keeping the bad guys out

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by craftyridge, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. craftyridge

    craftyridge Out Of The Brooder

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    We have our coop in a really large dog kennel covered in deer netting. For those of you witha similar setup, do you still close the chickens in the coop every night? Is there a way to secure them completely so that they can have access to the run when they want
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Make the run critter proof with an apron and a solid or heavy metal mesh roof.
    Close any gaps, larger than a couple inches, between chain link sections.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    My set-up is different from yours, but with the same basic risk factors. Yes I lock them in a secure coop at night. Many predators, including raccoon, bobcat, possum, and even a fox can climb that fence and rip right through that deer netting. You might want to do a search on “fox climbs fence” for some interesting videos.

    The only way to secure it completely is to build something that a predator can’t get in. That would involve a good secure roof, either solid or out of strong fencing material. It would also involve something to keep a predator from digging in. That might involve burying the fencing or my preferred method, an apron. That’s where you lay a piece of fencing maybe 18” wide all around the coop and run and attach it to the bottom of your fencing. You don’t absolutely have to bury it at all but putting a couple of inches of sod or dirt on it keeps it out of the way of weed-eaters and lawn mowers. The idea is a predator goes up to the fence, starts to dig, hits the wire, and doesn’t know to back up. Gates are often another weak point, either in how it is locked shut or maybe how solid and how well it fits.

    Something that can go a long way toward securing your run is electric wire. You have to put some thought into it because often your coop provides a way a climbing predator can gain access and gates can be problematic, but electricity is a real deterrent as long as the power doesn’t go out. The way I read your post it sounds like the coop is entirely in the run. Electricity might be a really good approach for you.

    The bigger the run, the harder and more expensive it is to make it really secure but many people do it. How do you know when it is secure enough for them to have total access? When you are comfortable it gives the protection you want. I don’t know what materials you will choose, what techniques you use in building it, or your craftsmanship in building it. That’s your decision, not mine. Many people find that they can go a long time without a predator attack and think their set-up is secure, then have a disaster when a predator finds a weakness or an area of poor maintenance. Many people never have a predator attack with the coop and run always open to each other. It can be done.

    Good luck!
     
  4. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try an automatic door hooked to a timer, I have mine set to close a half an hour after they go in to roost for the night and open just before sunrise, I know they are safe at night, I made a drop down door for this exact reason. I installed the d20 add a motor got it on Amazon. Got the digital timer at Lowe's, model with a battery back up, piece of mind goes a long way in my book.
     
  5. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I close the door between the run and the coop every night as a final layer of protection for the birds. As far as I know, the run is predator proof. I have had a bobcat jump up onit and try to get in with no luck, but you never know. I close the pop door each night because I know if I didn't, and a predator came in and killed all the hens, I would really regret it! Go ahead and close it, you will sleep better!
     
  6. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I close the door every night - we had a great horned owl WALK into the pop door and take 4 chicks over the course of 2 nights (2 a night). Yep....if the door is big enough for a chicken to pass through, so can a whole host of other predators. Not worth the risk for us. Besides, the dog always wants to go out right at dusk too! So we're already outside while he does his thing.....!
     
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    My birds are locked in their coop every night, because their run is only moderately safe. Half inch hardware cloth and solid walls and roof, with no gaps larger than 1/2 inch, and a solid floor or buried wire; my coop is like that, but not the run. If we had bears, strong electric would also be necessary. Safety from predators is a constant issue; I free range and do have occasional daytime disasters, but at least I can lock them at night, and do a run lockdown when needed. Mary
     
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    7,752
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    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    My birds are locked in their coop every night, because their run is only moderately safe. Half inch hardware cloth and solid walls and roof, with no gaps larger than 1/2 inch, and a solid floor or buried wire; my coop is like that, but not the run. If we had bears, strong electric would also be necessary. Safety from predators is a constant issue; I free range and do have occasional daytime disasters, but at least I can lock them at night, and do a run lockdown when needed. Mary
     

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