The best way to block out predators?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jakeandchicks, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. jakeandchicks

    jakeandchicks New Egg

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    Mar 15, 2009
    Ok so I am very new to this forum and was curious about somethings. Ok, I'm going to start building my coop and run and was first wondering what is the smalles that I could go for 1-3 chickens. I'm not sure what breed yet so just a general idea would be great. Also, what is the best way to protect from predators? I have some racoons, wild cats, and hawks in my general area and don't wan;t my chickens to get eaten. Also so what is the best way to protect against rats and mice being attracted? Can I out down those little rats and mouse poisons or will my chickens eat them? also what is best to use to cover my run in? I was thinking chicken wire or hardware cloth? THanks a lot!
     
  2. colby318

    colby318 got 'dottes?

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    Have you tried using the google on the BYC home page? There's a wealth of information archived here. Many of your questions have been asked before - including by myself, too!

    Example: run netting

    We use deer or poultry netting over the top of the run for the hawks. You'll find other good opinions under that search.

    Hope this helps and we've all had the same thoughts...

    Colby in KY
     
  3. jakeandchicks

    jakeandchicks New Egg

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    Mar 15, 2009
    Thank you very much! I actually didn't even really notice it was there haha. Thanks!
     
  4. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    First off,
    [​IMG] Happy to meet you! Glad you're here!! [​IMG] Hope you enjoy our company!! [​IMG] WELCOME to BYC!!!

    Then, as far as coops go, have you looked at the VERRRRRRY top of the BYC page at the "Coop Designs" link? There's some really nice "small" coops there that would work for just a few hens very well. I love looking at them even though I have a rather ratty utility shed for a coop and like 30 hens. Hens are happy with almost any kind of shelter, but there's some awfully nice ones there.
     
  5. jakeandchicks

    jakeandchicks New Egg

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    Mar 15, 2009
    Yea I did look at most of the small coops and they are all very very nice. However I might take a few ideas from each one that I looked at and make it the perfect coop for me. I also think I have decided on wyandottes for the breed I want. What do you guys think for a first time chicken owner?
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Hi, welcome to byc! [​IMG]

    Ok, I'm going to start building my coop and run and was first wondering what is the smalles that I could go for 1-3 chickens.

    Get 3 chickens, not less -- you can't have just one, it would be too lonely (even 2 are kind of lonely, frankly) and with just 2 you have the problem that if one should die then you HAVE TO get a replacement but the survivor is unlikely to get along well with it and then you'll have them fighting and pecking and all that. Whereas 3 gives the hens a more flock-ish social environment and gives you a bigger margin of error vs Sad Occurrances.

    Most people seem to wind up getting more hcickens, though, once they get to know them. So unless you are legally restricted to just 3 chickens it would not be a terrible idea to build your coop larger. Alternatively, maybe build a portable thing for now (tractor, or small non-fixed coop) and then see what happens, if you don't mind the possibility of having to build something else later.

    For 3 chickens in a typical climate I would not go any smaller than 3x4 coop plus a run 2-3x that size.

    Also, what is the best way to protect from predators? I have some racoons, wild cats, and hawks in my general area and don't wan;t my chickens to get eaten.

    A strongly built coop, with hardware cloth strongly attached over every opening (windows, ventilation openings) and raccoon-proof latches; and a strongly built run with small heavy-gauge mesh and a roof or top of some sort (preferably at least 2x4" heavy gauge wire mesh, well supported by the wood structure of the run) and either bury some more 2x4 wire mesh under the run fence or run 2-4' of that mesh horizontally on (or just under) the ground around the edge of the run.

    Rats and mice will still get in, if you have lots in your neighborhood -- if they're a problem, you might have to try to rodentproof the coop and keep the food in the coop (in which case I'd strongly suggest planning a somewaht larger coop)

    Remember that raccoons etc can go right through any kind of netting and any flimsy wire such as most modern chickenwire.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2009
  7. mmtillman

    mmtillman Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]:yiipchick:)
     

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