Lost many birds, need coop design info.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by wildman, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. wildman

    wildman Hatching

    Aug 9, 2009
    We recently lost about 45 chickens and roosters and four ducks. We have yet to identify the culprit but it can climb well, fit though tight spaces and is vicious. We suspect a weasel or raccoon. One night, after I had spent a couple of hours blocking every place I could think of, it got in and destroyed twelve two month old pullets and apparently removed 5 !
    We want to start over with groups of 100 layers at a time and need information on how to build a predator proof room in the barn and a yard for each group. We do not kill our birds and prefer to grow them as close to organic as possible.
    If you know of plans or pointers we could get, please let us know. We do not feel the coop plans for sale on the web will fit the situation.
    Thank you, and happy fowling!
  2. Sillystunt

    Sillystunt Master of the Silly

    Jul 11, 2008
    Winter Haven, FL
    hardware cloth [​IMG]
  3. Big C

    Big C J & C Farms

    Dec 15, 2008
    Vernon Texas
    As stated, hardware cloth, but it is expensive per sq ft.

    What we did was build our coops inside our runs. The runs are 7 ft tall with hot wire at 3 and 6 inch intervals and on top with a very high joule output charger. Used standard poultry wire. We keep leg traps baited daily.
    With several hundred feet of runs and more under construction it was cheaper to use standard poultry wire with the hot wire. Also we used/use a 50% shade cloth on the perimeter so it adds another layer of protection.
    We have trapped and killed many coons, possums since they go for the easiest first, baited traps...
    Your problem reads as if there is more than one predator and are attacking in packs.
  4. Le Canard de Barbarie

    Le Canard de Barbarie Songster

    Jul 19, 2009
  5. Preservation Acres

    Preservation Acres Songster

    Dec 31, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Run an electric wire around the bottom. After a good shock or two, it will not come back.
  6. Soccer Mom

    Soccer Mom Songster

    May 5, 2009
    West of Crazy
    Check out the forum here for Coop design, all the free info and designs you could ever want. I agree that you need some type of fine, welded mesh over any possible opening. Chicken wire is too flimsy and coons tear right through it. Make sure it is securely fastened.

    I highly recommend hot wiring your coop.

    A guard dog is great if you are set up for it. I have guard donkeys. They're good for ground predators, but I have ninja coons that drop from the trees onto my coop roof. No guard dog or donky can do anything about that.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  7. Brindlebtch

    Brindlebtch Songster

    Apr 15, 2009

  8. Soccer Mom

    Soccer Mom Songster

    May 5, 2009
    West of Crazy
  9. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    what you build is not as important as how you protect it. Run hot wire (electric fencing) around the bottom at 12 inches then again at 25 inches and then again at the top. Coupled with harware cloth on the lower half of run with an L shape at least 24 inches on the ground so that nothing can dig under. Harware cloth must be 1/2 inch or less.

    Put the electric fence on a timer at 9-10 pm till a little after dawn so that no children (or you get zapped)

    Thats the best advise I got.

    I then fenced in a larger area for free ranging with twine/rope hung all crazy from tree to tree with eye hooks so that they may free range with out hawks being able to swoop in.

    good luck!

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