Is this over-the-top protective/predator proof?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Peppermint, May 25, 2010.

  1. Peppermint

    Peppermint Chillin' With My Peeps

    This new hobby has really turned me into quite the protective mother hen. I don't want ANYTHING messing with my ladies [​IMG]

    Our run is fully covered in hardware cloth, and buried 18 inches around the perimeter, on a 2 x 4 frame foundation. So there really should be NO WAY a racoon or possum could get in (our main predators). But I'm feeling like I also want an automatic coop door opener rather than an opening in the floor that is open 24/7. So that's my first question: do the girls really need to be "locked" in the coop at night if I'm 99% confident that no predator can get through?

    Next question I'm also concerned about PEOPLE! Seriously, my husband thinks I'm nutso. Should I lock the egg door and side door (which opens completely for cleaning) with a people-proof lock? Padlock-style? I do live in an urban area, and the coop is visible from the street...a dead end street...but still.

    Thanks for any advice [​IMG]
  2. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Add an electric fence and you'll be in awesome shape. I like the auto door on my coop. It wasn't hard to build, cost was about $120 complete, and it provided yet another layer of security. Security isn't a line. Security is layer after layer after layer. Few folks recognize that, but you have. Love to see some pics.
  3. Whitewater

    Whitewater Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2010
    Oh, yeah, I'm locking the egg door AND the human door AND the run door with padlocks. Humans are the worst predators in our area! Particularly the young ones . . . hey, it costs a bit more, but it's worth it to me. We had a kid last year open the gate to our backyard from the alley because he wanted to play with our dogs. Thankfully a neighbor rounded them up and put them back in our yard! Same kid *also* trampled my veggies last year trying to get to the chain link fence to pet the dogs. Now we have a fence around the veggies, too. Heaven knows what will happen when he sees the chickens. Better to be safe than sorry!

    Personally I don't think there is such a thing as 'too much' when it comes to predator protection. Recently a full grown pitbull dog tried to come through the fence I had surrounding our veggie garden in order to sniff noses (through a chain link fence!) with our own dogs. Not in an aggressive way, in a 'I'm too dumb to think when I'm excited' sort of way (not a slam on dogs, Hubby and I have two, and believe me, when they get excited, their brains totally shut down . . .).

    It took both of us yelling at the dog, PLUS his owner coming and manhandling him off of our (2' high, by the way) raised garden bed before the dog would cease and desist.

    This would be Primary Reason #2 we're surrounding the coop in hardware cloth including the roof even though the coop itself is behind two fences. There's no telling what a strong, excited, not-thinking predator would do!

    Not to mention our coop is in full view of our alley, anybody driving by would see our chickens.

    Our coop is entirely human-home, professional-grade materials including pine 2x4's, entirely surrounded by hardware cloth, and will be locked with padlocks.

    We don't want to have to deal with any aftermath.

    Are we over-reacting? Probably. But better an ounce of prevention!

  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I don't think you are over doing it at all. It's a full time job trying to outwit all the predators in the world (including those with 2 legs). It seems like the world is up for grabs - if we can't stop it maybe we can slow it down.

    Other day I see a woman with a shovel and bucket headed for my yard. I Intercepted her and asked what she was doing. She said "I wouldn't steal anything, I just want the small (honeysuckle) bushes you have for my yard." I pointed out the same bushes growing wild in the field but she didn't want those - too big. She kept insisting she wouldn't steal saying "I'd tell you I took some."

    Well our conversation deteriorated from there and I 'encouraged' her to look elsewhere. Wonder what she does consider "stealing." The gall of people nowadays, leaves me flabbergasted.
  5. Peppermint

    Peppermint Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, I think we're all on the same wavelength!!! A little nutty about our ladies [​IMG] Glad to hear I'm not over-reacting, now to convince hubby of the same!

    Automatic chicken doors are $200 online, and surely I could piece it together for cheaper...saw Dogfish's Lexan door and might order the motor tomorrow...
  6. Stumpy

    Stumpy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Quote:I don't think you're over-reacting one bit. As I plan for my coop and run, I want to do everything I can to prevent any problems!
  7. chickenjones

    chickenjones Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2009
    Burleson, TX
    You can NEVER be too safe! We use locks, wire, game cam, motion detector, etc. Some of the stuff we have seen on the game camera is enough to make you want to move them in the house! [​IMG]
  8. barbarachick

    barbarachick Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2010
    New Port Richey Florida
    people ARE terrible predators!! We had a teen in our area -- we found him on our property, which is posted with NO TRESPASS signs-- he caught one of our freee range roos, when my husband asked him why, he said"Just for something todo". when my husband asked him how, he said"I just chased him and chased him until he couldn' run anymore"... I say"shoot em all!!!"[​IMG]
  9. calista

    calista Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2010
    Quote:Not a bad fantasy... [​IMG]

    Also, "over-the-top" multi-layered defensive systems for your chickens and garden area are absolutely necessary today when people think they're entitled to whatever they want because nobody ever taught them differently, AND when layer hens are listed on their local CL as going for at least 20 bucks apiece.

    To these kind of predators, taking what's yours is just "creative scavenging" that supplements the family income.
  10. Prospector

    Prospector Chillin' With My Peeps

    ...And if you are non-urban there is no difference. Certainly we have our share of the raccoons, foxes, etc. but we also have country folks who know what a chicken is worth ($5) but don't recognize rare breeds and show quality. And we have city folks who think that one bird out of a flock, a couple eggs, our "wild" shrubs in the hedgerow, and our fences won't be missed if just a little is taken. Ever come home to a missing field gate?? We spent the better part of a night rounding up the neighbour's cattle after that happened.

    It really bugs me when people drive up and park on our lawn. I mean we have a big property sure, but it doesn't entitle you to park on the lawn unless I point and tell you to. We have room for about 10 cars on the gravel surface, so why do people always pull up and park on the grass in front of the house? My own parents are the worst offenders.

    Oh yeah, back to the chickens, Our defenses will include (once everything is set): a field fence, a dog, a hardware cloth run with netting overhead, and a closing door. Our chickens are off a long (private)laneway that people like to explore, and the chickens are about the only thing they have to discover once they get back there, with nothing to bother them while they nose around.
    Last edited: May 25, 2010

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