Need help designing a coop and run to keep out predators w/ no digging

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by poconoadoptionfamily, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. poconoadoptionfamily

    poconoadoptionfamily Out Of The Brooder

    76
    0
    29
    Aug 21, 2010
    Hawley
    Hi Everyone,
    I am new to this sight and to chickens in general. My hubby and I are trying to design a coop and run that will keep out predators like bear, bobcat, rattlesnakes, eagles, and mountain lions without digging. (It is impossible to dig down more than an inch or two before you hit rock here.) We plan on building a fence around the entire side of our house that will have a garden and the coop and run. Any advice would be great. Thanks, Denise
     
  2. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Get the footprint for the coop and run areas fairly level. Cover it with stepping stones spaced a half inch apart for drainage. Build your coop and run on top of them, and cover the entire run with 1/2-inch hardware cloth attached with screws and fender washers. Put at least six inches of construction sand on the run's floor, and put wood shavings on the floor of the coop. Use lots and lots of diatomaceous earth from the beginning. I have stepping stones under the wooden floor of my two coops, and have never even had a mouse in my run or coops. See My BYC Page for pictures and description.
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    39
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Use an apron, or skirt, of wire around the perimeter of your run, laid flat on the ground and running outwards away from the vertical fence. Stake it down well with landscape staples, or weight it with rocks or pavers. For the predators you have to deal with, you'll need some pretty strong, low gauge wire. Of course, not all of the predators on your list dig! To keep out snakes, your wire will need to have openings smaller than the diameter of the snake. To keep out eagles and other raptors, your run will have to be covered.
     
  4. arch_cpj

    arch_cpj Chillin' With My Peeps

    216
    0
    109
    Mar 19, 2010
    medina county
    Here are a few pics of ours it is our latest coop Ive had coops in barns coops freestanding etc this is all that Ive learned in 20 years of doin this... I free range but do house 50 birds in here at night... I have a run attached covered with nylon deepr netting the run is surrounded by 2x4 welded wire and then chichen wire on the inside ant a perimeter of electric fence attached and surrounding the coop and run... I sided it with 1 x 6 tongue and groove . dimensions are 8 x 8 the nesting box is a comminuty box as Ive yet to see divided boxes be fully used and the boxes are accessible from out side the coop it has an auto waterer I designed with 15 gallon capacity and an 50 # auto feeder again my design... The roosts are 2.5 inch elm and I used plywood on the floors... roof is shingle as a steel or plastic roof freaks the birds out in a hail or heavy rain... I still go out and lock th coop every nite but the electric fence is good insurance and Ive found most predators get zapped once and avoid the entire yard after that...
    heres a link to anothe post I did on the predator side shows the waterer...

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=387471

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. GrandmaAnn

    GrandmaAnn Out Of The Brooder

    90
    0
    29
    Aug 19, 2010
    Wisconsin
    We never did the electric wire, but we tried hardware cloth and metal flashing all around and predators still got in. Then, we made the floor out of cement. We just had to replace one whole side, so we moved it out a few feet and made it out of cement block. If I could start from scratch, I'd make my coop out cement for the floor and the first few feet on the sides.
     
  6. poconoadoptionfamily

    poconoadoptionfamily Out Of The Brooder

    76
    0
    29
    Aug 21, 2010
    Hawley
    Thanks everyone for your great ideas we'll definitely include them into the design. We're going to design it this week and try to get it finished before cold weather sets in.
    Thanks Again Denise
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by