Newbie with Coop Under Construction

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by SareBear0728, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. SareBear0728

    SareBear0728 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2011
    Canton, GA
    Hi everyone!

    First post here although I've done a good bit of reading! [​IMG] We have chicks that are about 3 weeks old and are in the process of building their new home outside. We have a large section of our barn (15' x 30') that will serve as their indoor enclosure. It has concrete floors, a metal roof, and walls that are about 15 feet high. We are going to predator-proof (to the best of our ability any openings where racoons or opposums could get in.

    The outdoor area is going to be about 45' long x 20' wide. We are planning to use 4"x4" posts to support the sides and some sort of heavy duty wire around that. For the top, we are thinking some sort of hawk-netting, mainly due to the fact that putting wire over that large of a structure would require a large amout of supports. The nice part is there is also a 5 foot fence around the coop farther out as this is inside one of our pastures. Outside of the coop but INSIDE of the pasture are our 4 alpaca, who are GREAT at keeping random dogs out. [​IMG]

    My questions are:

    1) What type of protective wire should we use to cover any small areas INSIDE the indoor enclosure to keep out predators?
    2) What is the best wire to use on the OUTSIDE enclosure sides? Obviously it is a large area so hoping to find something somewhat budget friendly.
    3) Is there one type of bird netting that is better than the others for the top of the outdoor enclosure? We lost two of our runner ducks to a hawk in July so they are still closely looking at our barn for some more free meals.
    4) Flooring for the indoor enclosure...concrete or should I cover it with some sort of rubber stall mats before putting the litter down?

    Thanks for any advice! Like I said, totally new so I would LOVE any info you can send my way.

    Sarah and our 29 new gals
     
  2. bakerjw

    bakerjw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2010
    Johnson City, Tn
    Hardware cloth is the preferred material for tightening up security for chickens. It is a must on coops. Remember that chicken wire is for keeping chickens contained. Dogs and raccoons can tear through chicken wire very easily.
    For my runs I use regular 2"x4" welded fence. Some people bury hardware cloth around the outside to deter digging predators. I used chicken wire around the base with an electric fence charger connected to low wires as well as wires 6" apart to the top.
    I use nylon deer netting around the edges of my runs as a hawk deterrent and a way to keep the flighty birds in the run.

    It is best to regularly revisit your security every once in a while.
     
  3. christineavatar

    christineavatar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2011
    Bolinas, CA
    One thing that I found deters night visitors is this
    http://www.niteguard.com/pages/Order/
    I was being attacked regularly and lost several birds due to a spot for hidden access by raccoons. I put four of these up, one in each direction, and the night prowling stopped. From the time they come on - in that twilight light - until it is dark there still might be a danger because a predator can still see the box and might not be fooled. But, once it is dark it works like a charm.
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I have 2x4" welded wire around the outside of my run, and covering my run. I used 1/2" hardware cloth over the windows, and around the bottom 2' of the run. My coop floor is just plywood with straw for bedding. I'm not too worried about rats chewing through the bottom of it since it's raised and they can't hide under there.
     

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