Predator proof coop but not run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Shaela, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. Shaela

    Shaela Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2015
    HI all! I am a new mother hen this year with 5 pullets. We'll be building the coop next week and plan to move them out shortly after. My question is this: we have a very large fenced yard and we plan to let them free range for the most part. We will be building the actual coop to be predator-proof, but we will also have a small run attached to it to keep the chickens enclosed when they aren't roaming around the yard. Do we need to make the run predator proof also, or can we keep it simple with a basic frame and chicken wire? The entrance from the coop to the run will be closed and locked each night, so no predators will be able to get into the run and then into the coop.
  2. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2012
    Since you are already inside a fenced yard you are probably ok with that run setup. During daylight hours the biggest threats are roaming dogs and birds of prey. Since your fenced yard should stop the roaming dogs that just leave the birds and as long as you have a cover of some type on the top you should be ok.

    I have a predator proof coop and run and love not having to close/open a chicken door at all. But I only have the predator proof run due to the fact I scored some free dog kennel panels and built mine out of those including the top.
  3. Chickenshoe

    Chickenshoe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2015
    if you are making your coop predator proof, NOT making your run predator proof only puts the ladies at risk. remember that chicken wire keeps chickens from getting out, it does not keep predators from getting in....hardware cloth does... that's my recommendation..
  4. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    You don't mention where you live, but coyotes and foxes both hunt in the daytime where I live. Coyotes, foxes and racoons are very adept at climbing fences....... Chicken wire will not stop most predators.

    My neighbor's dog managed to pull a hard ware mesh cage off the wall in my barn and chew the wire until he got the rooster out to kill him. (The sheets of wire were fastened together, not supported by a wooden frame. Expensive disaster)

    A determined predator can do the same with chicken wire.
  5. Shaela

    Shaela Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2015
    I live in a suburban neighborhood. Many of my neighbors also have chickens and haven't had many problems with predators, which is why I was thinking it would be okay to keep the run more low key.
  6. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    I live in suburbia too. I didn't think we had foxes or coyotes..... Until we saw them...... Now I am the only chicken owner in the neighborhood. The foxes and coyotes got 15 of mine before I could get predator proof. Then they moved on a cleaned out all the poultry in the rest of the neighborhood.

    You probably won't know they are there until it is too late.....
  7. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    I forgot.... All of my chickens were killed in the daylight hours.
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    We’ve all had different experiences with predators. Many animals (foxes, bobcats, dogs, coyotes, skunks, hawks, and many others) will hunt during the day. Many people in suburbia are surprised to find most of those living in their suburban area. Green areas like parks and stream banks are natural habitat and garbage cans, mice, and squirrels provide a lot of food. Most of these are more active at night and they have more time at night when humans are not active to do their mischief undisturbed so nights are more dangerous but disaster can strike at any time, night or day.

    Some people in rural or suburban areas can go without a predator strike for years, even though there are all kinds of predators around. Some people will get wiped out immediately. There is not really a lot or rhyme or reason to it.

    One of the forum members that breeds champion chickens for show had his breeding pens made out of chicken wire. Those worked fine for several years, but one day two large dogs found them and destroyed his championship flock. Chicken wire is a deterrent but it is certainly not foolproof. But for years he would have told you chicken wire works fine.

    Luck plays a big part, but you can create some of your own luck. I use the philosophy of a predator proof coop at night and a predator resistant run during the day. Instead of hardware cloth or chicken wire, my run is made from 2” x 4” welded wire. If fastened securely this will stop the majority of predators and a top will stop climbing ones too. Is my run perfect? No, I secure them in the coop at night. I find it to be a pretty effective daytime predator resistant run.
  9. Cluckies

    Cluckies Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    My Coop
    My coop and run are predator proof, I work every day so this is for my piece of mind. Also, if it is really hot I can leave the pop door open for even more cross breeze if needed. I don't have to worry at all. I agree, 1/2" hardware cloth. Usually you won't know you have a predator problem until it is too late. I know a guy who lost his whole flock to weasels all in one day, and another lost a chicken to a raccoon, both in urban environments.
  10. Shaela

    Shaela Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2015
    Thanks everyone! I guess I didn't think it would be a big deal because I am home all the time and they will be free ranging in my backyard 90% of the time, which I figured would be "less safe" than any kind of run. But it sounds like we should predator proof the run anyways. Thanks!

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