new here and a question

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bigbike4, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. bigbike4

    bigbike4 Out Of The Brooder

    Okay I am just about to get started with some chickens, Where I live (Rogersville TN) AND MY OWN YARD have the following potential pests/predators-skunks, hawks, panthers, coyotes, red foxes, racoons, possums, turkey buzzards, wild turkeys and black bear. Whew-makes you all just wanna move here don't it. Oh yeah and a potential problem with a neighbors black lab.

    Okay, I have not yet built my moveable coop. I want it moveable because I want the chickens to free range and eat all those pesky Japanese Beetles we get here, as well as the grubs of various insects and the garden pest bugs in general. I was thinking of using (for the hen house) an old plastic LARGE (think german shepard size) dog box. It has vent holes up near the top, and a heavy metal spring loaded dual rod door. I could always put something over the vent holes in the winter, (we are zone 6 here-USDA map) so we do get cold temps. I was thinking of using plastic pipe to "frame out" the run and using an open floor on the run. I do want them to eat weeds and scratch for bugs. If the chickens go inside the dog box at night would this be sufficient to keep them safe from the nocternal predators?

    Thanks-Jan
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Welcome.

    Where you are located, heat will be the bigger issue and birds may not want to go into doghouse on hot nights.

    Some critters listed are not significant predators, others if they visit will not be detoured by what you are describing as a chicken tractor.

    Show some pictures of resources, expecially how much grass birds can graze as device is moved about.
     
  3. bigbike4

    bigbike4 Out Of The Brooder

     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    2,350
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    You will have to play by ear how many birds your 1/2 acre will support. They will influence the types of plants you have.

    Look into threads concerning predator proofing runs. Bears will be extremely difficult to keep out unless electrified fencing or dogs used. Others can be kept out by quality construction and keeping birds away from fencing at night.
     

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