Secrets To Predator-Proofing Your Chicken Coop. As a result, this will assist you in determining what steps you need to take in order to keep your flock safe. Electric Net … For a predator-proof pen, you will need to use either ½” or 1” welded wire fencing. Choose chicken coop plans that allow at least 10 square feet of space per chicken. Perhaps the greatest is keeping chickens safe from predators. So you definitely want to consider adding a coop apron. I had one bird obviously ill for weeks, but no one could pin a diagnosis on her symptoms so we got a necropsy when she died. You need to provide some sort of barrier to digging. They can return to the coop for a bite to eat every now and then if they cannot find enough outdoors. Our 6' X 12' Coop Built on your Clean & Level Site. My power company reader found the trick though, she gives her treats and she loves her. OK, So we have a small shed that has become the chicken coop since the bears shredded our cute chicken coop. ANSWER: Thanks for your support! The bear came only once and never again. Confine chickens to a predator proof space at night. My coupe is made up of a 10ft chain-link fence buried 3″ in the ground with concrete poured in the trench.. but a coon still managed to get in by opening the door.. my door is spring loaded and they still got in… killed my big rooster!.. Carolina Coops offers the country's best selection of superior-grade chicken coops and accessories for sale. Some predators are indeed active during daylight, but many are more apt to strike at night while you are sleeping. Julie Stein, co-founder and ed, Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network. Other than using the 90 degree apron method and also putting 1×1 cement pavers on top what else can we do to keep the diggers out? Hi Janet — thanks so much for sharing Predator Friendly and Wildlife Friendly practices with the world — the world needs more, much more, of this!! I lined the door edge with a nice thick layer of habanero oil. The sheeting is held tightly down with 6″ metal, horseshoe shaped landscaping nails. If you choose not to elevate, then don’t bother with wood flooring. For runs and coop with dirt floor: Bury hardware cloth 2 feet down, and/or place a skirt of hardware cloth 2 feet out. Any advice or suggestions on how to predator proof this pen? Thanks again for the tips! They have metal roofs, since we had metal left from covering our garage ceiling. Now, I realize this sounds irresponsible, but knowing these techniques will help us better prepare for the young ones we have now, but like you said, nothing is 100%. I’ve read of other people stringing old CD’s over their chicken runs, and it seems to work for awhile. I am now re-planning my entire layout. I am reading about pavers, but isnt the entire purpose of a run is for them to have grass? It doesn’t matter what it’s made of, as long as the animals cannot dig through it, and as long as it won’t decay in the soil. Animals And Pet Supplies. Please if you can not afford to purchase the supplies you need to keep your chickens safe don’t get them! Remember how heartbroken I was as a pre-teen when my Bantam hen and all 6 chicks fell to the ways of the weasel that broke into the pen. Thread starter #1 Gertie Greenbriar In the Brooder. I’ve seen 1 foot quoted as sufficient for a skirt or underground fence, but I think that’s borderline sufficient. He survived from a high perch. See more ideas about chicken aprons, chicken saddle, chickens backyard. What has been your experience with keeping chickens safe? With owls, Fox, coyote, hawks, raccoons and crows in my area, an electric fence has been our best defense. Perhaps most predators don’t dig as enthusiastically as rabbits, but I wouldn’t want to chance it. I always have a backup. Well yesterday a rat snake somehow got into the screened porch and through the chicken wire and got two of my four chicks. They’re very cheap to replace here also so it wouldn’t be a huge loss. Please be kind, it was an incredibly sad learning experience and one I hope to never encounter again. Hopefully he will tell his friends to avoid my place. Unfortunately because of where we live we will be unable to dig down at all to bury wire and etc. It’s so simple and cheap to make! If you are just building your coop, think about the floor. I spoke with a falconer and he suggested that the glare from the sunlight reflecting off the lights was enough to interfere with her ability to see clearly into our yard. If you don’t know what a coop apron is, definitely watch the video below (or keep reading). I know we’ve talked about this before too, but i want to mention the “predator apron” one more time. Some people use an automatic pop door to close at night and open in the morning, to give chickens access to a less secure run during daylight. Also, weasels can fit through the holes, get in and kill the chicken, but then can’t get them out of the coop. It is not cheap to keep them safe by any means. My border collie would have protected the chickens just fine on his own from small predators (without harming them) but my GSD mix looks like she wants to eat chickens so don’t think she’ll be allowed anywhere near them… lol. I would say in our set up with the 3 wires wrapped around the lower portion of the coop and runs, it’s very likely the animal would make contact with one of the wires while trying to enter. I’ve forgotten a few times, by some higher power, everyone has been safe. I thought my chicken coupe