Talk to me about digging predators...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ChesapeakeBorn, May 8, 2011.

  1. ChesapeakeBorn

    ChesapeakeBorn Out Of The Brooder

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    ... and how to prevent them. We are building a chicken tractor and, because of the lawn mower wheels, it does not sit directly on the ground. Will raccoons and foxes dig under the frame? What is the best way to prevent this, bearing in mind that we will be moving this tractor throughout our yard and woods every few days? Thanks for your help!
     
  2. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Best way is to take the wheels off until you are ready to move it and add an apron/skirt of wire. You can make the apron so that it attaches to the bottom of the sides and folds up to move OR you can make it so that the tractor sits on the apon with about 6-8 inches of it under the sides of the tractor. Tack down the edges of the apron with staples or big rocks.
     
  3. Buff-Island-Australorp

    Buff-Island-Australorp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with making the wheels removable. Find a way to attach them to the outside of the tractor while it sits stationary. When you're ready to move it, slap them on, and move it.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:I would seriously suggest BOTH making the wheels removable or moveable-so-they-adjust-the-coop-back-down, AND a wire skirt (flip-up makes moving a lot easier).

    Even so, you will never get a tractor as predatorproof as you can get a fixed coop and if you know you have raccoons and especially foxes around then it would be smart to lock them into the indoor part of the tractor at night, or if your tractor does not HAVE an indoor part, put the tractor in an area that predators do not have access to (using electric fencing if necessary)

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. ChesapeakeBorn

    ChesapeakeBorn Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks everyone! What about stringing electric fence around the bottom of the tractor? Would it hurt the chickens?
     
  6. Captain Carrot

    Captain Carrot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Running the fence around the bottom of the run wouldn't work, as the lawn mower wheels don't give that much clearance. If the electric fencing comes into contact with grass it's going to short out rendering it useless.

    I'm not sure how chickens cope with electric fencing, it's gonna hurt the first time but I'm not sure how quickly they'd learn to stay away from it.
     
  7. ChesapeakeBorn

    ChesapeakeBorn Out Of The Brooder

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    Perhaps another option: I've read that many people put hardware cloth on the bottom of the run. Will this hurt the hens' feet? Will they still be able to forage?
     
  8. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Quote:If you use anything on the bottom, I would use 2x4 welded wire. It will keep most of the larger predators out but not snake, weasles, young possums and raccoons. I've had great success with a skirt/apron around my tractors and runs. Nothing has ever gotten under the fence.
     
  9. ChesapeakeBorn

    ChesapeakeBorn Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay, so no hardware cloth on the floor, but I am using it on the sides. I've got some 2x4 wire leftover from another project. How does a raccoon get through that?!
     
  10. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Youngin's! Raccoons aren't much bigger than kittens when they are first weaned. Little buggers can squeaze through just about anything. With the wire on the ground and no puckers or gaps you should be fine.


    Why not use an apron/skirt. I would be so much easier to build.
     

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