Reminder about keeping your chickens safe.......

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by gg706, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am constantly seeing threads of people posting about predators killing their chickens. After reading these threads most have not secured their coops well enough and have invited the predators in to a chicken buffet. This especially important at night as most predators are out hunting during dark hours. Chickens in a coop that is not secure against these predators are easy prey. Chickens cannot see much or at all at night, they are not equipped to defend themselves against anything. Chickens are the bottom of the food chain. So as such we as the flock master need to build coops that are secure. Which includes using hardware cloth not chicken wire, closing up pop doors and all other doors to give our chickens a secure place to sleep. Please if you value your chickens at all keep them safe from the very beginning. Once something gets one of your chickens...it WILL be back!
     
  2. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please feel free to add other safety tips for beginning coop builders.
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Coop building 101 in a nutshell - aside from the excellent information in the learning section and all the threads.

    Don't use weak materials, 2X2s are insufficient for framing. Minimum of 2X3 for a small coop.
    A good leak free roofing material.
    LOTS of ventilation regardless of temps. Chickens can roost in trees until a predator gets them. How does one keep drafts out of a tree? They won't die from cold nearly as quickly as they will from bad air and bad things build up quickly when "cooped up".
    Latches need to be complex enough to eliminate nimble fingered raccoons.
    Chicken wire keeps chickens in, not predators out. Never use screens unless backed up by something more robust. Screens are good for keeping flies and mosquitos out.
    Openings can be covered by expanded metal or hardware cloth.
    Build big. Chickens like friends but hate to be crowded - that's why commercial operators must trim beaks.
    If you live in a cold climate, make sure roosts are at least 2" wide so the birds can cover their toes at night.
    External nest boxes save indoor space and make egg collection easier.
    Roosts should be higher than nests to keep the birds from sleeping and defecating in the nests.
     
  4. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All great info chicken canoe! There are alot of threads on building secure coops...It kindof frustrates me a little to continue seeing posts about predators getting in and killing people's chickens only to read the thread and see poultry netting and comments about leaving pop doors open...and then wondering why their chickens are dead.
     
  5. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My big thing with coops is the doors, not only the chicken door but the service door as well. I am going to build a pretty good sized coop and plan to buy an actual steel service door from Menards, the same as one would have on a garage or house. For the chicken door I am using the old door off my dad's old coop which has since fallen down from age, it is a heavy steel door which slides down like a guillotine blocking access to the coop, no predator can breach that door. I have seen many coops with old sprung wooden service doors or homemade doors with a block of wood nailed on to use as a latch and the corners of the doors often are warped or sprung so the door is latched at the middle but open a crack on the bottom or top, this is how predators such as weasels get in and do damage.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Some folks leap before they look, some don't even read the writing on the wall once they ask for advice.
     
  7. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree...Hopefully those who need to will take it into consideration and button up their coops.
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Another good precaution is to keep a trap on hand.
    I used to be overrun with possums and coons. They would be in the trees above the coops drooling at dusk fighting to see who would be the first to test fort knox.
    I trapped most of them out and haven't even seen tracks in the snow this winter.
     
  9. Crzy4Chickns

    Crzy4Chickns Out Of The Brooder

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    We enclosed our chicken coop within a doubled dog kennel, the lower 2ft. is lined with chicken wire. The top has chicken wire and shade cloth. To keep predators away we have three strands of electric tape around the outside of the yards, powered by a solar unit. This is working great. Our biggest risks are raccoons, skunks, dogs, and coyotes.
    we have had no losses nor threats.
     

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