need to re-predator proof my coop...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mener6896, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. mener6896

    mener6896 Songster

    Apr 21, 2009
    Noblesville, IN
    After 3 years of having chickens, and having a relatively predator-proof coop, the other day I found an opossum got in my coop. I can't figure out where, but I will be going over every square inch of it. I have an 8'x12' coop, with a 10'x40' run. The top is covered, and all of the fencing is buried, with the exception of an area that leads into my garden the fencing isn't buried there, so my guess is if it can climb a fence to get in my garden, then go under the fence to get into the run, then in the pop door of the coop. Is this possible for a 'possum? Well, let's just say, we won't be worrying about him anymore.

    However, over the last year, I've lost over 60 chickens to coyotes. This is mostly when they have been out free ranging. It really irritates me that I can't free range my girls anymore, but I can't take the risk of losing more birds. Any suggestions to keep them from going crazy being "cooped" up?

  2. crankster76

    crankster76 Songster

    Dec 25, 2011
    sounds like ya need a coyote hunter in the family..
  3. opalwednesday

    opalwednesday Songster

    Apr 10, 2011
    10 x 40 sounds like a luxurious run, are you sure they're unhappy? I recently had to make a run for my coyote bait and I feel a bit bad too, but spending time with them, I that they're just as happy. My focus now is to give Them long lasting treats every day, like sweet potatoes or frozen orange juice. Anything that'll keep them busy ya know? Also I think they like foliage, I'm working on putting in some more hedge type bushes for them to lounge in.
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    Sorry you've had such a rotten experience with the coyotes. It's true that once they've discovered an easy food source they'll keep at it until it's gone. We are over run with coyotes too, like a lot of folk's. There's only two things I've found that keep them away. Being shot at, hopefully you'll get one, makes the rest not want to hang around, and a good LGD. My neighbor's have a big Catahoula dog that has done an amazingly good job of ridding our area of coyote and fox while at the same time being completely compatible with everyones livestock. To me that dog is worth his weight in gold!

    As far as keeping hens entertained that are used to free ranging, you can toss flakes of alfalfa in the run for them to scratch through, throw some scratch in there too, get a couple flock blocks. Or if it's feasible and you have the space to do it, maybe fence in an area for them to roam in. Some people use moveable electric poultry netting. Mine get their free range "fix" in my small goat pasture which is fenced with dog proof wire fence and reinforced with hot wire.

  5. Chicksrulefarm

    Chicksrulefarm In the Brooder

    Jan 27, 2012
    Palmdale, CA
    Opossums live on trees, so they are good climbers. I saw opossum walking across dog-ear wood fence, which is only one inch thick. Your guess how he got into the coop probably correct. The gate to the garden can be chicken wired on the opposite side the gate opens about a foot above the bottom of the gate and buried into the ground (I have seen chicken owners do it), or the gate has to be extended all the way to the ground. Is the pop door to the coop kind like the doggy door to the house, the animal can go in and out o its on? If so it probably should be changed to a regular door if predators such a big problem in the area.
    It is hard to keep coyotes from properties unless it is completely high fenced, although it is well known coyote can jump over 6 foot fence. They hunt mostly right before dawn and at night, but I saw them coming out during the day too. With coyotes coming to the property it is a risk to let your chickens free-range, doesn't matter what, unless you there with them, working and watching over.
  6. Blarneyeggs

    Blarneyeggs Crowing

    Oct 22, 2011
    Southeast PA
    I am in the same boat. The hawks are keeping our chooks locked up in the run - something they're not used to. So to help with boredom I hang an apple inside the coop for them to peck. I just tied fairly large fat screw on the end of a string about the right height, the screw remains, and I replace the apple. Good luck!!

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