New to Chickens - How to keep them safe...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by K-Karla, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. K-Karla

    K-Karla Hatching

    Jan 5, 2012
    I live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and my family and I are planning to keep some chickens in our back yard. We can have 3 hens and are in the process of building a suitable coop and enclosure for the hens in our large back yard.

    What should we consider to keep our chickens safe? Though we live in the middle of Baton Rouge, we do have owls, hawks, snakes, raccoons, coyotes, foxes and at least 1 bobcat.

    Any guidance you can give us would be most appreciated!

  2. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    A secure run is very important. Nothing is really 100% predator proof.

    Having a top on your run is important for hawks. Use hardware cloth and not chicken wire. Make sure your pop door is locked, as raccoons can open them easily.
  3. christineavatar

    christineavatar Songster

    May 1, 2011
    Bolinas, CA
    I agree K-Karla and I would also add this
    It works after dusk. The partial light at twilight lets the predator see that it is a flashing light. but after the darkness takes hold it works great.
  4. I agree with the secure coop and run comment. To further reduce the hassle of predators, we have several dogs that can roam completely around the chicken area/perimeter. They work well at deterring our predators. This option though isn’t for everyone. The dogs require training, good fences, food and vet visits but, we love this method.

  5. baldessariclan

    baldessariclan Songster

    Aug 30, 2010
    Wichita, KS
    If you build a strong coop/run (& covered), you shouldn't have too many problems.

    -- You can either put in a deep rock/brick footing around the base, or bury fencing/wire around base and/or undeneath to discourage any diggers.
    -- Cover the run with a roof or more fencing/wire to keep out the hawks and owls.
    -- Strong fencing/wiring (not chicken wire!) and securing posts around the run sides will keep out the dogs and others.

    I'd recommend that you look for coop designs w/ these features on the "coop designs" pages, and incorporate into you own design.

    Will take more time and $$$ than something "quick and dirty", but you'll end up saving a lot more time and headaches in the long run.
  6. Chemguy

    Chemguy Songster

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    If you plan to let the birds out of the run to range, I'd also consider making sure that there is shelter for them to run to.
  7. Felony

    Felony Chirping

    Nov 16, 2011
    Quebec, Canada
    i think the key is to use hardware cloth and especially not chicken or woven wire. then you have to think of flying predators, so put a roof or hardwarecloth over the run (i would personnaly put a roof that way when it rains the chickens can still go out but not get rained on) and then make sure you prevent digging predator by either making a concrete or rock footing, or better yet, make a apron around the whole run with your hardware cloth. basically you stapple hardware cloth to the bottom post of the run and let it hang flat on the ground at least a foot so no predators can dig under your run. then if you find it ugly, burry it with earth and throw some wild flower seeds it will be pretty in no time [​IMG] if your run is really safe enough, then i don't even see the need in having a pop door, and you don't have to get up in the morning to let the chickies out. so just that is worth putting a bit extra effort and money! [​IMG]

  8. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Songster

    Aug 2, 2011
    Midway, GA

    All of mine love azalea bushes and frequent holly bushes as well as any landscaping dense enough to deter predators and just high enough off the ground for the girls to get into it.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by