Need help designing daytime use hawkproof chicken paddock

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by crickettoo, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. crickettoo

    crickettoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2012
    I have had backyard chickens for about 7 months and have lots to learn. I had been letting my chickens free range during the day and I put them safely in the coop and run at night. However, we had our first hawk attack a couple of days ago. The hawk attacked my coachin but apparently misjudged and got her tail feathers only. There were feathers all over the ground and her tail feathers were cut jaggedly. We were really lucky, I guess. Anyway, that was a big wake up call for me. I love my chickens and don't want them killed by hawks! The chickens have been staying in their run ever since. They are not very happy about it and want to roam around the yard like they are accustomed to. I want to build some kind of movable covered paddock so they can semi-free range but still be protected from hawks. What do you all think? Will this work? Do any of you have similar set ups? Any advice would be appreciated!
     
  2. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Hi Crickettoo! One of the risks of free ranging is hawks/eagles....I have a large run (aprox 20 ft by 30 ft) that I covered with bird netting. When I let them free range I try to stay out with them (not very practical I know). Do you have a rooster? Roosters are good at keeping their eyes on the sky and sending out a warning if anything comes around. Also, do you have a lot of shrubs or low lying plants that they can escape under? Sorry I dont have better advice... :-S
     
  3. DallasCriftins

    DallasCriftins Chillin' With My Peeps

    In the UK we can buy relatively cheaply in comparison to welded mesh on a roll "Heras Security fence panels

    These are 3.5M x 2M each typically about £20 on Ebay.

    So a simple 3.5M Run 2M high needs just 6 if you want to cover the top over as well
    They use simple cheap clamps to bolt them together so all sorts of run shapes and sizes can be made very quickly
    They actually work out considerably cheaper then buying wood and making a frame then covering it wit wire etc
    The time saved is considerable
    They look better and last for ever
    They can be dismantled
    They are very strong.

    See what equivalent products are available to you locally.
     
  4. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2012
    Brenham TX
    We are thinking about running hog wire (the kind they use at the bottom of the hurricane fences) attached to the roof of our long covered run and to the fence in the chicken yard, then cover all the wire with chicken wire. This is just to protect them from areal attacks during the day, they have a predator proof run and coop where they stay when they are not free ranging. Right now they have to be supervised when they FR because there are always hawks around, unfortunately they are limited as to how much time I can spare to watch them, so I am looking for ways to be able to keep them out and protected. I only have 9 hens and losing one to a hawk will be too bad.
     
  5. crickettoo

    crickettoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2012
    Thanks everyone for your ideas. I looked for the Heras-type security fence panels but the only ones I could find were very expensive. I have also come up with some other ideas that I may try. I found something called Deer Fencing that is about 7 ft tall. It is basically plastic netting that is unrolled and tied to the steel angle fence posts. I'm going to try use something like that and cover it with bird netting for daytime use. Hopefully that will work. Thanks again for your ideas.
     
  6. DallasCriftins

    DallasCriftins Chillin' With My Peeps

    That is exactly what I have around my paddocks for the free ranging birds the Heras stuff will just be for the WIR.
    2M high lightweight Deer proof stock fencing
    It comes in 50M rolls
    they do a heavier version as well and I wish I had bought that now that we have the ponies in this area but it would have been very awkward to handle - quite heavy.

    Not quite finished yet going to turn the top over to make it a bit more anti climb

    the bottom is closely spaced and is ideal for preventing our Runner Ducks from escaping as they can get through normal stock fencing

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    Oh and with all this snow here is a witch hazel in flower so a hint of spring to come

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    They are Bamboo rustlers as well!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013

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