We need your amazing chicken photos for our 2020 Calendar! Submit your pics HERE!

Please critique: The Fortress of Chickentude

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Stargeer2, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Stargeer2

    Stargeer2 Chirping

    Jul 13, 2019
    Churchville, NY
    Hello all! Over the past several days, I have tried to incorporate as much advice as possible from this group and forum. The only thing I haven't really done is electrified my coop. I'm hoping you all can critique the changes I've made to the coop and tell me if you think this is adequately protected against predators. The main ones I'm concerned about, being from Western NY, are coyotes, foxes, and of course raccoons (who o believe slaughtered my chickens originally). Please let me know what you think! The coop itself has two layers of 1/2" hardware cloth around the outside that is both screwed and stapled in. The outside is chain link fence with 1/4" hardware cloth around the base and chicken wire over the top (and bird netting under that). Around the base i have put 1" x 2" PVC coated fencing as an apron which is secured to the base of the coop and fencing. Every hole I could find is filled with 1/4" hardware cloth.
    I also have a 7500 lumen worklight that illuminates the run at night. In case something tries to make it in, it gives me significantly better visibility to pick it off with a rifle before it makes it in...
    ...I also added a swing, which I'm posting for funsies! Let me know what you think of that!

    Let me know your thoughts and any additional relatively inexpensive improvements I could make.

    Thank you!!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  2. sealer39

    sealer39 Songster

    Aug 3, 2013
    Pineville, Louisiana
    Looks great! As the sun degrades those zip ties get the ones that are UV resistant, they are the black ones. They may last longer. Or, in the future, sew it all up with wire. I’m not a raccoon but I couldn’t find a point of entry.
  3. Stargeer2

    Stargeer2 Chirping

    Jul 13, 2019
    Churchville, NY
    I believe Sun Tzu said something about if you know your enemy, you need not fear the result of 100 battles. So hopefully you know raccoons enough to see my coop through a raccoon's eyes even if you're not one! Haha
    Thank you for the critique! I plan on adding some additional zipties around just to make it a tidge stronger, but I'll make sure they're UV resistant!
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Wee Farmer Sarah and Cryss like this.
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Crossing the Road

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Much improved! Is your coop and little attached original run dig proof? That should be done too.
    The chainlink run is good, just lock them in the coop area every night. Your night light isn't on all the time, is it? Just turn it on as needed.
    Sequel and Stargeer2 like this.
  6. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

    Aug 30, 2017
    Poplar Bluff, MO
    My Coop
    A hot wire around the base a couple of inches up and and one a foot up and one near the top is more fun than a chicken swing...

    It does sound like you have gone over it with a fine tooth comb, An adult raccoon or opossum can not fit through a chain link fence but a juvenile can, seen it and shot it.

  7. Peppercorngal

    Peppercorngal Crowing

    Feb 5, 2018
    Feather Falls, CA
    I love the chicken swing, I want to make one! One concern is if a chicken roosted on the branch that your swing is hanging from, (and you never know what a chicken will decide to do!!) little racoon hands can reach through and tear the little head right off that chicken. I'd add some hardware cloth a foot in every direction around that spot. Also I don't see what will keep critters from digging under your apron? I used rocks on top of mine, nothing and I mean nothing, can dig under my run or coop! The rest looks good to me. I agree that it would be best to have your run light be a motion light. No need for it to be on all the time. Motion will set it off. A trail camera would be a good investment as well. Your doing a great job! Here's your photo of the upper branch of the chicken swing with a circle on the concerning area. Also a photo of the rocks on top of my apron. Rocks are everywhere here so they were free for me, I don't know if you have that option. I used some old bricks on other areas.

    chicken swing.jpg

    maggie pauly july 15.jpg
  8. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Crowing

    Oct 20, 2014
    I'd suggest getting some "fender washers" to put under those screws ... or just pull the screws out, and put another strip of wood over the top of the hardware cloth secured with screws ...

    I also would suggest replacing the zip ties with 12 gauge steel wire ...

    And unless your shooting something like a 45-70 or 12 gauge with slugs ... I'd image all that wire will deflect your bullet from point of aim ...
  9. Stargeer2

    Stargeer2 Chirping

    Jul 13, 2019
    Churchville, NY
    What is your recommendation for over the top of the coop that raccoons will have a harder time with? The coop itself is exclusively hardware cloth, so I figured that would be sufficient, but I am always open for improvement
  10. Stargeer2

    Stargeer2 Chirping

    Jul 13, 2019
    Churchville, NY
    Thank you for the idea! I didn't initially secure around there with hardware cloth because I didn't have the swing initially, and I keep the chickens in the coop overnight, but I have additional cloth that I can put around that area. We also live in an area plagued with rocks everywhere, so I may take your idea with those as well! Thank uou

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: