1. lswatson111304

    lswatson111304 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, so we are going to be building our coop this weekend and DH wants to build it open to the run. No way to close it off at all. He wants to make the coop the main entrance into the chicken area. So we would walk into the coop, and have boxes and such, and then turn to the right and walk out into the run. He says he will put chicken wire or something on top of the fenced in run so it can keep predators out. I'm nervous. I mean, we are in Texas, but I'm still worried that it might get too cold?
    Anyone have pics or experience with doing it this way??
     
  2. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think open air coops are good for our chickens. It's more natural. That being said, I built a closed coop with large run this summer but I do have an open air coop for one of my Roos and his 3 girls. They free range daily. I think it's a good idea and your chickens will love it.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Faced away from the prevailing winds so that no moisture could get blown into the coop, it might work. I would be very concerned about predators. "Chicken wire" does nothing to deter predators. Most mammalian predaors can shred chicken wire readily.
     
  4. lswatson111304

    lswatson111304 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, well, we are using 2x4 wire for the fencing. At least thats what DH calls it. Not sure exactly what it is called only that we have it around our back yard and our dogs don't get out. We have plenty that we could put that across the top too, but smaller things would be able to get through it considering its holes are 2X4 lol
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Coons, opossums, mink, weasels, fishers, and many others can crawl right through 2" X 4" fencing. It will keep your chickens in, but will not exclude predators.
     
  6. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens lived completely free-range, no coop or run, in my boyfriend's privacy-fenced backyard for 2 years. It was urban so we had few predators to be concerned with, but the chickens opted for sleeping in a tree that was bare 70% of the year (rather than under the deck, in the bushes, etc)... they'll be fine.

    Something to remember with chickens is that they not only live but thrive in places like Jamaica, Indonesia, Australia... basically feral. They're incredibly competent in feeding, defending and caring for themselves; essentially they are only as needy as you make them.
     
  7. ChickInDelight

    ChickInDelight Never an Empty Nest

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    Consider predators that dig under structure and fencing. There are a number of posts on this site about hardware cloth.
     
  8. lswatson111304

    lswatson111304 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, DH is trying to do this all with materials we have on hand. We have chicken wire, 2X4 fencing, and then the wood that will be used to make the coop. The only real option is to convince him to enclose the coop, but he is a stubborn man. I want it closed off, he wants it open. He doesn't want to build a gate to go into the run. LOL
    Our last coop (which is out behind our house and the reason we are building a new one for our new birds) was built with Tin around 2 sizes, one side was only chicken wire, and then a glass screen door. We had the door left open to the run at all times, but the run was built out of cow panels...which has HUGE openings. We never had a predator problem, but I wouldn't want to bet my new chickens lives on the fact that we didn't have a problem before.
     
  9. lswatson111304

    lswatson111304 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I do have to agree with this. Our last chickens we ended up letting free range out of the coop we had built because I didn't like to go back behind the house. They lived for a long time until we fostered a dog that attacked them all. He is gone now as well.
    Thing is, if I keep it "Predator proof" it is also taking away their ability to protect themselves. But I don't want them to wander all over the place either. I selfishly want them close by. I live in the middle of nowhere, wooded land and such. SO we have to do something to keep them protected, and at home. I just don't know what the best option is.
     
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Quote:My initial chickens free ranged in the back yard and roosted in the white pines behind the house. Then whle we were on vacation, a neighbor's dog came and killed 30 +. The smart ones remained in the trees until the GHO started killing them and they retreated to the open coop at night. The fox then proceeded to decimate the rest of the flock. If you provide a food source, EVENTUALLY, predators will come.
     

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