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Remodeling a coop to keep out predators

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by WashingtonCowgirl, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. WashingtonCowgirl

    WashingtonCowgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2010
    Tenino, Wa
    We have coons, possums, mink, hawk, and coyotes. Our existing structure is a custom made coop, but needs proofing bad. So what do I need to do? I was thinking putting plywood up on the walls so they are solid and hardware cloth on the perimeter (floor and up about 4 inches on the wall). Also, how do you make a pop door predator-proof? If you have pictures of ideas, that is great, but if not then that's great too :p
     
  2. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    My coop is raised. It has a cement board (Hardi Panel) floor over the decking. The lower walls are half inch plywood. The upper half is 2x4 welded wire, though you should use hardware cloth. The roofline has gaps, which should be covered with hardware cloth instead of chicken wire. The roof is shingled half inch plywood with radiant barrier. The pop door is a half inch plywood sliding contraption that has not been an attractive predator target so far. You might consider a latch or padlock if you have problems with predators opening doors.

    My coop is inside a 20x40 pen with 2x4 welded wire fence and a big poultry net suspended on PVC and tied to the fence.

    Much of my security comes from my trap.

    Have a look at my BYC page for links to my blog posts about chicken products, remodeling the coop, etc.
     
  3. Kyle E

    Kyle E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2010
    Liberty, Pennsylvania
    Just make sure you have boards the hole way around the bottom of it so they can't get underneath it. My pop door i have rope on it that goes up to a pulley on the outside then one on the inside so I can just pull the rope from the inside and the door pulls up then at night i go out and close it so predators can't get in.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Could you perhaps post a photo? It is real hard to give useful specifics without any idea of how the coop is constructed at present.

    If it's a dirt floor and you want digproofing, I would suggest an exterior apron the same as yo might do on a run, rather than the interior hardwarecloth you are suggesting (predators will jsut dig past that)

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I pretty much have heavy plywood or 1/2" hardware cloth covering every inch of my coop. My pop hole door now is an automatic door mounted on the inside. It's a guillotine style and made of metal. Before that, I had a hinged door made from plywood that folded down into a ramp, also mounted on the inside. If I had a door mounted on the outside, I'd probably use a lock on it. You have to really be careful about latches, as raccoons can open so many of them.
     
  6. WashingtonCowgirl

    WashingtonCowgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 16, 2010
    Tenino, Wa
    Quote:I can try and get some today when its light out. Its going to need quite a bit of work to be usable again, its been ages since we've had chickens. Plus I want to possibly re-arrange things in there :p I can try to explain it a little more though [​IMG] The building is one my dad built out of old barn wood. It isn't insulated and there are about 1/4 - 1/2 inch gaps between wall boards. The whole building is about a 10 ft by 10ft, with the coop being 10ft by 5ft, and the other half is storage. It has plywood floors that I will be covering with vinyl. No run anymore, so any suggestions on that would be awesome. I am going to get graph paper today and see if I can come up with a more useful use of the extra space in there [​IMG]
     
  7. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I can try and get some today when its light out. Its going to need quite a bit of work to be usable again, its been ages since we've had chickens. Plus I want to possibly re-arrange things in there :p I can try to explain it a little more though [​IMG] The building is one my dad built out of old barn wood. It isn't insulated and there are about 1/4 - 1/2 inch gaps between wall boards. The whole building is about a 10 ft by 10ft, with the coop being 10ft by 5ft, and the other half is storage. It has plywood floors that I will be covering with vinyl. No run anymore, so any suggestions on that would be awesome. I am going to get graph paper today and see if I can come up with a more useful use of the extra space in there [​IMG]

    Build with screws ! You will not regret it when it comes time to rearrange the interior!

    Make your run much bugger than needed. Consider a bottom rank of hardware cloth as a digging & reach-through barrier. Consider a hardware cloth or poultry net top cover to protect from hawks.
     
  8. Loudoun

    Loudoun Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 1, 2011
    I assume that snow wont' go through 1/2" hw cloth...what do you do when it snows? I am planning to use an electric fence + Poultry netting since it snows so much here for "over the top of the run" cover.

    Tx,
    Virginia
     
  9. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    I'm near you, McCleary, so we have similar predators.

    I used 2x4 wire as the main sidewall wire, and then added 1/2" hardware cloth for the bottom 3'. The top has now gotten a metal roof.

    [​IMG]

    I also added an automatic door to close them in at night.
    [​IMG]

    If you need assistance, let me know.
     
  10. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    Quote:I can try and get some today when its light out. Its going to need quite a bit of work to be usable again, its been ages since we've had chickens. Plus I want to possibly re-arrange things in there :p I can try to explain it a little more though [​IMG] The building is one my dad built out of old barn wood. It isn't insulated and there are about 1/4 - 1/2 inch gaps between wall boards. The whole building is about a 10 ft by 10ft, with the coop being 10ft by 5ft, and the other half is storage. It has plywood floors that I will be covering with vinyl. No run anymore, so any suggestions on that would be awesome. I am going to get graph paper today and see if I can come up with a more useful use of the extra space in there [​IMG]

    To cover the gaps between the boards, you can cut batten boards, a 3-4 inch strip, and nail over the gaps.
     

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