I need some info on Foxes and making the coop more predator proof.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by sumi, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    We moved to Ireland recently and I got some chickens today. We bought a coop from the feed store with a small run attached, but I'm worried about foxes. I'm not familiar with them and their behaviour and our landlord told me there are some in this area.
    Could someone please tell me what I can do to keep my new birds safe?
    This is the coop they're in. I'll get a better pic tomorrow. The mesh looks quite strong, but I'm worried as it has no floor. It sits on the ground and something could dig under it. Would a fox do that?
    Also what time of they day are they most active? I'd like to let my girls free range part of the day.
    Is there any good deterrent(s) that I can use to keep foxes away?
    We're going to do some work on the coop next week, make the run area bigger for them etc. Any tips would be most welcome!



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  2. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    I can't tell from the photo- is that welded wire with small square openings, or the weak chicken wire with hexagonal openings?
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Sorry, not the greatest pic. And it's dark outside now. Here's one I took inside the coop earlier... Shows a bit more detail.

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  4. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    The wire mesh looks good. How easy will it be for predators to dig underneath?

    How secure is the coop once you lock them in at night? Are there weak boards that can be torn off or chewed through? Are the ventilation openings secure?
     
  5. Greyfox Farm

    Greyfox Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Congrats on the chickens!

    My advise would be:
    1) Upgrade the wire to 1/2" mesh hardware cloth. With wider mesh wire a "nest predator" like a raccoon can reach in, and weasel can actually crawl through.
    2) Bury some wire under the perimeter of the coop so a digging predator such as a canine can't burrow under.
    3)Make sure the latches on all openings have some sort of safety catch. Raccoon in particular can actually learn to operate simple latches.
    4) Enjoy your chickens!
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. CoopersCoop

    CoopersCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, burry wire about a foot out from sides.
     
  7. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Thank you both. We would like to move the coop around now and then to get them on to fresh grass (and make sure they don't destroy the patch they're on as we're renting this property). Would it help if we attach a foot wide strip of mesh to the bottom and secure it to the ground?
    The coop is on a well established lawn at the moment, but I think a really determined predator will be able to dig through that.
    There is a pop hole where the hens go in and out, but it looks a bit flimsy to me and is too easy to lift up. We're thinking of securing that a bit better tomorrow. I'll get some pics in the morning... We ran out of daylight today.
    I hope they'll be O.K. tonight. I lost so many chickens to predators in SA I don't want a repeat of that.
     
  8. alzhere

    alzhere New Egg

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    I'm in the same boat... thinking to buy a movable coop & run...
    But does this concept work?
    Attaching a horizontal curtain of wire to lay flat on the ground? Next to the outer edges of the coop/run?
    What is the minimum width that would be required?
    Thanks - Alan !
     
  9. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would recommend electrified poultry netting from Premier. Especially with a movable coop. It is a lot easier to set up and take down and move than a bunch of wire fencing. I have a serious fox problem here. They have killed a bunch of my birds. I bought 300' of the netting and surrounded my coop. I liked it so much, I bought another 300' and expanded the "Run". It has been in use for over a year, my chickens get to come out every day, and I don't have to worry about them. Check out Premier's website and see what they have.
    Jack
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