Trees and Predators

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by StrawberryMoon, May 31, 2017.

  1. StrawberryMoon

    StrawberryMoon Out Of The Brooder

    45
    6
    49
    Jul 22, 2016
    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.
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    7,564
    2,054
    416
    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    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
     
    Elyrian1 likes this.
  3. StrawberryMoon

    StrawberryMoon Out Of The Brooder

    45
    6
    49
    Jul 22, 2016
    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?
     
  4. Elyrian1

    Elyrian1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    87
    107
    83
    May 30, 2017
    Colorado
    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.
     
  5. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,668
    890
    226
    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    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.
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    7,564
    2,054
    416
    Sep 13, 2011
    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
     
    Elyrian1 likes this.
  7. StrawberryMoon

    StrawberryMoon Out Of The Brooder

    45
    6
    49
    Jul 22, 2016
    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.
     
  8. StrawberryMoon

    StrawberryMoon Out Of The Brooder

    45
    6
    49
    Jul 22, 2016
    We also have: coyotes, foxes, groundhogs, eagles, hawks, snakes, free range neighbor dogs, and those are just the ones I've seen...
     
  9. Elyrian1

    Elyrian1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    87
    107
    83
    May 30, 2017
    Colorado
    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.
     
  10. Alabama Jack

    Alabama Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

    306
    33
    101
    Oct 26, 2014
    Huntsville, Alabama
    You might consider a Livestock Guardian Dog, like a Great Pyrenees.
     
    ScottandSam likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by