I noticed that we didn’t have hawk issues afterwards. One owl got caught in our electric fence and my son turned off the fence and freed the owl. You can spray the chicken wire with flexseal if you already have the wire, I used plastic netting for birds and deers over my pen when I built 2 years ago now tree limbs and ice storm have destroyed it will be doing some repairs as soon as my rotator cuff allows…. Apr 12, 2015 - What are your suggestions for a predator proof chicken run? 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. Luckily he did not stay,but we have a snake catcher now if we see him again. And I have cats everywhere around here, We do get raccoons, opossum, and weasels. One of the hardest things in keeping chickens is keeping those chickens out of the reach of chicken predators. (That was in my last run), For our new run in our new house im.building up and enclosing the whole run as it is enclosing my orchard of 12 various fruit trees and using 60cm built up Gardens of herbs and plant friendly plants for my girls around the whole perimeter that also deters critters etc. Inspect your chicken coop and run each day, making sure there aren’t any signs of varmints burrowing or tunneling underneath the fence. I thought they used 2X4 wire for the predator apron. HI Christine, so sorry for your loss! Your chicken coop should have a solid, predator proof flooring. I have been raising chickens for 35 years and it’s sad they are at the bottom of the food chain and everything wants to eat them, from your neighbors dog to coons and possums to hawks owls eagle’s,even my own German Shepherd got ahold of two of my silkies, the neighbor kids left out of its cage after playing with them and the dog thought the birds was squeaky toys. Half inch plastic coated hardware cloth secured with screws and washers. There are all kinds of things around. Thanks for your article. We added electric wires last year. (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.) They certainly never mentioned anything about using small .5 X .5 hardware mesh. Signs of fox attack: feathers and footprints, sometimes a faint odor resembling but not as strong as skunk may be noticeable.. Infamous for their love of chicken, and due to lack of natural predators, red foxes are actually more likely to strike in urban and suburban areas rather than rural. My Aunt had a large coop with a huge run she enclosed the whole thing with a pig pen so you have to go through the pigs to get into the chicken yard she never lost any chickens ! Also we have had them for 5 months since babies. Keep feed in covered metal barrels to keep out mice and rats. But I have a feeling that forgetting just once was so upsetting to you that you’ll never forget again. Here’s a great video tutorial on how to properly install a predator apron: Also, it would be easier to replace the hardware on cloth when it does finally rust, than to replace the stuff underground. How to Predator Proof Your Chicken Coop. I just lost my entire flock of 10 to what I think was a marten which is part of the weasel family. My birds have a super secure cyclone fenced coop and run inside a fenced back yard with plenty of space and I came home to 9 of my 11 young pullets dropped dead on the coop floor yesterday! Dec 24, 2019. A coop apron will resolve digging by large predators outside your coop. Yes, an electric fence will work against raccoons if you set it up such that the raccoon will have to come into contact with the wire in order to enter the coop and run. It also scares foxes, deer, wolves, coyotes, skunks, and bears. Absolutely nothing was wrong with them. Pet Health. Any suggestions for a back yard? I’m moving the hives into the chicken run so i won’t have to invest in another solar charger and battery for the hot fence and nail boards. What does it look like? I raise bees in the front and have had raccoons and bears get into those early on. I know one person who was successful for several years with a pair of geese as the only guard animals for an otherwise poorly protected coop. Just wanted to let anyone know who is curious that the electric wire seems to have been just the thing to deter anything that would dig. Learn how your comment data is processed. Coyotes got two more of my hens before we finally realized what we were dealing with. We placed the young birds in a former rabbit cage (which is a repurposed dog cage) inside the coop thinking they were safe from predators as well as the older chickens. We raised 15 dual-purpose roosters in each tractor for 16 weeks, then got them into the freezer. Also be sure to use 1/2 inch hardware cloth and not chicken wire. You are absolutely right – bears are waking up from hibernation now, they are famished, and because there’s nothing much to eat, they go for bird feeders and chicken coops out of desperation. Took 3 inch decking screws or nails, ( I use both ) and screwed our nailed them 3 inches apart across the entire board. They go up around the doors (so we can get in), so theoretically a bear could get in if it touched only a door. The bear came back to see if he could open the door on the shed (scratch signs on the door). It’s so simple and cheap to make! Eliminate predator hiding places near the coop. Use half inch hardware cloth not just for the sides. Anyway, the radio can’t hurt. However, her mom tries to chase them constantly so I have to keep her out of the coop for security reasons. The problem with is that many predators are perfectly willing to strike during daylight, if the birds look easy enough to get. Once their feet step on a nail or screw they give up. I have a small farm in the country and have been living in harmony with all creatures. – Hardesty Haus. The doors can be moved to different faces of the coop to suit your needs. Use an electric screwdriver or nail gun to speed up building a coop. Deterrents like streamers, decoy animals, predator pee, loud music, strobe lighting, and ultrasonic repellents might work initially, but eventually predators may habituate to them. we like to encourage wild birds and want to free range as much as possible but today a hawk took the miniature rooster. They’re going to be digging as close as they can to the coop where they’ll immediately run into the apron. Ideally, at least a portion of the run will be covered by a roof both for protection from the elements and from aerial predators. That will keep out predators including small ones such as weasels and larger ones like bobcats. It’s great to know that you’ve not lost any chicken or animal once you had the fencing wires all over the place. How to Buy Our Coops; About Our Coops; Predator Apron; Chicken Keeping FAQ; Follow Us. More power to you – please continue your wonderful work! Did she eat something too large to pass while outside, and would she not have done so if I had kept them in the brooder for that hour?? Would I be ok with chicken wire (the stuff used on rabbit hutches) or should I go for more sturdy fencing? Digging around the chicken coop. Explore. 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. Chicken wire is more for keeping your chickens in than keeping predators out. In addition, the second apron flays out from the run about 3 feet just below the ground surface. Click here for my full affiliate disclosure. Do I need one egg box per chicken? We're glad you took time to visit our site and we invite you to contact Carolina Coops for detailed information or answers to your questions. Anyone have any other suggestions? Itâs okay to alter them for your needs. Check out that other post for more details. He survived from a high perch. Thank for your great sage advice about keeping chickens safe. The covered run size is 12âx6â² including the space under the henhouse. Back down to the ground to do some dirt work and prepare to install whatâs called the predator apron. I, of course am not going to depend on only this, but it really did help. I think the predator apron is supposed to stop larger dogs, raccoons, skunks, etc... from trying to dig into the run enclosure. Some predators are after chickens, eggs and sometimes both. Thanks in advance for all your help! And if you really don’t want nighttime predators to be around your coop in the first place, what really works for me is this thing I bought on Amazon called Predator Guard. Some of the materials are labeled that it contains lead and could harm reproductive systems. However, there are plenty of other animals that could penetrate a simple coop apron, as I discuss below. One mistake beginner chicken keepers do all the time is using chicken wire, thinking that it’s going to protect their girls. Don’t skimp by using chicken wire on top. I could also do a minimal barrier outside as well. But that seems improbable, since a bear is not likely to understand that it needs to avoid the wires to avoid shock. It’s much more difficult to keep chickens safe when allowed to roam beyond the coop and run, and I’ll be posting about that in the future. 1 of 2 Go to page. Homestead Chicken Resources. Protection against fox, no matter where you live requires a comprehensive defense. 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