1. Melissa2173

    Melissa2173 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Springfield, Georgia
    This may be a dumb common sense question but I am new to this. If my coop is as secure as I can make it and my girls will be locked up at night, do I need to use hardware cloth on the run? I have read where others flocks have been attacked during the day but it seems the greatest danger is at night. I by all means want them safe and will use it if it's necessary, just curious. Any advice is welcome!
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  2. tennesseeckn

    tennesseeckn Real or not real?

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    Jul 11, 2010
    Knoxville Area
    I have two coops. One has a small run with a roof and completely enclosed in hardware cloth. I love it because I don't feel like I have to close the pop door every night or get up super early to open it back up. The down side is that I feel like I need to let them free range quite a bit because it is really small.

    My larger coop has a large, open run. It has hardware cloth around the bottom and welded wire above. I consider it day time predator proof. Dogs, and hawks can't get it, but it's so big it would cost a small fortune to make it raccoon and weasel proof. I have to lock them up every night and open it back up in the morning, but the run is big enough that I don't feel guilty when they don't get out to free range.

    I guess it really depends on what your priorities are and what types of predators are lurking...

    I also found out that the two hours before sunset and two hours after dawn are times when night time predators are really active. I discovered this the hard way when I let some of mine out to free range at day break. I lost three. My point is that racoons can and will come out before your chickens want to go in to roost at night, which is why people recommend the hardware cloth around the bottom of the run.
     
  3. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You should be ok if the coop is secure. A secure coop has every gap over 1/4" wired with hardware cloth and the door latch needs to be more complicated than a hook and eye (coons have thumbs) Expect that when a coon finds you, he will test every crook and cranny and if he gets a handful of bird, he will pull it thru piece by piece.

    As to the run, tall 2x4 welded wire or chainlink will stop most daylight critters but it needs to be skirted against digging. (I shot 3 fox last year in broad daylight) The top can be covered with netting to keep crows, ravens, or hawks out if they are in the area (I lost a 1/2 grown African gander to a raven this year) but a coon will go right thru. (this can work to your advantage as if you see a hole in the net, you can assume the coons have found you)

    Without wiring in the top and hardware clothing the lower sides, you are basically allowing night predators to wander the run at night but you have taken precautions. The other thing to remember is predators don't follow the rules so a coon may pay you a daylight visit so keep your eyes open.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  4. Melissa2173

    Melissa2173 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Springfield, Georgia
    That's what I figured....looks like I'm going to need a second job. [​IMG]
     

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