Urban chicken people...i have a question


Poultry In Motion
10 Years
Sep 16, 2009
Dover, TN
Does everyone here have a run that has the top fenced off? I have a large backyard and want to protect my chickens but here is the thing. I live in the city. The yards to the left, right, and rear of me have dogs that just run around barking at everything. There are some undeveloped wooded areas several blocks away however. I have never seen a raccoon or possum in our area although lord knows I have seen them dead on the highway so i know they are at least in the city somewhere.

Can I just have a fenced off area and be reasonably sure they are safe or do I need to do a "Fort Knox" type of run. I am asking because we are building a much larger run and money is an issue. Thanks for your opinions.
With all those barking dogs running around I should think you would be fairly safe without the cover.

DURING the DAY. At night, you want to lock up the flock in any case. The dogs might be asleep or in the house, and even in the city there can be owls. And raccoons and possums are nocturnal, too.

How high is your fence, though? Will it keep the dogs out?
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I do the same thing as possumqueen. They are allowed in the run, no top during the day. At nite I (now) lock the coop up. I also live in town with dogs on all sides, I didnt think I would have any opossom
probs. I was soooo wrong.
Just the other nite I woke up to this unbelievable screeching. Two small opossums were in my coop run!! They had my hen Red dragging her away
Thank goodness DH was there too, we chased them over the 6' privacy fence.

So my point is you can never be too safe. Lock them in at night.
I have 5 ft chain link fence around my property and the neighbor has a 6 ft privacy fence bordering one of our sides so it is double fenced. LOL The chainline buried at the bottom so there is no tunneling in or out. I feel a lot of relief hearing from others that no top during the day should be OK. You have no idea how stressed out I have been about that. LOL Financially a big totally fenced in run would be very, very difficult for us to float.

Luvin Life, that story freaked me out.
I am already locking them up every night but now I am thinking about what else I can do to possom/coon proof my coop.
I wasn't closing the door to the inside coop.
I have a high set up, meaning they live upstairs in the coop. I now close and lock the flip door so Nothing can get in the coop.

That opossom went into the coop and dragged her down the ramp to the door of the coop run. I only know this 'cause of all of the feathers that were everywhere. She's okay though

One other thing is I have to watch out for chicken hawks, 3 have just shown up in the past couple weeks.
If there is a problem with the dogs on the other side of your fences and they bark at your chickens of hit the fence trying to get to them, may I suggest Cayenne pepper sprinkled at ground level right next to the fence.

I and others here have had a good deal of success with this harmless deterrent. You can Google Cayenne here and see what they say.
Are you kidding me? I followed that cayenne thread and ran out to Sam's Club and loaded up. I love the stuff!!
Don't forget that chickens can FLY!!! The problem we've run into hasn't been predators getting into our suburban chickie-yard, but our chickies making unexpected and unannounced exits over our 6' fence.

A very inexpensive option is to use the "bird netting" you can buy at Lowes or Home Depot. It's meant to keep birds off of fruiting bushes or trees, so it's cheap. It's not heavy duty, so it wouldn't keep predators out, but our chickens learned very fast that you can't fly up and out through it. You do have to watch it for tears and rips, however, as it is thin stuff, but it convinces the chickens that "upward mobility" is not for them.
What about clipping wings? Would that work as well or can they still pull of flight even if they are clipped?
I had a chicken (speckled hamburg) who could fly anywhere he darn pleased with one wing clipped or both wings clipped. Bet he could fly with one wing tied behind his back!

And Old English games can fly anywhere.

Depends on your birds. Are they Jersey Giants who just don't feel like flying?

I really think 5 feet and 6 feet high fences ought to be enough, but even so, there was that speckled hamburg. . . .

The netting sounds like a cheap solution if you think your birds will fly.

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