I hope this works

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by wantmesomebirds2, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. wantmesomebirds2

    wantmesomebirds2 In the Brooder

    Jun 2, 2019
    Middle of Illinois
    I am beyond sick and tired of fighting and fighting predators and always losing.

    I've had chickens and other poultry for 10 - 12 years now. Both in Missouri and when we moved back to Illinois

    A few months ago, something slaughtered everything I had. Except for one guinea.

    Of course we did live traps, the special gold method, etc. Finally found several racoons dead and something like fox shape, and mink/weasels.

    The floor of the chicken house is dirt. Which of course, things can tunnel into the chicken house.

    We took two layers of chicken wire and laid it all across the floor and up all sides (of the chick house) by at least 6 inches and attached it to 2 X 6 boards. So nothing can come up between the sides/walls and fencing and get into the enclosure. In addition to the two layers of chicken wire, we then added four layers of chain link fencing, which also goes up the sides of the walls and attach to the 2X6 lumber.

    Everything is well screwed into the lumber and there are no spaces at all. The floor is covered in six layers of fencing, each layer is staggered so that none of the holes of the fencing match up with each other. The fence was not cut when put up the sides of the walls, but bent, so that there would be no chances of gaps.

    Every bit of floor is covered and a good six inches up the side of each wall. It is all well attached to things that can not be pulled out or away that leave any space that something cough get through. No holes are big enough for anything to fit through, and it is all wire (some really thick gauged), so nothing can chew through six layers of steel. It is basically a good solid floor, with protection up each wall that is sealed/attached to keep anything from coming through the walls.

    Oh, also none of the walls are wood. They are all metal-steel panels that overlap each other by 10 inches, and is all well sealed together. A metal-steel roof tops off the house.
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Sounds good. You might want to consider hot wire/electric fencing as a further deterrent. Good luck.
  3. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Enabler

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    I hope everything works out for you. The weasels, mink, are the most difficult to predator proof against, compared to other predators.
    Good to keep a watch if these try to return, and keep trapping them if you can.
    WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and :welcome
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    :welcome :frow How did the predator get your birds? Did you find a breach somewhere? Do you know what the predator was that got your birds? If you have a game camera put it up because from my experience from my game cameras, most predators have routines and routes they frequent. If they have made a kill in the past, they will be back. They may not come back the next night but they will come back periodically and look for a place they can breach. I had a bobcat several years ago and kill 14 birds. It didn't come back the next night but did the following night and I caught it. They probably come onto your property more than you realize. Most nights I get a picture of a predator on at least one of my cameras. Here it is mostly coyotes but we also have several other predators too. I have electric wire around my coops and pens, concrete under the gates, netting covering all of the pens and it some more vulnerable places along the fence I dug a trench and buried some wire a foot deep and hog ringed it to the bottom of the fence. All was done because of losses in the past by predators. Good luck and have fun with you flock and keeping them safe...
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Good effort. My caution is that mink and weasels can get through chain link.
    I don't like wire on the floor of a run or coop. When chickens scratch, which they will, that can cause bumble foot if they get a cut.
    To prevent getting animals digging their way into a run, a better method is to have an apron on the ground extending outward.
    The best suggestion is from @sourland- electric fencing.
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I wanted to add that chicken wire on dirt or in any environment that contains moisture, it will rust quickly. Then it is no protection from any predator. Even if brand new, chicken wire will keep chickens in but won't keep a predator out.
    NewBoots and Mybackyardpeepers like this.
  7. getaclue

    getaclue Enabler

    Jun 19, 2013
    Central Florida
    Try a pen skirt of wire mesh, and hot wire.
    cavemanrich and NewBoots like this.
  8. Mybackyardpeepers

    Mybackyardpeepers Crowing

    Mar 22, 2019
    Crossing my fingers that this time your babies are safe. Best of luck!
    cavemanrich likes this.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    That's what I was wondering!
  10. wantmesomebirds2

    wantmesomebirds2 In the Brooder

    Jun 2, 2019
    Middle of Illinois
    We are pretty sure racoons were e of the problem (past experience with them when in Missouri). We know the mink/weasels got some, as my husband saw one in a hole it had dug into the chicken house. It had a chicken it has just killed in it's mouth, trying to pull the chicken into the hole. He also has seen minks/weasels running in the fence rows. We have lots of coyotes around us. Lots of hawks, owls, etc. Also we were able to recognize some of the tracks in mud around the chicken house and where some of the birds roosted that did not roost in the chicken house (ducks would not go into it, nor the guineas). The guineas always roosted in the rafters of the barn, 12 feet high.

    It has been a horrible year for predator's here in Illinois. I know of one poultry person who has shot and killed at least 35 racoons. We've heard of even worse numbers of predators other people have had. We've been in Illinois since early 2013, and would lose a couple birds now and then, but never the huge amount of birds in just a day or night, like this past summer. In just two days and two nights I lost: 20+ chickens, over a dozen Muscovy ducks, and about 15 - 20 guineas. They were all spread out; some in the chicken house, some in the barn (and up in the rafters of the barn), and even a small group of chickens that insisted on roosting in the rafters of our carport (9 feet high)

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