Trees and Predators

StrawberryMoon

Chirping
Jul 22, 2016
89
33
96
Indiana, USA
I am finishing up my first coop and run, and I have a question about trees. First some background: my coop is on wheels, and I want to rotate it around my 10 acre property. I have a 48" tall portable electric fence from Premier 1 that I will use to surround the coop and a large run area to protect from our cornucopia of local predators, and there will be a portable "hoop house" type structure covered in bird netting to guard against the aerial predators. I do have a lot of trees on my property and some wooded patches.

Here's the question: if I position their run so that part of it is shaded by trees or near the wooded edges, are predators going to climb up the trees outside the electric fence and then drop inside the protected area to get to my chickens? It seems like shade would be nice for my chickens but I do have some crafty raccoons on the property.
 

Folly's place

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9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
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USUALLY, but not always, raccoons are out at night, so if the birds are in a safe coop at night, it should be fine. Chickens are jungle animals, and really like that environment, so it's a trade-off, but mostly will work for them. I would consider trapping any varmits that do invade that fencing, because they will be back! Chickens do need shade! Mary
 

StrawberryMoon

Chirping
Jul 22, 2016
89
33
96
Indiana, USA
USUALLY, but not always, raccoons are out at night, so if the birds are in a safe coop at night, it should be fine. Chickens are jungle animals, and really like that environment, so it's a trade-off, but mostly will work for them. I would consider trapping any varmits that do invade that fencing, because they will be back! Chickens do need shade! Mary
Thanks for the input! We do have at least one raccoon who gets up early (around 4pm, because he knows we put the cat food away at night and he doesn't want to miss out on his free meal!). Are they good climbers?
 

Elyrian1

Songster
May 30, 2017
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West Texas
USUALLY, but not always, raccoons are out at night...

I'll second that, and agree that some of the biggest ones (or rabid but that's a whole different story) just don't care and will move around during the day. We had one like that back in Georgia that would walk our fence line in broad daylight. It's a calculated risk really, up to you, though admittedly the only creature I've ever seen throw itself out of a perfectly good tree to get to something was a squirrel.

I'd consider putting a padlock on that coop at night, or a really clever latch... They are excellent climbers and problem solvers.
 

SueT

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Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 27, 2015
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I don't think they'd drop from the trees. I agree with the others. Secure them at night, and trap that raccoon. If you are feeding him, that has to stop.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
23,178
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southern Michigan
I'll add that you must trap and shoot, or don't trap at all. Feed your cat a good diet, as meals, and don't have the food sitting out. Raccoons and opossums can climb very well, and after finding body parts in the morning, or severely injured live birds, these rotten critters loose all their charm. :old Mary
 

StrawberryMoon

Chirping
Jul 22, 2016
89
33
96
Indiana, USA
Ridding the area of raccoons is not an option. I live out in the country with woods and rivers and we have an incredibly rich ecosystem. Remove one raccoon and I'd get 5 more. Protecting the chicken area is the only viable solution.
 

Elyrian1

Songster
May 30, 2017
399
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West Texas
Coyotes will jump a four foot fence in a heartbeat. That being said, I've never had trouble with them in the country until about an hour prior to dark (though animals do what they want to do...). In urban settings they seem to come out earlier... Don't be late shutting your girls up at night. I lost one to a coyote that way.
 

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