Racoons...Climb over wire fence?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Brian, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Brian

    Brian Songster

    Sep 30, 2007
    Jacksonville, ORegon
    We have sold our old property and have purchased new land that we are building on now. I am planning a new chicken area. At our last place, we had a 5' high wire fence that kept the daytime predators out, but each night we would lock the hen's little door, and each morning we would have to go open that door so they could get out. Some mornings I don't get out to open it until 8am, and I dislike that my hens have to wait for me, if daylight, say, is at 6am. It would be nice to not have to go open and close that little door at night, however what I don't know is this: Will a raccoon climb over a wire fence (2x4" rectangular pattern, 6' tall)? I don't want to avoid closing that door, at the risk of a coon coming over the fence at night and killing my hens. Have I needlessly been making the trek to the hen house each evening at dusk, and first thing in the morning? Do you have a story to tell me?

    Secondary question, in the event it is not safe to leave the little hen door open at night: Does anyone know of a slick auto-door opener? I will have electricity to the new hen house.


  2. Chemguy

    Chemguy Songster

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    Hi Brian,

    I have raccoons that climb a 2-story high downspout, so 2x4 welded wire is likely no problem for them. I don't have any experience with automated doors, but there are lots of helpful people here who can point you in a good direction, I'm sure.
  3. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Songster

    Jun 22, 2008
    Quote:Raccoons are excellent climbers, once saw one asleep on top of a telephone pole. Just the other night one was trying to get into one of my pens and it made a five foot jump to the roof of the pen. Most predators are good at climbing.
  4. Brian

    Brian Songster

    Sep 30, 2007
    Jacksonville, ORegon
    Good God! I've heard enough. I'll still need to lock the girls in at night.

    Anyone know of an auto-door device?
  5. nincomcoop

    nincomcoop In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2010

  6. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Climbing any fence is child's play for coons and dogs/coyotes can easily jump a 6' fence as well. Coons, btw, have been known to cross streets on telephone lines. As far as the pop door is concerned, I'd rather my chickens wait until I can let them out than have them come out into the jaws of some waiting predator. Extra time in the coop won't hurt their feelings any and will keep them save. I worry more about those evenings we're away and the door doesn't get closed at dark--but then again if I close it I know everyone is inside.
  7. wayne hulgan

    wayne hulgan Chirping

    Jul 24, 2011
    Quote:YES! I highly recommend this auto door.


    The wife bought me one and I love her and the door. The chicky door people are really nice too. I had a few problems with my door (most all were self inflicted), and they were very helpful and understanding. Once the chicky door folks got me stright, the door works just great.
    As for the coons, they will be just about your worst enemy. They are smart, and they have hands. Some locks are not coon proof.
    Good luck and don't count the coons short.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  8. Have you considered an electric fence?

    OldGuy43 [​IMG]
  9. Groceryjunkie

    Groceryjunkie In the Brooder

    You don't need an auto door. I went to our local Tractor Supply and bought a solar powered electric fence which I wired about 2, 4 & 6 inches off the ground and haven't had a problem since. Oh and I also got a Great Pyrenees dog No Critters Anywhere!!!

  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    If your coop is big enough for the number of chcikens you have, then it won't hurt to leave them locked up a bit. That is factored into the 4 square feet per chicken in the coop rule of thumb. If you shoehorn them in the coop, then you might have more of an issue. Each flock has its own dynamics, so that answer can be different for each of us. That rule of thumb is general, not specific. It does not always work, but generally does.

    Just because you don't lock them up once and nothing happens, don't get complacent. Many decades go, my parents kept chickens out in the country and never locked them up. We'd often go years without a predator attack. But sometimes a predator would find them and have to be dealt with.

    An automatic door maker is one of the sponsors of this forum. You might want to check out the sponsors tab in the blue line above.

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