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wire for chicken tractor

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by beamer2010, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. beamer2010

    beamer2010 In the Brooder

    Feb 26, 2012

    We are ready to build our first chicken tractor, but want one item clarified.

    If the "cage" portion, where the chicken graze is made of metal chicken wire ----- is it necessary to have the door from the caged area to the house closed every night?

    We're questioning this from a potential predator perspective. If we were able to leave the door open at night, the chickens could go outside at will in the morning. With a closed door, they would be stuck in the house until we open the door.

    We don't want to trade off the security of the chickens. Another option would be to use 1" x 1" wire cloth but that would obviously be much more expensive.

    So I guess the real question here is "must there be a door on the house, and must it be closed every night?"

    Thanks so much. I'm sure we'll be back with questions in the future, but hopefully we've done enough homework to get us going

  2. KrisH

    KrisH Songster

    not closing the door is like cheating on your taxes. you might wake up one morning to a bloodbath, or you might not. how good is the perimiter fence, what is your preditor load. owls, possums, racoons, hawks, dogs, skunks, weasels?

    we close ours for our piece of mind.

  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Chicken wire will not protect the chickens from predators; most will go right through it, tear it up. It's good for keeping chickens in or out, for example, to fence a garden to keep them out. Actually, 1" metal wire will not protect them from some predators, either. Raccoons for example are one of the worst predators, and are common in towns now. They will reach through anything smaller than 1/4" metal wire, grab a head or leg, pull it through and eat it. They are also good at opening latches.

    Although the pop door does provide additional security, lots of folks who feel their run is secure do not close and open it. Lots of folks free range their chickens, too. There can be many factors. You may have dogs or other animals that help protect the chickens. You may have bears in the area, which are not deterred by much of anything but an electric fence. It's a personal choice.
  4. beamer2010

    beamer2010 In the Brooder

    Feb 26, 2012
    We sort of thought the answers would go in this direction, but wanted to be sure as we've not seen anything printed on this.

    Yes, we do have predators. We live in a somewhat rural area and are in a woods
    and there are racoons and possums for sure.

    So the house will have a door and it may very well have a padlock on it as I know that racoons can be very resourceful and tenacious.

    I guess we didn't realize that chicken wire would not deter them.

    Thanks again; we appreciate the info.

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