Predator Proofing...???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cosmomcnugget, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. cosmomcnugget

    cosmomcnugget Out Of The Brooder

    24
    0
    32
    Apr 8, 2007
    How do you guys "predator proof" your coops? What are the best methods for the different kinds of predators?

    I really appriciate everyones help... I have been feeling a little overwhelmed lately.
     
  2. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    3,609
    65
    264
    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    Mz. Predator Paranoid here.

    Basically every predator, including some snakes, like chicken meat. Plug up all holes between fencing, walls, etc. Some predators can squeeze thru holes as small as 1". Snakes can come in and eat eggs through one inch chicken wire.

    Lock up your birds at night in a secure coop or run.

    Chicken wire keeps chickens in, but doesn't keep predators out. Put welded wire over your chicken wire if your birds will be in a run that a dog or coyote has access to. Raccoons can tear through chicken wire also. If your birds sleep in a secure run, place hardware cloth next to the roosts and around the bottom so raccoons can't reach in and pull your bird thru the wire piece by piece.

    To prevent digging under your welded wire enforced run or into your coop, attach welded wire "aprons" to the outside and fold them outward so that any predators wil be digging into wire at the base of your run or coop. (If you need a picture, let me know.)

    If your birds are locked in a coop at night, but in a run during the day, put chicken wire or netting over the top to keep out raptors.

    Secure all gates, doors and windows with locks that cannot be manipulated by varmints. Raccoons can easily use a slide bolt, twist lock, etc. (I have padlocks with keys on mine.)

    If you intend to let your birds free roam, expect to lose a few (or more).

    Did I leave anything out ?
     
  3. motherhen

    motherhen Out Of The Brooder

    67
    1
    41
    Mar 25, 2007
    Halifax, NS
    I was wondering if it would make that big a difference to only use chicken wire. The local feed store has 1/2" chicken wire and we plan to use that because we can't afford to use hardware wire, its just too expensive for us. We are building a coop right now and that's where they will be housed at night. I hope that will keep them safe during the day. Also, I am home most of the time.
    Any thoughts?
     
  4. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    3,609
    65
    264
    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    Chicken wire is light weight, so predators can tear it or use their weight to pull it off or go through it.

    I don't think I have ever seen 1/2 in. chicken wire. I will look it up. The more dense wiring might make it stronger, but I am not sure.

    Some people use chicken wire only, but run an electric wire about six inches above the ground and another at the top of the fence.

    If you have an exterior perimeter fence, that will also help, as will dogs.

    Every situation is different. Where you live, may be more safe than where others have chickens.
     
  5. motherhen

    motherhen Out Of The Brooder

    67
    1
    41
    Mar 25, 2007
    Halifax, NS
    Carla, thanks for the response. We have a dog is very protective of the property, loud. I know we do have coyotes in the area, but I haven't seen any lately. We live in a semi rural area and the coop is with in eye sight of our window. If birds are confined in the house at night and I am home most of the day would that not keep them safe? I just want it to be okay.
     
  6. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    3,609
    65
    264
    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    As I mentioned earlier, I am predator paranoid. I have seen fox, coyote, loose dogs, raccoons, skunks, oppossum, armadillo and various and assorted snakes around my coops, so I go to the extreme. I have also never lost a bird to a predator. (Knocks on wood)

    Most predator attacks occur at night and/or when the owner (or owner's dog) is not around. Your dog is a great asset, and it sounds like you have a lot better protection than some poultry owners.

    The worst case senario I see in your situation during the day is a raptor. Hawks are known to be very bold and many a chicken owner has seen a chicken brought down in front of them by a hawk. If you can't put chicken wire over your run, put some criss cross string with streamers over your run to discourage them.

    I put my babies out in the coop at two weeks of age, but don't let them into the run until they are about 6 weeks old. This gives them a little more size and discourages snakes from trying to eat them. I put hardware cloth over the chicken door so they can see out and don't feel so confined. Is this something you can do if you have babies?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by