overlooking some obvious reason it was not a good idea. [​IMG]
     
  7. FlaRocky

    FlaRocky Chillin' With My Peeps

    You could hotwire your outside fence. I did all of mine when cats and chickens disappeared. Ran one strand at the bottom and one at the top. Put the connecters every 3-4 post apart. So only cost me a few hundred. I use a hotbox that is strong enough for bulls and is for 20 miles of fence. It has paid for itself over and over. With laying hens running $15 to 25 per bird and what I am saving on vet bills for the dogs and cats. It is worth it to me. Dogs getting into it with the cyotes are not cheap.

    I have not had a loss in months with the hot wire up and running.:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

    One cheap way to run the wire is use 1 inch pvc pipe cut to the lenth you need to make little insulaters. Cut 1/3 into the pvc, slip wire into groove then attach to post.

    Maye


    Ride the Glide......Got Gait.... I Do....
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  8. MikesChicks

    MikesChicks New Egg

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    I think your feral cats are sitting in the corner somewhere laughing at how they got YOU to suggest putting them in with the chickens ...haha I see flashes of older cartoons like Foghorn Leghorn, Tom & Jerry, The Roadrunner, and the like, running through my mind [​IMG]
     
  9. PamelaTX

    PamelaTX Out Of The Brooder

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    Central Texas
    Mikeschicks, I know you are just kidding around. But finding the fur of my missing kittens in coyote scat near the house just makes me think about how these pets had been torn limb from limb in a painful death. While I know you are just having fun, it really was heartbreaking for me. Imagine finding the remains of your beloved pets night after night as they disappeared one by one. It really is horrible!

    So anyway, needless to say, I will see to it that the chickens are all out of the run and locked safely in the coop before the run would be used to protect cats! And the cats who I didn't raise by hand (the true ferals) would just have to stay out to fend for themselves. I just can't bear having these precious kittens killed any longer. [​IMG]
     
  10. StarLover21

    StarLover21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only issue I see is getting the cats to go in there at night. [you're thinking just a night, right?] I'm guessing you're not going to want to catch each one of them everynight. But if you can get them trained to go in there it seems like a good idea. Good luck!
     

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