What to do for near predator proof tractor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Larkin, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. Larkin

    Larkin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 10, 2010
    Northern Wisconsin
    Looking ahead, what would you suggest I build so that I can allow the chicks to forage until they are butchered and allow them to remain outside the entire 9-12 weeks? Right now my 3 week old layer chicks are pecking on the meaties so I have them separate in the coop but I would like to get them out all together.
    Do fellow meat birds stay out at night or do you put them indoors?
    I am worried about predators, we have coyotes and black bears not to mention the normal offenders. Are bears ever a real problem?
    I know I would probably have to build something out of hardware cloth and wood but is it enough?

    I'm new at this and am interested in all of your suggestions.
     
  2. EELover

    EELover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2010
    What kind of environment do you live in (ie country, city, mountains)? I live in the mountains and my flock was just destroyed a couple of days ago by a mountain lion. I HIGHLY recommend that you put them in a solid and strong coop at night. I had plywood walls and the mountain lion ripped up the coop from the bottom and butchered my chickens. I'm going to put horizontal 2x4's along the plywood and screw them into the frame of the coop. I am also putting a electric fence around the perimeter of the run. Chickens are a very easy target for predators if not secured properly, especially at night. I had them in their coop for a week and then this happened. Please be careful. I have taken this as a learning experience. I have to buy an entire new flock in September and it is quite upsetting. Please don't let this happen to you.

    Best Wishes,
    Jasmine
     
  3. price403

    price403 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2010
    Ivydale, WV
    A good dog is the best predator protection there is. My two German Shepherds keep everything away or kill it for coming in the yard at night. If you don't have a dog I'd suggest using a heavier wire than hardware cloth. Try cage wire like they use for rabbit cages. You can get it with varying sizes of holes. I'd use the 1x1 or 1x2 to keep even small predators out. Make sure to use some wire for the floor too. 2x4 yard fence is good. It's strong and the openings are big enough that the chickens can still scratch around. That way if something big does try to get under the run/pen they will be stopped by the wire.
     
  4. Larkin

    Larkin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 10, 2010
    Northern Wisconsin
    Quote:Sorry to hear about your loss but thank you for sharing this valuable experience with me.
    We live in the country and even though I have a lab/retriever mix that is very protective, she sleeps outside my bedroom window which is a little too far from the coop. She has chased off smaller black bears and treed one but I still worry.
    Good luck to you with your new flock!-Anita
     

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