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Flintdb68

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
4
0
7
Hi Everyone,

My name is Flint and I'm currently building a new coop and I'm concerned about predator proofing it. I live in East County San Diego and I have seen raccoons, coyotes and snakes (rattlers, gopher and king) around my property. We do have two dogs but they sleep inside most nights but they will be out more now that it's warming up.

My current plan is to build a 42"x8' coop and 42"x8' run on the side of my house which currently has two gates (one on each side of the house). We've used this as a dog kennel in the past when we needed to keep the dogs penned up for whatever reason. I have a roll of 48"chain link fence and I'm burying 17'under the entire area I'm building on. I also plan on using the chain link for the roof of the run but I'm using 1/2"wire for the sides. The coop will be standard 2x4 framing with plywood and a flat slopped roof.

I'm also planning on putting either rock or pavers down for the floor of the coop but I was thinking of putting sod in the run.

My main question is what thickness of plywood should I use to raccoon proof the coop, is 1/2"alright?

Being that it's on the side of my house and right outside my bedroom, I was thinking of installing a motion light, will this discourage nocturnal predators?
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium member
8 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,683
4,863
556
Ohio
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You might want to check out/ post in the Predators forum for help with figuring out how to build to deal with the predators in your area https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/13/predators-and-pests 1/2" plywood should be fine against coons. The motion lights seem to work to some extent at least initially, but in suburban areas especially, the animals seem to get used to them.
 

Flintdb68

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
4
0
7
Hello
and Welcome To BYC! You might want to check out/ post in the Predators forum for help with figuring out how to build to deal with the predators in your area https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/13/predators-and-pests 1/2" plywood should be fine against coons. The motion lights seem to work to some extent at least initially, but in suburban areas especially, the animals seem to get used to them.
Thanks for the reply and welcome. I've been doing a lot reading, this is a really great site but was getting stumped on the wood thickness. I might go with 5/8" just to be extra safe. I plan on opening the coop each morning to give them access to their run and then closing them up each night to keep them safe. I was reading that some people use baby monitors but I can hear anything going on out there from my bed no problem.
 

1muttsfan

Free Ranging
9 Years
Mar 26, 2011
21,047
6,938
657
Upper Peninsula Michigan
Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan


Sounds like you have thought your project out well. As long as you cover the surface with a thick layer of shavings pavers would probably work fine, if by rock you mean loose stone I would recommend against that. Many people use sand in their coops and runs. My runs are dirt and they work fine. Any sod in the run will be eaten and scratched up pretty quickly.
 

TwoCrows

A Native Raven
Staff member
Premium member
9 Years
Mar 21, 2011
41,046
62,294
1,492
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop


Welcome to BYC!

Great you are already thinking predators. Too many coops and runs are build with good intentions, but are not safe enough for the birds. I would definitely cover the chain link with 1/2 inch hard ware cloth. And don't use chicken wire on anything. Coons can chew right thru that stuff. 1/2 inch ply wood is fine. Every day I check for signs of predators. So make a habit to always be looking for areas they might be working on in the night. Sand is an excellent medium for coops and runs. I use it everywhere, even the nest boxes! It is easy to clean, keeps the flies away, no poop smells, and it is soft on the pads. I rarely have to add to my sand but once a year. Here is a nice link to a sand thread you might take a look at...

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/444759/got-sand-you-should

Good luck with the coop build. Just build, and over build and you will be fine. Welcome to our flock!
 

Flintdb68

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
4
0
7
Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan


Sounds like you have thought your project out well. As long as you cover the surface with a thick layer of shavings pavers would probably work fine, if by rock you mean loose stone I would recommend against that. Many people use sand in their coops and runs. My runs are dirt and they work fine. Any sod in the run will be eaten and scratched up pretty quickly.
Hi.

Hmm, I was thinking the same thing with the loose rock, it's hard to dig through but it is possible. I was going to cover the pavers with fresh straw, is that a viable option or should I stick with shavings?

I know they're going to enjoy the grass while it lasts but it should be easy and inexpensive to replace I think, it's normally around 75 cents a square foot around here.
 

Duckopolis

Songster
5 Years
Mar 19, 2014
2,525
67
163
In the Wilderness of Colorado
My Coop
My Coop
Good luck with your poultry raising adventures, and I hope you find everything you need to know. Don't forget to take a look at BYC's very useful learning center (If you haven't already)! The learning center as well as the forum should answer your questions! There is always something new to learn there! Glad to have you here! See you around with the flock. Any lights at my house seem to scare predators!
 

Flintdb68

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
4
0
7
Here's an update. I finished the coop for the most part. Highlights are chain link fence buried for predator control, dual thermometers/humistats for coop & run. Smoke alarm because of the heat lamps and in-coop brooder. Elevated nesting area. Over 100 square feet between the coop & run for a maximum of 12 layers.



Anyway, I've done a tremendous amount of ready on BYC and I really appreciate this resource. I plan on going with an automatic waterer and the chicken nipples in the near future.

Thanks again,
 
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