Is our run secure enough to leave coop door open?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Eggsume2Consume, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. Eggsume2Consume

    Eggsume2Consume Just Hatched

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    Feb 26, 2017
    We're in northern California and have only had chickens for two weeks. We've been thinking of leaving the coop door open for convenience and poking around the interwebs it seems that if your run is as secure as your coop, then you can just leave the coop door open so they can come and go as they please.

    We're really not sure if ours is secure enough. We did go a bit crazy trying to make our run secure but not sure.

    I was hoping we could post some pictures of it to see what more experienced folks think. We put green wire fencing below the entire run and covered it with several inches of soil and attached it to the hardware cloth of the run with u-bolts on all sides except of course where the door to the run is. Where the door to the run is, we staked the green wire with three large stakes. The door fits over these fairly tightly. On the top of the run, which is in two pieces, we figured a raccoon could possibly fall through. So we stapled down more green wire fencing to kind of bond those two sections into one piece.

    The girls want out of the coop as soon as there's any light in the morning, which is getting earlier and earlier. Would be cool to just let them call the shots instead of being blocked on us getting out of bed. Are we right in assuming this is secure enough? One potential weak point we're worried about is the plastic/rubber hinges on the door. Not sure if something could/would chew through those. Thanks for any advice!

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  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    From what I can see in your pictures, you look very secure. Here are some thoughts.
    You are secure to most predators with exception of bears. That is a different category altogether. You still may be prone to weasel or mink intrusions if they are in your area. They can squeeze thru mighty small openings. Some options you can take is: observe if anything is attempting to get into your run. As a second line of defense, have chickens stay in coop overnight, and be let out by automatic pop door. Ador1 is in my opinion a favored at about $200 and secure as well. Opens at light and closes at dark. Some of your most common predators are raccoons. If they cant get thru your run, then most others cant as well. If in time you notice continuous entry efforts, I suggest a Hot Wire fencing option. That will even keep bears out. Here is a pix of the energizer. About $35.
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    Here is a link to you tube Ador 1...
     
  3. Eggsume2Consume

    Eggsume2Consume Just Hatched

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    Feb 26, 2017
    Thank you! \o/

    Quote: Have never seen or heard of a Bear in the area. I would guess a Bear would have an easier time tearing through the roof or the nesting box door than through the run, though pure speculation.

    Never seen or heard of weasels or minks in the area, either, though looking at distribution maps, looks like they could be in the area. We should probably look into how they could potentially get in. Thanks for mentioning, we hadn't considered weasels. Doing some research now.
    Quote: We have raccoons in the yard pretty much every single night. So far they haven't shown any interest in the chickens that we are aware of. They seem to be more interested in fighting with each other.
    Quote: Our coop door raises/lowers from below with a rope and is part of the floor. Seems like that specific automation solution likely wouldn't work on our coop :/

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  4. Eggsume2Consume

    Eggsume2Consume Just Hatched

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    Feb 26, 2017
    Dang... so... looks like weasels are a concern and our run is certainly not weasel-proof. I suspect our coop isn't even weasel-proof.

    Our plan is to weasel-proof it this weekend. We focused primarily on raccoon-proofing it. :/

    Thanks @cavemanrich for calling that out.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Jeepnut58

    Jeepnut58 New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2017
    We use for our chicken run dog kennel panels made out chain link fence and we never leave our run open at night every night we go in shed do a head count.feed birds and get eggs and shut down the sliding door that goes out in to the run from.the chicken shed. we also have electric fence run all the way around outside of the chicken run.and we never leave the walk in gate to the chicken run open at night either.we don't leave the shed walk in door open either at night.We maybe over Protective of our chickens but we have to much invested in them to leave them unprotected.We only let them out of shed and the run when we are out side working close by so to watch them.
     

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