Predator proof/resistant coop or pen?

Bird Brain

10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
Hixson, TN
Still new to chicken raising and even newer to having things wanting to eat them....

I had a problem a couple of weeks ago with a possum eating some of my young chicks. They were in a dog kennel, kinda far away from the house in the big pen. Now at night I lock them in a dog crate. We are going to build a pen for my chickens in my back yard up against the house.

My hope is that being so close to the house and less woodsy that possums would be less likley to visit. Am I mistaken in my assumption?

Also, does anyone have any suggestions on anything that they believe helps deter any of these critters? Roost up a certain height? I dont particularly want to have to go out and lock them up every night.
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Yup Mahorni is right. You need some heavy wire and a secure coop that the possum can't get into. Possums aren't afraid to come up near the house. Shoot they aren't even afraid of my dog! (should be, she'll snatch one out of it's hole with no problem)

I'm risking something getting mine as my small run only has chicken wire on the top of it to keep things out and it's open 24/7 for them to come and go. My main run has a solid door that they can only access at certain times of the day.

If someone one tell you, "I've raised chickens blah blah many years and never lost one yet". The key word is YET. It happens. Just the facts of life. Our job is just trying to make it happen too often
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For a true predator proof coop, you will need to take out a second mortage on your house. That will cover everything up to a bear. $30,000 is about right.
Electric Fencing (wire) is another great and inexpensive deterrent
You cannot prove the non existance of something, just that it has not occourred yet.

In other words, given time no coop is preditor proof, just different levels of preditor resistant. A racoon may need several nights to figure out a latch, but given time, they will figure it out, that's why we use locks with combinations or keys. I live smack dab in the middle of 2 towns that smush together, for 10 milkes in every direction is city, and we saw an Opossum dead in the street not 20 feet from my house this AM. Here they like to live in palm trees (so do giant rats, I loathe palms).
Ours are in a coop that its walls are buried 2 feet down. The walls are metal. The attached run is also buried 2 feet down.It is covered in 2 x 4 welded wire all the windows are covered in 1 x 2 welded wire. I still lock up the coop every evening. We lost a few chickens 5 years ago to a opossum and I am not going through that again. If something wants my chickens now they beter plan on escavating under the walls.

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