Starting over...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mark, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. Mark

    Mark Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have been raising chickens here for 6 years, and they have always been free range. We have had as many as 16 chicken roaming around, but now they are all gone. I'm tired of losing chickens to predators. Losing a chicken is no fun. Back in May, a raccoon killed every chicken in the hen house. Over the last few months, the two surviving chickens roosting in trees got caught on the ground.

    Obviously, we miss them, but we haven't gotten any more chicks. We need to do a better job of caring for them. I don't want the birds free-ranging if no one is around. We need a coop that is big enough to let us go inside and get everyone to come in for food, so they can all then be locked in. But, I don't want a hen house that is just a killing zone when the raccoon or possum gets in.

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  2. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do it right the first time to assure nothing can get to them, proper wire and building materials go a long way if its done right, digging barrier and wire on the run is a good place to start.
     
  3. 2go2scotland

    2go2scotland Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow! Hope you are able to start things over right and enjoy chickens again. Let me tell you that we live in Vermont--We have a small flock--14 hens of different breeds and one rooster. They all free range during the day and go into their coop at night. Their coop is out in the pasture--closest one to the house--maybe 200' away. While everyone on our road has lost some chickens this past summer to coyotes, etc, we haven't lost a single chicken. Part of that it is due to the alertness of our Collie and our Samoyed, but I found a new product that I would recommend to anyone. It's called the Night Guard Solar Predator alert. I purchased all mine on EBay, but I think Murray McMurray sells them. It's a light powered by solar power--and it gives off a red blinking light. Supposedly, it is supposed to simulate the red eyes of a predator--and when other predators see it--they won't come near. We have them on our chicken coop, our sheep shack, our goat house, turkey coop and duck coop--haven't lost a single solitary animal. That's really saying something since we live out in the country with coyotes, fisher cats, possums, racoons, etc--even black bear on occasion. Anyway--maybe we've just had a lot of luck, but I'd swear it was due in a large part to these predator alerts. We do have a nice coop and the chickens like going in there at night to roost. Hope you do some better planning this time and take better care so you can have a flock again.
     
  4. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    New Brunswick,Canada
    A predator proof run and coop is obviously the best way to go. You do not have to do much research on this site to accomplish that as you probably already know.

    That being said I have had good luck with a coop that is predator proof and a run that is not.

    I have crows around my property and I am retired. During the daytime it is protected by the crows and a Winchester 32 Special day & night.

    Nocturnal predators are your worst threat is my experience.

    Yes daytime predator eat chickens too (most times only once). In my set up anyway.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  5. Mark

    Mark Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hokum Coco wrote:

    >You do not have to do much research on this site to accomplish that as you probably already know.

    Actually, there are too many ideas...

    It is always tough, and some what a lifestyle issue. One night, there will be a door left half open, or a fence will be breached, and the birds had better have 'plan b' prepared. I want a set up where even if a raccoon breaches the run fence, the roosting birds are still out of reach.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  6. 2go2scotland

    2go2scotland Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, after you get your coop set up (and I agree--sometimes there can be too many suggestions!)--and have it as predator proof as you know how to make it--honestly--get yourself some of the Night Guard predator alerts and you'll be amazed. We have one on all four sides of the coop. Works wonders.
     

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