Predator Proof Coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Cyprus, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

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    My Coop
    After suffering several predator attacks lately, I've been revisiting the design of my coop and trying to troubleshoot what I did wrong.

    What features and materials would go into making a predator proof coop and run? What kind of predators should the average chicken keeper be worried about deterring?

    Here in my area I've encounted almost everything from dogs to bobcats, foxes to skunks. I've made lots of repairs and improvements to my coops to try and stop predators but they aren't working.
    The only thing that I've found to hold up for all 6 Years is the 19gage welded wire.

    I want your input on what you think should be a part of a secure coop and run.

    Thanks in advance,
    Cyprus
     
  2. A_Fowl_Guy

    A_Fowl_Guy Crowing

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    I use galvanized hardwire mesh buried 2 inches deep around the run. It has stopped the weasels, coyotes, and bobcats that we have.
     
  3. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

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    Hardware cloth, the heavier gauge the better, complete predator apron and hot wires surrounding the whole works powered by at least a 1.2 joule output charger will stop just about everything.
     
  4. Raccoons, opossums, mice, rats, dogs, cats, weasels, foxes, bobcats, snakes, coyotes, wolves. Then from above hawks and birds of prey.

    In regards to your coop/run would you mind showing us pics of your previous?

    In regards to the things I would say personally. I would prefer a coop/run where it is clear on all 4 sides (this way predators can't hide and work). You can then do perimeter checks on a semi routine basis. I would suggest as you have 19gage welded wire or as some call it hardware wire. Burying the wire around all edges of the coop and run and flaring outward by at least 12". I highly suggest a coop door closer as sometimes work and life prevent you from being there at closing time. Windows done with welded wire. Doors having locks that you know an intelligent predator can't operate (raccoons have high hand and finger dexterity and are intelligent).

    I would suggest motion detector lighting facing outward from the coop so that if movement is detected the predator is blinded for a moment and also you have a chance of seeing what's lurking.

    I would also put in cameras that record so you can see how the predator is accessing your coop/run. Also it will hopefully see the areas they were hitting so that way you know what other areas to improve.

    These are just some of the things I can think of right now off the top of my head if I was having issues with predators.
     
  5. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

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    Yup, heavy gauge 1/4" hardware cloth all around and over too if you don't already have a secure roof. Dig it in 18" but if it's too late for that you can also spread it out 12" from the bottom. If you're already constructed and haven't done either 12" concrete pavers around the perimeter will act like an apron too.

    Check your enclosure carefully. Anyplace that isn't hardware cloth mesh that light gets through should be stuffed tight with steel wool. Rat and mice can get through tiny knotholes. All your openings should have secure latches and, if possible, put a carabiner clip through them to further secure them from raccoons.

    I don't have electric fencing. So far the measures above have protected my birds from raccoons, coyotes, hawks, skunks and neighborhood animals. But if you can afford the electric fence and have access to an electric line it could protect your poultry from bigger animals like bear.
     
  6. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

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  7. Thank you for the link. That looked more barn like and adapted to chickens. So I could see that being much more difficult to predator proof. Could you show some pics of the new one even though not used? That would let us give opinions on what to change before the birds are in the coop. Or in case we spot an issue. I want to see success with your D'uccles!
     
  8. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

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    The new coop is just as it is in the linked thread :) The only additions are a long roost along the back and 2 nesting boxes on the left wall. The front is a black avian netting -super easy to destroy. That needs to change.

    I'm wanting success with my D'Uccles as well :) And for me that means getting a bird to live long enough to be a grandparent.
     
  9. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

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    Use 1/2”x1/2” hardware clothe for your run walls and to cover all vents and windows and for the skirt around your coop and run. Also cover your run with roofing material like shingles or corrugated plastic roofing panels or wire. You can get a 100 foot roll from mypetchicken for about $200.
    Put pad locks on all entrances to the coop, even the nest boxes.
     
  10. Cyprus

    Cyprus Master of the 'never give up' attitude

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    What would be the spacing recommendation for electric fencing strands? We have the setup and the wires.
     

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