Protecting coop from dogs!!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by OleSandhiller, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. OleSandhiller

    OleSandhiller Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 22, 2013
    Atkinson, Nebraska
    It is Sunday morning so I slept in till 7:30. Went to check on the chickens and my entire flock freshly killed and eaten. 34 hens dead or soon to be.
    When I built my coop and runs, I made them as dog and varmit proof as possible. I buried heavy poultry wire 2 foot deep and 1 foot out. I put a poultry wire roof on the entire run, I put roosts in the run to give them a place to escape to.
    One thing I didn't prepare for, HUNGRY SAINT BERNARDS that like chicken. They tore a large hole into the run and the rest is history.
    I ask myself, what could I have done different? I came up with 2 things. 1 lock them in the coop every nite. 2 Put heavy Red Brand fencing up, from the ground up 3 feet. Put the fencing over the poultry wire. The center of the hole the dogs made was 30 inches off the ground. I lost thirtyfour girls that were 30 weeks old.

    I live at the edge of town, so the chance of a free ranging dog is very likely. I post this because it may help someone save their flock. Here is one picture of the hole in the fence. Thanks and God Bless


  2. Big Bubba

    Big Bubba Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2013
    That is awful.

    You did everything that could be expected. A St. Bernard; who prepares for that? Your idea of putting the heavy duty fencing around the coop and run sounds like a good idea. But, you really shouldn't have to.

    I hope you're holding the dog owner responsible.
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    "Poultry wire" is useless for keeping out predators
    The BEST thing for the large ones is electric fencing

    Sorry you had to learn the hard way
  4. Navi723

    Navi723 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    Bethany, Oklahoma
    I am so sorry. I know exactly how you feel, because the same thing happened to me today. We had a raccoon massacre a few weeks ago, and I lost seven then. Out of the remaining 21, this morning neighborhood dogs killed seven, four others are missing, one, possibly two, will have to be put down. I have eight left, and my backup roo. Our beautiful and awesome alpha rooster was murdered. I'm devastated.

    We live in the city limits, so we called the cops and two of the neighbors were actually arrested, because they were being aggressive with the cops. Their dogs were hauled off by animal control. I'm worried about retaliation, so keeping an eye out.

    Again, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your precautions were extensive, and you really shouldn't feel bad, but if you're like me, you do anyway. It's heartbreaking. Hugs.
  5. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    I'm so very sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how sad you are.

    Do you have a coop that is shut securely at night? If not, that would be a good place to start for protection. If a dog can get to your birds, so can raccoons, snakes, rats, etc. It is a hassle to make sure you close and secure your coop every night, but it's a good way to avoid heartache. I just invested in an automatic door - it's the best decision I've made all year!

    "Poultry Wire" or chicken wire is an unfortunate name that fools people into thinking it'll protect their chickens. Actually, it's made to protect gardens and such from chickens. It's extremely flimsy and probably won't hold up to any sort of predator, especially a big dog.

    Replace it with hardware/hardwire cloth, 1/4". It's a much better idea. Even some cattle panel behind it as an added measure.

    Electric fence is a great idea, one shock from that and I bet that dog'll forget your coop ever existed.
  6. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    Sorry for the loss. You don't need to lock up the birds in the coop nightly if the run is secure. Overlay some no climb horse fencing over that chicken wire. This will keep it secure from the biggest of dogs. Our coop/run has strong fencing to keep the goats at bay and then a perimeter free range fence to keep the dogs at bay.



    Saint Bernards are great dogs..... Build a strong run and your next flock will do fine.

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
  7. D Kluck

    D Kluck Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 8, 2013
    East Texas
    wow...thats is terrible... poultry wire is not very reliable against the big dogs unless you use some horse fencing behind it.. ..
  8. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    That's a tough lesson, Sorry you have to go through that. I would advise electric fencing, either hot wires, or electrified poultry net. That's what I have, and it works great. I got mine from a company called Premier. In excess of 7000Vs, changes a dog's( or any other ground based predator) mind about messing with the chickens. And setting it up is a lot easier than digging fencing into the ground. You just step it in and move on. You can use 110V, or solar if you want.
  9. McKinneyMike

    McKinneyMike Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2013
    McKinney, TX
    I am so sorry for your losses. It is heartbreaking. I would not use chicken wire for anything except the top to keep flying predators out of my run. The 1"x2" welded wire over the entire sides of the run and 1/2" x1/2" hardware cloth from the ground up for three feet. I just do not trust chicken wire after all of the issues that I have seen here and in person. Cheaper for sure, but unless you are ever vigilant, it only takes a few minutes for a large predator to wipe out a lot of hard work and emotional and finacial investment.
  10. goldfinches

    goldfinches Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    Did the dog break into the coop or was the coop left open? Do you have an automatic door?
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013

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