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What can I do to help my Chickens stay safe?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Robbo, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Robbo

    Robbo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't gotten any yet. I do have a time set up though I will hopefully be picking up some chicks in the coming week or so.

    I want to make sure when it is time to transition them to outside that they are safe as can be as they will be pets and for the occasional egg.

    We have two man predators. Raccoons and Cats.

    We have a large chain link dog encloser. Very very large, I planned on setting this back up and using it and building an encloser inside of it for the night time and nesting, ect.

    It is very tall but I still am thinking I need a roof because both of these predators can climb. Now sheet metal? Wood? I am unsure... I was thinking a tarp but they could rip through that most likely. Could I place wire fencing / chicken wire across the top - secure that and then place a tarp on top?

    Also this dog run / chain link cage I cannot fit my hand through the wholes in it but I was reading around a bit and it recommended having it wrapped in chicken wire as well so that animals couldn't squeeze through it. But I honestly don't know what kind of animal could? I also see people who don't do it - they leave it be. Suggestions?

    I also plan on placing bricks / large rocks around the bottom so that an animal cannot dig under it into it.

    Any other suggestions or suggestions to help me further my above thoughts already would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

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    1. They can go outside when they are about 4 weeks old, when they have most of their adult feathers.

    2. The holes in chain link fencing are large enough for predators such as weasels to get in, and raccoons can fit their hands through. This may not be as much of a problem during the day, but it would be best to put 1/4" hardware cloth over the chain link. If you can't do this, at least make sure the coop is in the middle of the enclosure, and that any windows are covered with hardware cloth.

    3. Either of those roofing options would work, but they should be slanted so the rain can drain off. The wire/tarp roof could work also, as long as the rain can drain off.

    4. Bricks would work, another option is to put a wire apron around the coop. You just place wire 12" wide flat on the ground around the coop and secure it to the coop. Another way is to bury the wire in an "L" shape 18" down and 12" out. They both accomplish the same purpose, but if you don't want to see or step on the wire, you can use the second way.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Robbo

    Robbo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks!

    Also sorry for all the spelling errors and use of wrong words. It was a bit late, lol. I am just getting excited for this so I stayed up all night planning the encloser so after classes I can begin on it.
     
  4. Robbo

    Robbo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Would I need a tarp if I just placed a roof of chicken wire? They are going to have a coop/hutch for night and shelter...
     
  5. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    A partial cover with a tarp would be a nice option for shade and rain protection.Some use those plastic roofing sheets.Some clear and some green.They hold up better to rain and snow.Tarps are cheap though!

    If the area is small enough you might want to just go ahead and pay extra for a stronger roof cover.Another thing is add dogs to the list of climbers. I caught a stray once and called the pound.Before they got here the dog climbed over my 6 foot chain link fence.

    This is what I did and I am not saying it s best,but it worked out ok. I had chicks in a graco playpen.When things got ripe at 6 to 8 weeks inside despite constant cleaning I moved the pen out to the garage.They were in that garage till they were almost 16 or 17 weeks when I added them to the flock of 3 one night.My coop is an old metal 6 by 8 shed.

    During the day they were put into a plastic fenced off area with some sun and shade. I was outside all the time. I sometimes put loose bird netting up over the fenced area.That stuff can tangle even me!

    Turns out I had lots of coons and possums. I started trapping them when I caught some after placing a trap for a groundhog.Caught over 40! Never had an attack on the coop.Lucky.Predators that want your chicks will work very hard for them.It was very rare to ever see coons or possums during the day.Hawks,dogs,cats,and people would be more of an issue in the day.Still you should atleast roll some small hole fencing along the bottom so nothing can pull a chicken's head through and eat them.

    Bet wishes!
     
  6. Robbo

    Robbo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I have most of my coop set up / run (though I do plan on letting them out in our main yard too (1 acre)) but it is 12ft by 12ft. I wanted to add bricks to the inside around the bottom so hopefully nothing would dig under. Now I am wondering if bricks would be best or could I get some 2x4's and lay those around the inside of the chain link fencing on the bottom? Would that be the same as laying some bricks down?
     

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