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Predator proof chicken run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Tootie123, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. joker468

    joker468 Out Of The Brooder

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    I put an electric fense on my chicken coop. I went around the bottom and top with it. I use a solar powered electric fence zapper. also keep the door open 24/7 by placing several nite guard solar powered red flashing lights around the door. the light keeps predators away. Now I can free range my chickens. I do lose some during the day as they like to go into the woods and scratch in the leaves but not many.
    Funny thing, the very day I put power to my coop, no sooner the sun went down came a very strong smell of skunk. Have not had any critters in my coop since I electrified it. I also grounded the fencing unit right to the coop wire.
    I have had one black snake inside since I put juice to it. I believe it came thru a small hole in the house floor. If I fix that hole I imagine the juice will even keep snakes out.
     
  2. ReneeL

    ReneeL New Egg

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    I am envious of your workmanship. You did a beautiful job on this!
     
  3. foglong

    foglong Just Hatched

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    I have a run that is all weld metal and no wood. How do I connect an apron wire weld mesh, about 2 feet out in L shape to keep animals from digging under. Someone told me to use tie wraps but I think this wouldn't be strong or with stand the weathering.
     
  4. jolly wattles

    jolly wattles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They do make uv rated tie wraps. Can get em at any hardware store.
     
  5. abraga

    abraga Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can buy loose wire on places like ebay or amazon in aluminum copper or steel in different gauges. And go around the apron to weave to you pen or even connect every few inches. I do alot of wirework..you can get it by in small rolls. Mayb 14 or 16 gage. I think chincken wire is about 22 gage steel wire for example. Other than that, u can get steel strips, cut the lenght, use two strips to sandwich the the mesh securely, then drill holes in you pen and bolt the apron to the pen
     
  6. abraga

    abraga Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh..if you are going to attach to cage wire, just wrap a layer of fence fabric around the steel strip to get it nice snd secure
     
  7. abraga

    abraga Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Secure then attach it by putting a metsl strip on each side of your pen wire (sandwich)and bolt it for a sig connection. I think you can get thr metal strips at lowes .
     
  8. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As mentioned above, you can use wire to secure the two types together. What I did on mine was form the wire in to rings and use these rings like keyring/splitrings to lace the two types together.
    Here's a link to my coop build, check out post #6 to see the rings in action.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/the-rubber-room-is-open-for-business.784144/
    I used the same method to attach chicken wire around the bottom 2ft of the run.
     
  9. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think the Best way is to remove the word "PROOF" from your question and replace it with "resistant"!!!!

    This is from MY experience(which is limited to 4yrs of chickens.)

    I "thought" I had a predator proof run myself, I never close the door to the coop just leave it open 24/7. It's real nice to not have to worry about getting up at butt crack of dawn in the summer to let them out and not have to worry about getting home early enough in the winter to close them in after dark.

    My run is made with 12X6 dog kennel panels, with chicken wire around the bottom 2ft, chainlink apron all around and dog kennel panels placed on top.(for 4 years it was so nice, it was lovey dovey! Anyone catch the reference?)


    Then it happened!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sorry you gotta check out the next post for the answer......
     
  10. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So very late this past winter we had a really big snow storm hit and dump 2ft+ on us.

    I have a Hay/Straw bale storage unit I built out of pallets to keep the bales out of the weather. Looking out the window of the house that day during storm I could see there was something big on the top hay bale under the roof of the storage unit. Thought "oh no did I leave a chicken out yesterday?" So my wife and I went out into the garage and I was going to step out the door to see what was using my hay storage to get out of the weather.
    I'm standing at the door and my wife is looking out the window, as I'm about to go out my wife yells "there's a hawk in the chicken run!!!" I run to the window she's looking out and sure enough there is a hawk in the run with all the snow. Remember I never close my coop door. As I'm looking out the window thinking what the !@#$$# the hawk flies to the coop ramp and is slowly walking up toward the open door.

    That's it, I run out the door and I"m wading through 2-3 drifts yelling, waving my arms, etc etc till I can get to the front of the coop and close the door.

    run.jpg
    This was taken after securing the coop.

    I had to shovel 2-3ft of snow out of the way so I could open the run gate to let it out and of course my gate only opens in so I had to shovel outside first then slowly push the gate open as I shoveled snow from inside while standing outside.

    One funny side note! I'd been having a lot of trouble with Starlings on my feeder.
    After I secured the coop door I was inside the garage taking some more pictures and getting dressed to go out and shovel him out of there. While looking out the window I didn't see the hawk anymore but did start to see the starlings re-assembling inside the run to attack the feeder.
    All of the sudden the hawk came flying out from under the coop and took out a starling in mid flight right in the middle of the run cage. So at first I'm thinking YEAH! kill them sukers, but then I realized "Oh great, now he thinks it a giant Hawk feeder and not a chicken coop. DOH!!!!

    I had to wait till the storm was over and most of the snow to melt to figure out what happened. There is a gap between the kennel panels on top and the wall of the coop under the eaves. The starlings like to huddle under the eaves in storms like this. I figure the hawk was hiding in the hay storage watching all those starlings come and go and finally decided to make his move for some dinner. he probably chased a starling through that gap and before he realized what happened he was trapped in the run.

    I've since filled in the gap with fencing and now I say my run is predator resistant! I still leave the door open 24/7 so we'll see if I have anymore problems.
     
    abraga likes this.

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