Racoons, fox, hawks, snow - what's your experience building a secure run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by doublenerds, May 1, 2017.

  1. doublenerds

    doublenerds Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2017
    Hi all, newbie here, first chicks arriving May 18. I have been poring over the forums and learning lots, but I am hoping to get some consolidated feedback from people in similar situations to mine as to the best methods for building a secure outdoor run.

    Here are my parameters:
    • There will be 6 hens in the flock
    • We have the space to build a run as large as 16' x 40'. We can't really let them free range so I want to give them as much enclosed space as possible
    • We are surrounded by a large nature preserve and are regularly visited by racoons, fox, opposums, and red tail hawks. Although we haven't seen them ourselves, bald eagles have been spotted in our area.
    • We are in lower New York state, so we don't get crazy amounts of snow but we usually get at least one storm that deposits 2-3 feet each winter.
    • We will be running power from the house to the coop, so electric fencing is an option
    • I'm still torn between a "hoop house" style outdoor run and a traditional wood-framed run
    • I still haven't worked out if it is more economical to go all hardware cloth and no electricity or larger gauge fencing with electric along the lower half
    • I'm not sure how worried we need to be about mammalian predators during the day. At night the girls will be locked up tight in a secure coop

    if you are willing to share photos of your predator-proof setup and comments about what has worked (and not worked) for you, I would greatly appreciate it. I would rather not break the bank but I also don't want to cut corners and kill my girls as a result.

    Thanks for your opinions!
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  2. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We can't free range either due to backing up to a forest. All openings are covered with 1/2" hardware cloth attached with screws & fender washers. Window screens were replaced with hardware cloth. Hardware cloth is buried (down & turned out) about 18" around the perimeter of the run. 3 latches on run door. Foam fills any gaps where the metal roof meets the "walls" of the run. We've haven't had any predators get in.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. doublenerds

    doublenerds Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2017
    Very nice Chickenmama! Is that 8 x 16?
     
  4. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio

    Thank you, Yes, the run is 8' x 16', the coop is 8' x 18' (8' x 9' used for chickens, other half for storage). BTW, we have 6 chickens, the size has been great.
     
  5. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Please see the link to my thread on electric fencing in my signature line.
     
    1 person likes this.

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