1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Proper Housing

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by protodon, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. protodon

    protodon Songster

    Mar 3, 2009
    Many times when I come looking through this section, I read about people angry at certain predators for killing their birds and yet they give the predators so many opportunities to get at their birds. Casualties due to night time predators are completely avoidable with a properly built coop. A few things I can suggest that I am sure many people know but also many people do not are:

    Don't have a dirt floor. Common sense, if the animal can't go through, it will try to go under. You never know how long an animal could be working a certain spot then one night you come into your coop and all you find are blood, feathers and some mangled bodies and a nice entry/exit hole. Floors should be made of wood or some other solid material which is connected to the sides of the coop.

    Don't use chicken wire/chain link as your main enclosure material. Unless it is just for a daytime run. Many people already know that a raccoon or other animal can grab your birds through wire. Why use it then? The only chicken wire on your coop should be for ventilation at the top of your coop and it should be attached to the coop in a secure fashion as in one layer attached from the inside and one from the outside. Wire is expenisive an diffucult to deal with anyway. And you can't pry wood away from a frame or bend it open like you can with wire.

    I am not sure what most people's setups are but your secure coop can just be for night time. It doesn't have to be huge or expensive. You can have more than one secure coop as well if you like to separate your birds. I keep all my birds in one coop atnight and free range during the day. This setup works well for me.

    Perhaps I'm naive. I am mainly only speaking from my own experience with predators but the only time I have lost animals during the night is when they were not cooped at night for some reason or another. Once they are in the coop for the night, nothing can get in there, unless perhaps it's a very hungry bear...or person.

    Whether you live in the suburbs, city or country, certain predators(foxes, raccoons, opossums, coyotes) thrive around humans so they're not going away any time soon. Predators aren't going to change how they do things. We are smarter than them. Make your enclosure predator proof the first time and you won't have to worry about shooting or catching this or that and feeling bad about it or even good about it because you took one predator our of the population. There will always be more predators

  2. TarzantheChickenMan

    TarzantheChickenMan Songster

    Oct 1, 2009
    Guthrie, MN
    i agree whole heartily nice post
  3. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009

  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yes...a secure coop would prevent most predator attacks. No dispute here... [​IMG]
  5. fancbrd4me02

    fancbrd4me02 Songster

    You are so right! My chicken pen is heavy 1" chicken wire, layered with screen mesh (Like for a screen door) with wood frame, wire buried 10" down, and 6" outwards. Then the pen is surrounded by 4-6" large gravel. Roof is corrugated metal, attached with screws. Doors have gate latch, sliding (security) bolt and all my pens are sometimes locked with padlocks. Now, ask me how many birds I lose to predators? That's right, none!!!!! I let them out in daytime, in at night. I know it's not a popular idea, but anytime I lose a bird or animal to a predator, if I am honest with myself, I can usually identify something I did or did not do that led to the loss. It's easy to be angry at animals for being animals, not so easy to accept responsibility yourself.

    Also, I am poorer than heck, but I saved and planned so I could do my chicken pen right. I planned, I scrimped, I salvaged and saved to do it.
  6. FaereChicken

    FaereChicken Songster

    Jan 1, 2009
    N. Central Maryland
    Sometimes it takes a few iterations, ie losses, to realize what works. We've added to the secure portion after realizing that a small raccoon could get in. And I lost one hen during daylight free-ranging, so it is possible.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by