New to Michigan

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Unsworth, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. Unsworth

    Unsworth In the Brooder

    We have not lived too long in Michigan (about three years) and I am planning on building a chicken house. I have had chickens over the years but not in Michigan. I want to have a fenced outdoor area for the chickens. I was wondering if there are chicken hawks or other predator birds that would dive and take the chickens. Is this something that happens in Michigan? Also, what about predators on the ground? Do I need to make a super secure chicken house? Are there predators that dig under the house that are a problem in Michigan? We live out in the country. I know we have coyotes, woodchucks and raccoons. Thanks for your help.
  2. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us!
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to our flock. There are definitely lots of hawks, owls, and ground based predators in Michigan that will take your chickens; raccoons being among the worst. I would strongly advise you to build your coop/run like Fort Knox, using hardware cloth instead of chicken wire as there are too many predators that can tear through chicken wire, or squeeze through the openings in the mesh. Also, be sure and use a double action latch or a padlock of some kind on the door of the coop as raccoons can easily figure out how to open single action latches. There is a good article at on predator proofing your chickens. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Do you have a breed preference?
    3 people like this.
  4. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join the flock! I hope with the great advice there from Michael OShay you can keep your future chickens safe from predators.
    Wishing you the very best of luck in the future and hope you enjoy BYC :frow
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Michael has really set you straight. You need to build your facilities as if YOU were going to move in. LOL Seriously! If you feel safe in there from all the creepy hungry predators, than so will your birds. As far as free ranging is concerned, if you have too many preds you may not be able to let them out without supervision. I can't let my birds out without watching or at least being around. Even if you only have 30 or 60 mins a day, this is enough to keep their spirits up. Just make sure if you keep them in the run for the rest of the time, they have at least 10 square feet per bird and 5 square feet per bird in the coop.

    Good luck with your flock and welcome to ours!
  6. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC![​IMG] We're glad to have you.
  7. Unsworth

    Unsworth In the Brooder

    Thank you for the replies with all the good information. Apparently, I have my work cut out making a secure chicken house/yard but I love chickens and really want to have them around. I remember once some racoons wiped out about 20 Rhode Island Reds I had and I decided that I did not want that to happen again - ever - if I could help it.
  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] We're glad you joined us!

    You've received some good advice already.
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Michael has given you great advice. I would imagine you also have hawks - by having a top on your run, that will keep them from diving in and leaving with lunch on the wing. If you make a strong, solid roof it can keep some snow and rain off your birds as well + protect from climbers and critters jumping down from trees (like nasty raccoons.
  10. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Michael, TwoCrows and Yorkshire Coop have given you excellent advice.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: