Raccoons and HC Aprons?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Ted Brown, May 19, 2019.

  1. Ted Brown

    Ted Brown Songster

    Has anyone had a raccoon burrow under a HC apron in order to enter a run or coop?
     
  2. BarnhartChickens98

    BarnhartChickens98 Crowing

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    I have not, they usually hit it and give up. Hopefully you havent had them get through at all!
     
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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Nope, have you?
    I think they are more likely to climb and tear/chew their way in.
     
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  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    I have not had anything of any size dig under an apron. Some of my aprons are hardware cloth, some 2" x 4" welded wire, whatever was left over from building the coop/run.

    I have had something, I think a coyote but it could have been many other things, start to dig and give up. I've never had anything succeed. So at least it has been tested and passed.
     
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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    The only pred I've read of burrowing under an apron were rats,
    or other tunnelers then rats taking advantage of the work.
    Has changed my advise of not burying an apron and using any mesh larger than 1/2".
     
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  6. trumpeting_angel

    trumpeting_angel Crowing

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    So to be clear, your advice is to bury the apron or not to bury?

    I searched a bunch of your posts, but I wanted to be sure. People rely heavily on your expertise!
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    If you live in an area with lots of rats, I'd suggest you bury the apron.
    ETA: Bury apron 12-18".
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    Aart, what do you mean by "bury the apron"? In my mind I envision taking up the turf, say 2", then putting that turf back on top. But I hate to assume. The devil is in the details.

    In my coop and run I know I'm not going to be keeping rats out, there are just too many other ways in. My concern is bigger stuff like fox, coyote, raccoon, and such. So far rats have not been an issue in the coop but I'm fully aware it could happen later today.
     
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  9. FlappyFeathers

    FlappyFeathers Crossing the Road

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    I don't see the point of burying it. I would rather it be near the surface so I can inspect it occasionally. If the apron is wide enough and fastened to the ground, either with garden pins, bricks or pavers, and/or covered with a layer of bedding, it should still be just as effective. I would think after a few years of being buried under ground, the wire would start to rust and become brittle. At least if it's near the surface, you can check on it and replace or repair if necessary, without digging a trench to access it. I could be wrong.
     
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  10. Ted Brown

    Ted Brown Songster

    To clarify my question: I have a neighbor with eight chickens two of which belong to another neighbor who looks after the chickens for two days a week when the others are in the city.

    I spoke with the 2nd neighbor on Sunday and asked about predators and he told me that they had lost one chicken to a raccoon who "dug underneath the HC". When I asked for clarification he told me that they had an apron and had switched to HC cloth on the floor of the run (elevated coop inside) that was the covered with straw,

    I had visited during the winter to see their coop/run setup and to have a discussion about their experiences. I noted that the coop was heated with a heat lamp clamped to a rafter and the coop itself was tight for eights birds (guessing 6' by 4' and perhaps 4' tall).

    In discussion I brought up the topic of DLM as the lady has commented on their need to clean out the run on a regular basis, she had never heard of it.

    We have a wide variety of predators around (fox, coyote, wolves, fisher, otter, weasel, mink, raccoons, the occasional dog allowed to run free and bear although there are enough houses around that they mostly stay away); I am building my coop and run area and have used BYC for information on design and predators, have never seen folks saying that raccoons will dig underneath an apron. Fortunately we appear not to have rats as the area is lake country with mostly modern houses and very little trash and/or decaying buildings.

    I wanted to double check with the many experts that frequent this forum, very much appreciate your feedback.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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