was safe but I found a one in a half inch gap between the bottom of my door that weasel was getting in. They go up around the doors (so we can get in), so theoretically a bear could get in if it touched only a door. Last fall just before sunset we lost our little flock to coyotes! I feel like I’ve narrowed down the possible culprits, but was requesting more of a professional input. Welcome to Southern Chicken Coops! I know your post was a while ago but I had to respond. Skunks,racoons, woodchucks,I am sure there are foxes and I have seen coyotes and hawks. This oil hurts your skin if you get any fume on your skin. Digging around the chicken coop. This may sound silly, but are there any suggestions you have to remind you each night to put the hens to sleep? What do you think of this? Yes, chickens should be kept in a secure (predator proof) coop and run when you are not with them whether it is day or night. Keep the barrels where raccoons and bears cannot reach them, because they can open these barrels. Yes I thought it was rather strange myself! Enclose runs with 1/2 inch hardware cloth, to exclude weasels and snakes. They brazenly began stalking into my yard in the middle of the day…with barking “large” dogs at the sliding glass doors. However, it seems to me that a bear or even a family of coyotes would be content to make a meal of the geese. (We found it begins to disintegrate within several years even above ground, and now use only plastic coated hardware cloth for outdoor projects that we want to last.) Then we had to figure out how it got in and add some more safety measures. While I think the electric wire will protect against digging, I wonder about something dropping down from the tree. And the apron went out about 2 feet from the run and coop. 4. Dec 24, 2019. When the badger or raccoon tries to dig under the coop's fence, they encounter a barrier that keeps them from breaking in. Mar 2, 2017 - What are your suggestions for a predator proof chicken run? Though we’ve never lost a girl to a predator, we’ve lived in the city until a few months ago. Works like a charm! Then have a 6 wire electric fence around the outside of the nail boards that i turn on at night. Keep feed in covered metal barrels to keep out mice and rats. The first apron goes all the way around the run and is dug down and inserted about 18 inches deep. What to put on top of outdoor run in snow country? And if I were to use regular hardware mesh on the top, will it rust over time because of the weather? Pingback: How to Predator Proof Your Chicken Coop and Run  — Info You Should Know. we like to encourage wild birds and want to free range as much as possible but today a hawk took the miniature rooster. Install a predator apron. How the coop apron works is when an animal tries to dig underneath your chicken coop or run, they’re not going to dig at the outskirt of the apron. Can you give me references as to the “skirt and paver” method of protecting the perimeter? It was my fault they died. For diggers, you should fortify the coop floor and consider burying a predator apron, an extension of the fence under the ground. Ty for all this information. Key features of all Lonestar Coops plans: Predator proofing is the starting point of all of our designs Tons of ventilation for healthy chickens, with large windows on all four sides of the hen-house Plexiglas storm windows to close up the henhouse during the cold winters That could be a problem if you ever let your birds free range, in which case you would not want predators hanging around at all. And I have cats everywhere around here, We do get raccoons, opossum, and weasels. (adsbygoogle=window.adsbygoogle||[]).push({}). Digging around the chicken coop. People don’t feel to bad if something gets your chickens learn from it and learn from other peoples posts and just be glad your knot a chicken. However, some clients want a door for added peace of mind or to mitigate drafts in very cold climates, but it isn’t necessary. This is a custom chicken coop, photos above show one of several set up configurations. I think it’s borderline sufficient. Anything you think may have happened, please offer any precautions you may suggest for the rest of my birds. Next Last ••• More options Who Replied? It seems that everything wants to … His crowing can be a life saving warning to the hens when a small predator lurks, but more of a dinner bell for larger predators. Votes: 1 25.0% Total voters 4 ••• More options Who Replied? Discourage both of these sneaky creatures with a padlock. I am told that Great Pyrenees dogs are the best, while other dog breeds, donkeys, llamas, etc., may be less reliable. The other 7 are alive though one is injured and recovering. I have been doing this for about a week now. Grub and Grit. This article will touch not only on coop security, but … We are getting ready to build our first coop. I mourned those poor girls really hard for several days). I suspect there is something else wrong, so watch those other two birds. Don’t forget to top the run with 1/2 inch hardware cloth! Thread starter #1 RoyalChick Crowing. Ideally, at least a portion of the run will be covered by a roof both for protection from the elements and from aerial predators. Also, it would be easier to replace the hardware on cloth when it does finally rust, than to replace the stuff underground. Predator proofing is a whole new impossible level if just the sight of predators kills them. Pingback: The Truth About Trapping: An Honest Look