Question about movable coops/predators

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickiepie, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. chickiepie

    chickiepie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    Bucks County PA
    We are currently trying to figure out how to build a run/coop for our hens. The plan is to make the coop area inside our shed, with a run outside. As I look at all these mobile-type coops, I am realizing that due to their movable nature there is no buried wire or anything to keep predators from digging under. (Duh!) Does that mean that chickens are less safe in such a coop, or is the concern more of a worry at night, when they would be locked inside the coop?
  2. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Most problems occur at night, but there is always a risk of dogs or some other daytime misfit hitting you in the daytime. I would use welded wire, like the 2X4 stuff and make a stiff skirt. In my own runs, I have plastic latice that I split endways to make a 2` X 8` piece that is layed 1` inside and 1` outside under the rails that surround the runs. They can be attached to the bottom of the rail, but I hold mine in place with landscape spikes. Hope this helps a little..........Pop
  3. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    when I move mine I set them on 2x4 wire skirt that is held down with landscape staples. I've never lost one in the run, tractors, or coop but have lost some while free ranging due to neighbors dogs and feral cats
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    It's hard to compare b/c it just depends how you build things.

    I think it is fair to say that the most predatorproof tractor is going to be significantly less safe than the most predatorproof coop/run you can build. But, not everyone DOES build the most-predatorproof possible version, so, <shrug>

    You can put a short flip-up apron around a tractor's run portion, and peg or weight it down well when tractor is stationary, which helps some. But fundamentally, tractors are better suited to low predator load locations (e.g. in someone's totally-privacy-fenced back yard that does not have a resident dog and the chickens are locked indoors at night) than to really exposed risky places. Depending, of course, on how attached you are to the idea of having the same number of chickens as you did *last* time you looked.

    GOod luck, have fun,

  5. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2010
    I wouldn't trust mine in a area with bears, coyotes etc, but it does well here. I've never had predation of any sort from it.

    Like CoyoteMagic I surround mine with a tent-pegged skirt of welded mesh (lying on the ground) which is separate to the main tractor for ease of moving. And the tractor itself is also pegged down at the corners.

    It all depends on what the predators are, as if tractors are too heavy they become a hassle rather than a benefit. Welded mesh is very heavy.

    Rather than a tractor, you could always make 2 pens and keep one empty (switch at change of seasons) to extend the life of your ground and reduce parasites. I also have a pen set up in this way, with a shed in the middle opening onto 2 separate runs. One doorway is always closed while the other run is left fallow and seeded with wheat etc.

    However I think in terms of digging predators, fixed pens are worse because the animal can check it out over several nights, dig a bit here and a bit there, and gradually make the perfect entranceway (depending on what animal it is). With a moveable pen the predators only have one night to wreak havoc, and a pen set up in a new spot will always make them warier than one that's fixed (unless the predator is a domestic dog). Thus I get a lot of rats and goannas (big monitor lizards that take eggs and chicks) in the fixed pens but not much gets into the tractor.

    Good luck with the choices; I think there are benefits and drawbacks either way.

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