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moveable coop/run protection

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jenni2142, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. jenni2142

    jenni2142 Songster

    Jul 16, 2008
    South Carolina
    I am building 2 small coop/runs for my 2 pair of sebrights, they have decided that they only like each other so they have to downsize. Each finished structure is 4 x 8 with a 2 story coop. My question is, since they are movable I can't put in the concrete moat like with my others so how do I protect them from digging predators? The coop part will completely close them in at night but I am worried about daytime. The sides will be 1/2 x 1 inch welded wire held down with washers. Any ideas are appreciated.

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:The only way I can see to prevent digging into a movable run is for the run to have a wire bottom.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    It adds to the weight, but you can put hinged wire and wood-framed shelves all around that you can raise when you move the tractor. For these, I think I'd go with a minimum of 3 feet wide and would feel more comfortable with more. I'd also seriously consider weighting them down with a 2x6 or something heavier to help keep something from just pushing under them. You could make the shelves separate and attach them to the bottom of the coop after it is moved with carabiners, snaplocks, something pretty secure.

    If you put in a wire bottom, they can still get to the grass and some insects, but they cannot scratch and till the garden soil. Also, when you move the coop, you have to either remove the chickens or secure them in the coop portion as they will damage their feet while you are moving it or lowering it back down.

    Predator proofing a movable coop is not easy. Good luck.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Wire bottom doesn't really work (can't move the tractor, b/c chickens can't walk along). Also prevents scratching.

    The normal solution -- this may be what ridgerunner is describing?? -- is to have an 'apron' or 'skirt' (whatever you want to call it) of heavy gauge wire mesh laying flat on the ground all around the edges of the tractor. You can use whatever you used for the tractor itself, or anything else heavy-gauge up to about 2x4" mesh size. You'll want at LEAST 6" width to the apron, more is better, especially with significant predator problems; for wider widths you may want to have it hinged so as to flip up for easier tractor moves. (If it is on the narrow side, it can jsut be a physical extension of the mesh on the sides of the tractor).

    I wouldn't personally suggest using any wood on it, though, as that not only adds to weight and cumbersomeness, it also telegraphs to the predators where they might ought to dig beyond. Tentpegs or bricks work well for me to keep the edges of the skirt on the ground.

    Good luck, have fun,


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