Protecting the girls

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Pheonix, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. Pheonix

    Pheonix Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 11, 2010
    San Jose, Ca
    Hey there, I'm new to the site and am one of those paranoid people that want to get everything right and have lots of questions, so sorry in advance...

    I've heard that chicken wire isn't as protective as some think, so I'm building mine with wielded wire that is 20 gauge wire. The grid is 2"x3" and I was wondering if that is to big? I have had problems with raccoons eating my cats food in the past and I'm worried about them getting the chickens and their food. I was wondering if someone had any knowledge of how long their arms are and how far away from the sides I need to put the food. Also, if I put the run on 16" cement stepping stones do you think they would be to dig under they coop? One more thing, if the whole coop is in the wielded wire, do I need to close up the coop for the night? I'm in San Jose, Ca and it only gets down to the 30's a few days a year so I wasn't to worried about the cold, should I?

    Thanks for any help.
  2. fargosmom

    fargosmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2008
    Pasadena, CA
    Most here will recommend 1/2 inch hardware cloth, for security against predators, at least at the bottom of the run and about 3' high (I think that's the right height). Coons can reach in through larger openings and have been known to pull chickens to them and gnaw on what they can reach - not pretty. My run is pretty small so the whole thing is hardware cloth, and the other nice thing about it is that birds can't fly in and steal the chicken food.
    My coop is open on one side (you can see it if you visit my site - link is at the left). We live in Pasadena and most winter nights are in the 40's or upper 30's, but we do get one or two freezing nights. So far the girls have been fine. Remember they come equipped with their own snuggly down blankets.
    Best wishes to you with your new chicky venture!
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens


    Yes, you need hardware cloth to keep predators out. The 2 x 3 inch will be too big. Weasels and rats can get through, and maybe other things, I don't know.

    Also you need an apron of fencing bent outward (there are lots of threads on this, do a search if you want on the search bar) to keep digging animals out, or bury the fence some. I don't know about stepping stones.

    I don't know what to tell you about closing the coop for the night, unless I actually saw it. (For temps and predators.)
  4. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    I used 1"x2" welded wire for my run and my chicks lived in just the run for over 2 months. I had a large plastic water trough inside turned on it's side for them to sleep in. then I built my coop and attached the run to it. Here's a pic.
    here's the coop
    And here are the 2 put together.

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