Literally just got my pen all fenced properly and this.....Part II

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by JoeOxfordCT, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Songster

    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    Well, it's been one week since I lost one of my small Buffs. See initial post here:

    Instead of being able to let my birds range inside the pen I've kept them locked up in the coop all week. I took yesterday off and set 8 additional posts inside the pen. I then put screws into the top of each post and ran mason's line in a gridwork pattern throughout the entire pen. I let the girls out while I was doing this work but I can tell you that both my girls and myself felt uneasy the entire day.....I think we are all suffering from a little hawk paranoia. When I went into the house to have lunch, I made sure I sat where I could look outside and see the coop/pen. The birds seemed very skittish as well. When I was done stringing the line I stood back and took a look.....I can't help feeling like I've turned my setup into kind of an internment camp...but I guess if the birds are safe then I'll get used to it. I may restring too with something a little less visable too....I dunno, maybe wire or heavy fishing line. For right now I wanted to make it so obvious to any raptors that I'm willing to live with the eyesore. This has not exactly turned out like I had planned as an idyllic little chicken yard. [​IMG]

    Here are some pics:

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2007
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Does remind me a bit of Hogan's Heroes....

    I'd leave the colored for a while and then switch over to monofilament fishing line if you are tired of the visibility of the orange.

    I'm not thrilled either with the look of my PVC arches - maybe I'll get around to painting them black or brown to make them a bit less visible.

    BTW - I really like your coop building - do the chickens have the run of the inside, or do you have it partitioned off to store supplies, etc?

    I'm already thinking about my NEXT coop - I'd like it to be something similar to yours - a small building that I can actually go inside to clean and feed/water, etc.
  3. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Songster

    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    Well I will tell you one thing...make the coop as big as you can afford to. Mine is 8'x8' and I already wish I'd made it bigger. The inside is wide open except for a small area that's partially wired off for the 4, now 3 smaller Buff's I have. I'll also tell you that I'd don't think I went overboard with design or materials but I'm pretty sure that I blew a grand including paint on the I wish I'd made it 12'x12'.....oh well....

    I'm more concerned at this point that they have a safe area outside to range in. However, they must like the coop because they sure spend alot of time in it....
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Yep, I started with 8x8 then added 12' to make it 8x20 then retrofitted half of the storage building to be another coop, then built a cute hexagonal coop. Sure does snowball!
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm not in any way laughing at you -- you have my TOTAL sympathies -- but I just have to say that when I saw your pictures with the orange string crisscrossing all over the run area, all I could think of was those Hollywood "Mission Impossible" type movies, where some top secret whatever is protected by zigzags of laser alarms that Our Hero must outwit and slip through... [​IMG]

    Good luck,

  6. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    I'm wondering about the space inbetween the fence and the orange wire/string. Is that a problem space for predators to get in?
  7. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    You want to keep your chickens safe without the string, plant some fast growing brushes that they can hid under. Until then I would add some strips of white cloth to the string. This will show movement and keep owls and hawks away. Or you could cover the top with chicken wire.
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Mine is strung with that neon pink mason's line with CDs hanging from it. They bounce and twirl and throw reflections everywhere. We have many hawks here and none to my knowledge have ever tried to make a dive into the pens. My only covered pen is the Ameraucanas' because they can fly out.
  9. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    When I get my coop set up next month, Ive been thinking how Ill cover it. We have some absolutely gorgeous hawks, kestrels, and at night some of the biggest most beautiful owls you have ever seen. I would never want to hurt them, but by the same token I don't want them feasting on my new chickies. So Im looking into some kind of netting to put over the outside. Im also going to order a little shed very similar to yours. I was going to get an 8 x 10; then I thought geez, for a hundred more I can get a 8 x Im thinking, well maybe an 8 x 14 would be even better. I just can't decide. But it will be very very similar to yours, which I like very much.
  10. JoeOxfordCT

    JoeOxfordCT Songster

    Oct 13, 2007
    Oxford, CT.
    Quote:This was my next question....I'm not a landscaper. What can I plant both inside and maybe around the outside of the pen that would not get too big and would quickly provide cover for my girls ? I'm thinking some little eastern white pines ? Something that would provide cover all year round. I am also going to transfer some of the little brushy (I don't know what they are...big weeds if you ask me [​IMG] ) plants that are about 24" high that are along my stone wall into the inside of the pen too. I had had an idea of closing off part of the pen from the chickens and planting some indian corn and then reopening it once the corn got big enough to "defend" itself from the birds...would that work ? I'd love to do pumpkins in there too but I think the birds might wear down the plants with constant pecking not matter how big the plants were..[​IMG]

    What do you all think ?

    Meantime I'm busting ice out of the waterers this morning.....[​IMG]
    Snow/sleet/rain mix expected later today.....
    Good day to watch some football...go Giants....(fingers crossed [​IMG] )

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