We've got almost every chicken predator known to man. . .

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Mudstar4ever, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. Mudstar4ever

    Mudstar4ever Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    22
    Jun 5, 2011
    Yeah, we haven't had the best of luck, but our chickens definetely made a big impact on our lives! We just kept getting the worst of everything! [​IMG] Our first clutch was attacked by raccoons that dug underneath our "no-climb fence" and we had had those two chickens for several months, so we were too trusting and we left the coop open at night. They were our very first chickens ever. We didn't think anyone could get by the fence; we even put rocks around the bottoms of the fence, but the predators dug underneath anyway. The second clutch, though, we made it absolutely impossible for anyone to get to our little babies. We put hundreds and thousands of rocks along the bottom of the fence and we locked up the coop at night. And the coop was a little ridiculous. . .xD We took a great dane dog cage and built wood al around it with a roof and a door in front. It was perfectly structured and impossible to get into, but for good measure, we even had COMBINATION locks on the door. I know, I know, but even that didn't work! I was inside, looking out the window, and I watched my chickens get attacked by a lynx that leapt from a tree from above in BROAD DAYLIGHT. [​IMG] Right before my eyes. We couldn't get to them in time. So, yeah, I've opened up about my chickens and that's why we feel so helpless about their safety.

    We've only gone through two sets, but my family has stopped buyign them. We don't want to go through the heartbreak of losing them again. We were very attached to our chickens. It's been two years, though, and as summer approaches we really miss them. So my parents gave me permission to foolproof the system! If I can find a way to keep our chickens 100% safe, using advice and information by you guys, they will let us get more! But I have to put a lot of time and effort into it! I have to make a slideshow and FAQ for them. [​IMG]

    So I have to start from scratch. But before I think about anything else, what's a sure-fire way to keep my chickens safe from predators? (We live in the woods, by the way. We have probably every chicken predator known to man.)
     
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    See my coop, it is predator proof now, I did accidentally leave one place that a pine snake got in... lost eggs and a chick.


    [​IMG]

    Its a picture of the front of my avaiary, taken by my DH


    [​IMG]

    Its a picture of the side of my avaiary, taken by my DH



    [​IMG]

    coop door


    [​IMG]

    coop side the welded wire is 19 gauge 1/4 * 1/4 inch


    [​IMG]

    covered run area

    [​IMG]

    floor under the sand is vinyl and the holes are 1.5 * 1.5 inches
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  3. Mudstar4ever

    Mudstar4ever Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    22
    Jun 5, 2011
    Awesome! Does it work against all predators?
     
  4. Tenneesse

    Tenneesse Out Of The Brooder

    92
    3
    41
    Nov 24, 2010
    Woodbury, Middle Tn
    Its a tall order. The set up pictured looks as pred proof as it can get. About the biggest 4 legged creature would be a coyote but the small diggers, rat like, weasel, mink you probably have it all can get thru small opening.

    I'd just try to limit openings to an inch max and half and quarter inch is better, just depends on other things. It must protect from the elements just as important and kept clean to assure your birds are healthy. Weak or lame chickens are even more prone to getting preyed on. Make it easy to clean.

    If you free range plan on an occasional loss.

    If you got diggers then a deep footer may have to be dug. I used 2"x12"x14' treated lumber in a footer and fill each side with rock and it just depends on how persistent the digger is.

    I lost one bird because I forgot to close the gate to the run and the door to the coop so all my efforts to protect the girls fell apart the moment I got careless. All you can do is the best you can do

    If you keep the excess feed cleaned up or feed dishes up at night not to attract mice will help keep snakes away. Mice equal snakes. grain equals mice. Just learn from the mistakes we make in the past.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  5. Mudstar4ever

    Mudstar4ever Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    22
    Jun 5, 2011
    Thanks! [​IMG] We have sort-of free-range chickens. We have a large orchard that has the fance all around it, so they're "contained free-range chickens". They've got PLENTY of space. [​IMG]
     
  6. gavinandallison

    gavinandallison Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2010
    Matthews, NC.
    Quote:What state and city do you live in? If you put that on your profile you will get more help. especially from locals who know your area/situation.....
     
  7. Mudstar4ever

    Mudstar4ever Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    22
    Jun 5, 2011
    Okay, I live in Nevada County, Calfornia. [​IMG]
     
  8. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Go Ft Knox on the run and locate the shelter or coop inside it. Using heavy 1/2" hardware cloth for all your wire, fasten it to the frame with screws and fender washers at key points, filling in with fencing staples for more security. Would suggest wire in the whole frame then set it under a roof or sunshade instead of trying to wire around all the roof joists and joints. For hard ground, skirt the coop and run as a minimum. If the ground is loose or you have mouse & snake issues, you may want to go with a wire floor plus a skirt.

    If you suspend the coop inside the shelter, this unit may be heavy but could be made mobile, depending on terrain, by balencing it on two wheels mounted at the balence point.

    As to a coop in your area, you don't really need a enclosed box when afour sides and a top with a roost bar could be hung a few feet off the floor. The birds would have a dark area to roost in that, when shaded should meet their needs. Also the birds could sit on top if they choose (with a poop tray) since a coon or bird can't reach thru the wire to get them. Nest boxes can be put anywhere handy.

    Short of a bear attack or a door left open, you should be tight with this. Just throwing out some ideas, good luck
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  9. Carolyn

    Carolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    714
    11
    171
    Apr 6, 2008
    Sorry folks but as one who lives in the woods with multiple predators I would go along with all you've said then put an electric fence around it.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by