Predator proofing questions- help please!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by leanna1120, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. leanna1120

    leanna1120 Chirping

    Sep 18, 2014

    I'm just finishing up my first chicken coop. It is an 8 X 8 coop with an 8 X 16 attached run with a roof. I have used 1/2" hardware mesh for the run. The hardware mesh starts at the top cap of the wall which is about 6 feet tall. It extends to the ground and is then buried 1 foot down and out. The roof hangs out over the top of the wall about 1 foot. Where the top of the run framing meets the roof joists on the inside of the run, there is about a 6 inch opening without any hardware mesh. This is present on the long sides of the run but obviously not the ends as there is no roof overhang to create this gap. Is this gap something that I need to be concerned with in terms of safety from predators? I am a chicken newbie and am not sure. I feel like I have constructed about as safe a chicken home (coop and run) as I can, but didn't really account for this space until I was walking through it today. Thoughts anyone????


  2. Yes, you need to close up the soffit of the roof or you will have issues, be it more mesh or plywood... Predators like racoons and weasels will climb right up the wall and get in...
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Very nice and welcome! You need to add hardware cloth or wood to close in those openings for sure. I would also add 2"x4" woven wire around the lower 3' or4' of the run as added predator protection. Also, I don't see enough ventilation on your coop; maybe the other side is more open? Also, how is that hardware cloth secured to the run? You won't ever regret overbuilding! Mary
  4. leanna1120

    leanna1120 Chirping

    Sep 18, 2014
    Thanks for the replies. I still have to install gable vents on both ends of the coop and I have the sofits in the coop open for ventilation as well. I'm struggling with having enough ventilation, but trying to keep the coop warm in the winters. Do you think that will be enough for ventilation?

    The hardware mesh is fastened with large staples but I'm going to have hubby reinforce it with screws and washers. Will predators really just pull that stuff off??

  5. They do not need it to be warm in the winter, more so they need protection from the blowing wind... So as long as the vents are up high that is fine...

    Yes, they will literately rip it right off, staples are not enough... Screws and washers are a much better option, but for the cost of washers IMO you are better off with a length of metal bar stock with some holes drilled in it and screwed down the entire edge, at least on the lower seams or edges.. To save a bit, screws and washers are more then enough up higher, I just like the seamless edging down low... A 20lb adult coon is quite strong on it's own, but coyotes and dogs will toss a lot more weight into the pull...

    Cheap (there are of course other options) metal bar stock can be found in the fence area of most big box hardware stores, it's used to pull tight chain link fence... Some stores carry a round bar (you don't want that one) others will carry the galvanized flat bar you want for this application, usually in several different lengths...

    72" of seamless 'heavy gauge' metal edging for $4.58 IMO is a bargain...

    I personally drill holes every 6 inches and use lath screws to secure it (yeah they are not galvanized but they work so well with the big flat head) make sure to get the 'sharp point' ones not the self drillers as they will strip out the wood and pull back out...
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
  6. Schroeder

    Schroeder Songster

    Nov 9, 2008
    Central Indiana
    My Coop
    For washers, drill holes in pennies or nickels. Either way is cheaper than store bought galvanized washers.

    Another option for the soffits is to buy vinyl soffit from any of the big box hardware stores. It installs easily and the kind I bought has pin holes (ventilation holes) all along the length.
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    We have a discount store near by where a lot of hardware can be bought as cheaply as $2/#. This includes fender washers. They also sell packaged hardware like hinges for a fraction of the cost compared to hardware stores.

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