at a Controversial Topic -. It scares them and makes them stay away from your yard. They can be separated every day in order to drag the tractors to the next spot. Thanks in advance for all your help! With that in mind, I will get some for our farm since there have been instances of missing chickens lately. Some sources say 10 sq ft per bird, but I consider that an absolute minimum. Hang chicken feeders outside the coop (preferably inside a secure chicken run). I didn’t put them in the coop or the run yet because I was worried about something getting in. I wanted to go electric, but I would have probably zapped myself. The builder recommends that you cover the chicken run with sand because it will be easier to clean. I read that raccoons can’t move rocks over 25 pounds. Do Chickens Sleep in Their Nesting Boxes? It’s great to know that you’ve not lost any chicken or animal once you had the fencing wires all over the place. My pleasure, Julie. Predator Guard introduces a pair of flashing red lights that animals assume is a set of eyes. Once their feet step on a nail or screw they give up. I did get the little weasel and I was so mad, I killed him and taxidermy him and he sits on top of a picture in my living room. I’ve never had chickens before. It was probably warmer out there, then in the house with the heat lamp. Make sure there are no cracks or holes in the flooring or where the floor meets the walls of the coop. Thank for your great sage advice about keeping chickens safe. Hanging the feeders will prevent mice and rats from accessing the feed meant for chickens. Piles of firewood, debris, old vacant sheds, and brush piles offer predators a safe haven as they approach. How to protect chickens from goannas and lizards. Use an electric screwdriver or nail gun to speed up building a coop. We had quite a problem with a weasel. In that first year without an incident, we had a rooster. I see some people will use logs or cement pavers around their chicken runs also. Use welded wire and/or hardware cloth, perhaps even reinforcing your perimeter fence with cattle panel or chain link as well. Hi Janet, Many wild animals are most active at dawn and dusk, so I recommend calling them in well before sundown, and not letting them out till well after sunrise. For what it is worth, we have not lost one chicken to predators. A few evenings ago, we were putting the hens into the smaller run and a copperhead Snake slide right in WITH ME THERE! Since there is no wood to screw the hardware cloth into, I am not sure what to do. Are there any other options? Do this around runs, and if you didn’t elevate the coop, do it around the coop, too. You might want to go with 1/4 inch for baby chick housing, but larger chickens would probably eat anything that could fit through 1/2 inch openings. It is an honor to be certified by such an inspiring program. After that, be sure to create an apron that runs around the perimeter of the chicken run. Install a predator apron. Learn about The Spruce's Editorial Process. After reinforcing the fencing, we now have a radio playing 24/7, low, a radio talk show. They are powered by a solar charger. Are your two remaining birds still OK? Coop Apron. The overlapping chain link fence sounds like a good idea, but chicken wire decomposes pretty quickly when buried. However, diggers won’t know they can’t get in until after they’ve created a tunnel that goes under the coop, which means they could be hanging around your coop a lot longer than if you had a wide skirt outside the perimeter. How many chickens can we have with a coup that small? Hello everyone. Good luck on your chickens. There was an old farmer back in the day who put the coup inside the dog yard. Animals, especially clever predators, quickly learn that all those voices aren’t really there, probably because they expect to smell multiple people in association with the different voices, but they don’t. Weasels can climb, and many of them can squeeze through 1 inch openings. I understand predation and respect the predators, I just don’t want them getting MY chickens. I realize that this was posted this several months ago, but could anyone explain more about using a dog yard? I think the predator apron is supposed to stop larger dogs, raccoons, skunks, etc... from trying to dig into the run enclosure. We have no wolves or bears this far South. They’re going to be digging as close as they can to the coop where they’ll immediately run into the apron. One mistake beginner chicken keepers do all the time is using chicken wire, thinking that it’s going to protect their girls. 4. That way the hawks wouldn’t see the chickens inside the building. Pingback: Precision Old Red Barn Chicken Coop Review - Misfit Gardening. And don’t wait for your chickens to come in on their own. perches etc..so many things to think about. I have considered putting a smallish raise bed up over the wire to help the wire be at least partial buried. My vet suspects a hawk flew nearby and even though he couldn’t physically harm them, he terrified them to the point of heart attack! So trade eggs for help to keep your chickens safe and it is a win, win! So far, so good but these forums have helped me SO SO much, getting ready to receive my birds and take care of them – thank you, everyone!! The doors can be moved to different faces of the coop to suit your needs. I could also do a minimal barrier outside as well. $4500 – The Austin Coop | Built on site at your location by the experts at Lonestar Coops.