I'm hoping to add some freely accessible outdoor space outside our duck house. (I think species isn't relevant for this issue, so posting under "coops" instead of "ducks"...) We currently keep the ducks in a secure duck house at night and herd them to a tractor for the daytime. This works pretty well, but there are times when I know we'll be out past twilight and need to either lock them up mid-afternoon, or lock them OUT until well past dark. I was thinking that I might be able to fix up an old dog crate to give them a few square feet of daylight & fresh air and a place to put their food/water on these occasions. This would also make it a lot easier to ask friend's to take care of them, since they'll be able to come over when it is convenient instead of first thing in the morning and smack in the middle of dinner. I'm thinking to put small grid hardware cloth around the sides of the crate, but am unsure about the roof and bottom of the crate. Is the hardware cloth necessary in these areas, or could I get by with chicken wire, or just the cage itself? The birds would really love access to the dirt, so a small grid wire on the bottom would be a shame. The walls/ceiling of the crate itself have openings about 1 inch wide by 5 inches long. I know that's plenty big for a raccoon's hand, but I'm not sure whether that's a problem in the portion above the ducks' heads. The floor has much bigger openings. I think about 4 inches square. Will the digging predators break through that? What about that sitting on top of a layer of chicken wire? One other possibility would be flipping the cage upside down, so that the floor would have the 1x4 inch openings, and just put serious hardware cloth across the big "roof". Thanks!