Trying to predator proof

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chicken daze(d), Jun 17, 2009.

  1. Chicken daze(d)

    Chicken daze(d) In the Brooder

    73
    0
    39
    Jun 9, 2009
    Roseville
    My husband and I started our coop a couple of days ago. We still need to put up walls but the frame is built. Today I read several posts on chicks being killed by raccoons. [​IMG] I have already had them on my mind and was trying to build the coop with them in mind (did the same for the run too.)

    I have two concerns. One in an effort to save money we used a sturdy plastic type chicken "wire" fence for the run. Should I replace that. The chick(en)s won't be in the run past 8 at night.

    The second, we also used this plastic stuff at the top of the coop for ventilation. Will a raccoon climb up there and try to get in?

    Other considerations: we have a sturdy door we will use to access the coop and we will make the door from the coop to the run sturdy and lockable as well.

    Finally, I live in the city and haven't seen any raccoons ever (in the city). We are surrounded by dogs which I have heard frightens raccoons.

    Please give me any and all advice to keep my chicks safe. Thanks.
     
  2. janinepeters

    janinepeters Songster

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    72
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    Jun 9, 2009
    Here's how we made our coop predator proof:
    http://www.predatorfriendly.org/how-to/chickens.html

    I would assume you have raccoons there. They do tend to frequent both suburban and urban areas. I believe they can rip open plastic chicken wire - a friend of mine used that stuff, and a raccoon ripped a hole and pulled a chicken out.

    Also, if you have short-tailed weasels or least weasels in your area, they can fit through the 1 inch holes in chicken wire. We use PVC coated half-inch hardware cloth, but I'll admit it was expensive.

    Sounds like you are mindful of both flying and climbing predators - don't forget to think about digging predators, too.

    It really can be both expensive and time consuming to predator-proof a coop, but once done, you can sleep easily, without worrying about your birds, and can also feel good about not resorting to lethal control.
     
  3. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    1,719
    19
    184
    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Are you in Roseville, MN? Welcome to the BYC!

    Assume that you have raccoons. Even in the city. I'm in the 'burbs and the coons out here are very large and completely unafraid of dogs/people. Quite frightening, actually. Be assured that just because you haven't seen them, they still are out there. Even with a fenced yard.

    I know money is a concern, but I don't think that plastic chicken wire is going to be very safe. Raccoon attacks during the day are pretty rare, but plastic won't keep out a dog, which isn't so rare in the daytime. Wire chicken wire won't keep them out either. If you really want something strong, you're going to need to put in hardware wire or welded wire. If your run is stationery, bury it minimum of 12 inches all the way around your run. This will discourage diggers. If it's a tractor, fold it out 9-12 inches to form an apron. Preds like to dig at the base of a fence/wall, so that's where you should focus your efforts.

    I don't know what you are referring to as "plastic stuff for ventilation" but I'm pretty confident in saying that anything plastic can probably be broken by a raccoon. They are very strong.

    Sturdy, unbendable doors are important. If they flex AT ALL, put a lock at the top AND bottom.

    Maybe some photos will help you get the answers/advice you are seeking. Good luck!
     
  4. maf2008

    maf2008 Songster

    429
    4
    141
    Feb 19, 2009
    Ok here is my suggestion: Go to tractor supply and get an "solar electric fence" unit. It is a solar battery that you hook up to an electric wire and place about 3-5 inches OUTSIDE of your coop. It should not touch anything metal. it will ZAP AND SHOCK the fool out of man or beast. [​IMG] (its not fatal!) and your hens will be safe. It is soooo easy even I put it up myself around my run. I SLEEP so much better at night/ [​IMG] Good luck [​IMG]

    Chicken daze(d) :

    My husband and I started our coop a couple of days ago. We still need to put up walls but the frame is built. Today I read several posts on chicks being killed by raccoons. [​IMG] I have already had them on my mind and was trying to build the coop with them in mind (did the same for the run too.)

    I have two concerns. One in an effort to save money we used a sturdy plastic type chicken "wire" fence for the run. Should I replace that. The chick(en)s won't be in the run past 8 at night.

    The second, we also used this plastic stuff at the top of the coop for ventilation. Will a raccoon climb up there and try to get in?

    Other considerations: we have a sturdy door we will use to access the coop and we will make the door from the coop to the run sturdy and lockable as well.

    Finally, I live in the city and haven't seen any raccoons ever (in the city). We are surrounded by dogs which I have heard frightens raccoons.

    Please give me any and all advice to keep my chicks safe. Thanks.​
     
  5. RendonRoo

    RendonRoo Songster

    Feb 7, 2009
    ft. worth
    I tell ppl to think like a starving predator. A desparate animal will hurt itself to get to food and you have a buffet waiting for them. Good Luck
     

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