Predator Proofing coop and run- I want to hear all your tricks!

black_cat

♥♥Lover of Leghorns♥♥
Premium Feather Member
May 21, 2020
18,864
58,491
1,086
Connecticut
So it is literally midnight and I'm in a tired panic of "what if i do something wrong and the chickens get eaten in their first night" so please just respond to this with any and all ways to predator proof coops and runs! To reassure future me that's not quite as panicked that I'm doing plenty of things.
 

Flockincrazy

Crowing
May 23, 2020
2,422
5,250
356
Elyria, Ohio
So it is literally midnight and I'm in a tired panic of "what if i do something wrong and the chickens get eaten in their first night" so please just respond to this with any and all ways to predator proof coops and runs! To reassure future me that's not quite as panicked that I'm doing plenty of things.
We have cinderblocks around the outside of the yard and check your yard for holes and patch them right away if you find any and have a sturdy top on your yard oh and make sure there is no access under your coop we have raccoons bad at my house i live by a river so we had to get locking hooks for the doors
 

jesnbec

Chirping
10 Years
Nov 24, 2009
11
7
77
I had a problem with deer eating terminal buds off of my fruit trees, so I took about fifty or so dried red caribbean habenero peppers from the garden and boiled them into a tea with about two gallons of water and filtered that into a sprayer to apply to my trees and grapevines. It worked like a charm, so I started using it around the outside of the hen house and the run and I've seen more than a couple critters get a whiff of that and they don't seem to want anything to do with it. I reapply it from time to time, definitely not fool-proof but I'm pretty sure that all mammals are susceptible to capsaicin while birds are immune to it but it's more deterrent than prevention though. Wear gloves though, I learned a hard lesson LOL
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
34,602
282,014
1,642
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
Every opening in my coop and run are covered with 1/2" hardware cloth attached with 3/4" poultry staples. I have about a 2' predator apron all the way around the entire works.
The entire setup sits inside a 1/3 acre pen surrounded by poultry netting powered with a 10,000 volt charger. No ground predator has breached this and gotten to the flock.
I lock them up each night after they've gone to roost and do head count.
 

Doc7

Songster
May 12, 2018
747
1,079
198
Central Virginia
1/2” hardware cloth with apron all that is needed. I have foxes, bobcats, raccoons, coyotes, feral cats, feral dog, Owls, hawks, falcons etc all on hundreds of acres of woods that my coop is up against, and haven’t closed that coop to run door in 2 years. The only predator I am worried about not stopping is a black bear.
51E626A1-5492-47B3-9453-F20BDA836D65.jpeg
 
3

333113

Guest
The apron is a really important thing. A Saint Louis zookeeper told me that predators tend to go right up to the cage and start digging there. Eighteen inches to two feet wide should do it. Be sure it's fastened to the base of the run caging.
 

HippieAtHeart

Peace, Love & Chickens ✌️
Mar 22, 2020
448
557
181
Southeastern Pennsylvania
Ditto to what everyone else said, and lots of locks. I was paranoid and have at least 2 different kinds of locks on each door to make sure no raccoons could get in. I read in a thread somewhere that if a 5 year old can get into your coop, so can a raccoon!
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
34,602
282,014
1,642
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
1/2” hardware cloth with apron all that is needed. I have foxes, bobcats, raccoons, coyotes, feral cats, feral dog, Owls, hawks, falcons etc all on hundreds of acres of woods that my coop is up against, and haven’t closed that coop to run door in 2 years. The only predator I am worried about not stopping is a black bear.
View attachment 2160525
Add hot wires. I've got a resident momma black bear that lives in the woods behind my house. I've never had a problem with her getting to my coop through the electrified poultry netting.
 

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