Ready to Try Again

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by anwyllyd, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. anwyllyd

    anwyllyd New Egg

    Dec 11, 2012
    Last fall, we moved into an old farmhouse complete with hen house & chicken run (also barns & fields to roam in!!) and as soon as we got the hen house patched up a friend gave us three very sweet hens and we started on our farming adventure. Within 3 months, all were dead from predators. It turns out that in our area weasels are known for burrowing up from underground in pursuit of their dinner... My eleven year old found the last two and so it has taken all of us about 6 months to emotionally recover and get back to the point where we want to take the risk again. Our first step, I think, needs to be to pour concrete (with a center drain for cleaning) over the whole floor of the coop. Then, although the coop is structurally sound, I want to go ahead and reinforce the sides with either half cinder blocks or brick siding (just for our peace of mind!) Any other suggestions that you can think of that will make our house more secure? I also want to buy a young pygmy goat to raise with the chickens in the hopes that the goat will help protect them if I keep it in the coop with them at night. It is a very large coop so there should be plenty of room for several chickens and a small goat. In addition to the soon to be acquired chickens and goat(s), we also have 12 cats, all rescues, and 3 teen/tween boys. We all believe very strongly in living as naturally as possible and so this is the next logical step for us. However, we bond with all of our animals (hence the 12 cats!) and so we are very concerned with making sure that our animals are as safe as possible. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
  2. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas and [​IMG]! Pleased to have you with us! I like the concrete floor idea - makes for easy clean up as well. I'm sure your predator proofing on the walls will be more than adequate but perhaps overkill if your major predator is a weasel. High quality hardware cloth would be more than adequate and will also protect from raccoons, possums, skunks, dogs and coyotes. But there is a lot to be said for peace of mind as you said so if you'd feel better with cinder blocks, good for it! Best wishes to you!
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] I would also suggest a cover on your run - either solid for shade and some protection from rain & snow, or just wire mesh to keep hawks out.
  5. anwyllyd

    anwyllyd New Egg

    Dec 11, 2012
    The previous folks here planted a huge shade tree in the middle of the run so there is plenty of cover from hawks, etc. that might come down from above. And the run itself is closed off from the coop during the night. Do you think we need to cover the run with anything else since the tree is there?
  6. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    The tree will provide a great source of shade....but also a hiding place for hawks. For 100% safety it's best to cover the run. All that being said, I free range my chickens - I accept the risk of potentially losing a chicken on occasion for the benefits if overall happier birds that get exercise, eat bugs and seeds and overall just seem happier.
  7. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2009
    If you can cover it then I would.

    Last year I had two hawks that liked to sit in my trees and swoop down on my chickens in the run. I lost a few to them.

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined us! [​IMG]
  9. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC! Good luck to you.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by