Mar 2, 2017 - What are your suggestions for a predator proof chicken run? 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. However, it seems to me that a bear or even a family of coyotes would be content to make a meal of the geese. They can return to the coop for a bite to eat every now and then if they cannot find enough outdoors. 1. Did you know they make automatic pop door openers where you can set the time for them to open and close? We are new to having chickens and not sure what it could be. Make sure there are no cracks or holes in the flooring or where the floor meets the walls of the coop. Hello, www (dot) For what it is worth, we have not lost one chicken to predators. Probably more…Would that floor be ok to protect my chickns? I lined the door edge with a nice thick layer of habanero oil. Thanks for your support! I also have this set up inside of a screened porch. See more ideas about chicken aprons, chicken saddle, chickens backyard. These are often constructed by digging a trench down 12″ around the entire perimeter of your chicken run and burying the hardware cloth beneath the ground. You could also be like me that for a long time, I would run to scan the backyard everytime the security light is triggered with a flashlight, armed with wasp spray. I think the predator apron is supposed to stop larger dogs, raccoons, skunks, etc... from trying to dig into the run enclosure. And the apron went out about 2 feet from the run and coop. With owls, Fox, coyote, hawks, raccoons and crows in my area, an electric fence has been our best defense. "The Polka" Our 6' X 12' Coop . I’m not particularly worried about people stealing my chickens, the area is quite out of the way so doubtful anyone would drive out that far just to steal a few hens. The sheeting is held tightly down with 6″ metal, horseshoe shaped landscaping nails. 2. First and foremost: Never, never use chicken wire on your chicken coop and run. Hands down, my favorite way of keeping animals from digging under my chicken coop and run is definitely the coop apron. I always have a backup. Chicken wire is more for keeping your chickens in than keeping predators out. It is important to note before we begin that there is no such thing as a 100% predator-proof coop. Pingback: HH is Getting Ducklings! One of mine was always the first member of the flock to hide. You can bury the apron or place landscaping material (like stones) over the apron. An apron prevents predators from getting close enough to your coop to be able to dig or sneak into the coop. Is this really effective? I have a dog yard from the previous owner and don’t have a dog. They’re going to be digging as close as they can to the coop where they’ll immediately run into the 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. Now tell me how you prevent that?! I’m working on the pavers around the coop right now. Coyotes got two more of my hens before we finally realized what we were dealing with. Took 3 inch decking screws or nails, ( I use both ) and screwed our nailed them 3 inches apart across the entire board. 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. If you are not yet familiar with them, you might want to check out my previous post on Poultry Predator Identification, where their tracks, scat, and behaviors are discussed. I feel like I’ve narrowed down the possible culprits, but was requesting more of a professional input. Perhaps the greatest is keeping chickens safe from predators. The first apron goes all the way around the run and is dug down and inserted about 18 inches deep. I raise bees in the front and have had raccoons and bears get into those early on. Even if yours stands up to predators, he still sleeps at night, and during a day time attack, he can’t deter larger animals. 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. I have 2 aprons. I’ve lost way too many of my poultry. The following are my best recommendations for predator-proofing chickens based on my experiences. 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. If there is no top, birds of prey will continue to get in. I made a horrible mistake yesterday and will forever regret it. For making a coop apron, you will need hardware cloth or fencing that has very small holes and is placed on the ground around the coop. We raised 15 dual-purpose roosters in each tractor for 16 weeks, then got them into the freezer. Seriously….I wanted to jump up and down , scream and place my hands around their throats and ask them how they liked it….that is probably the last thing their chickens felt! Pingback: What To Raise On Your Homestead or Backyard Farm - One Acre Farm, Pingback: Limited Free Range Chickens: 12 Tips to Balance Freedom & Safety - One Acre Farm. Once their feet step on a nail or screw they give up. If you are just building your coop, think about the floor. Do I need to know anything special about that? They can’t pull the bird out, but they try, often killing the bird in the process. I understand predation and respect the predators, I just don’t want them getting MY chickens. This is a custom chicken coop, photos above show one of several set up configurations. It’s worth rising to that challenge, however, and it’s not difficult if you understand what you’re up against. Perhaps the greatest is keeping chickens safe from predators. Coop Apron. Animals. Apr 12, 2015 - What are your suggestions for a predator proof chicken run? Mar 28, 2020. Written by: JD Lara How-To 9 Comments Print This Article. The overlapping chain link fence sounds like a good idea, but chicken wire decomposes pretty quickly when buried. Be sure to put in a substantial skirt and/or go at least 18 inches under ground, because some rabbits do dig diligently and deeply. 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. Some of the materials are labeled that it contains lead and could harm reproductive systems. Thank you for the information you have provided and we may change the latches on the hen house doors (they are simple slide bolts that I think a raccoon may be able to open if they can get into the coop). OK, So we have a small shed that has become the chicken coop since the bears shredded our cute chicken coop. If you don’t know what a coop apron is, definitely watch the video below (or keep reading). We live in a pretty rural neighborhood with lots of woodsy areas – plenty of raccoons and predators. We never saw any evidence of predator visits. Digging around the chicken coop. There is 5 foot fence all around with chicken wire buried to stop digging. Install a sensor activated light that turns on as a hungry raccoon approaches. Lauren Arcuri. Hi Jodi, so sorry you lost your chickens! I myself have been sickened by the stories that people have told me ….. “I never lock my chickens up”, “I allow my chickens to free range all the time, day and night and have only lost around 20 of them over the years”, and once a lady told me….”I was horrified, I woke up one morning and all 26 of my chickens were dead all around the barn yard and in the field. 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. It is an honor to be certified by such an inspiring program. Ty for all this information. Then have a 6 wire electric fence around the outside of the nail boards that i turn on at night. There are all kinds of things around. My lgd is an Anatolian Shepherd. 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. Southern Chicken Coops, Quality Homes for your Hens . Our 6' X 12' Coop Built on your Clean & Level Site. I could see where he tried to get in all around the enclosure until he found a vulnerability. How to Buy Our Coops; About Our Coops; Predator Apron; Chicken Keeping FAQ; Follow Us . It is not cheap to keep them safe by any means. 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! Pingback: How to Predator Proof Your Chicken Coop and Run  — Info You Should Know. They can be separated every day in order to drag the tractors to the next spot. Since then I’ve place them in a chain link dog kennel. I have considered putting a smallish raise bed up over the wire to help the wire be at least partial buried. I bought a really cute but basic coop from Tractor Supply and staple-gunned additional 1/2 inch hardware cloth panels onto the outside, covering the hardware cloth that had been stapled from the inside. Image via Shutterstock. How to Buy Our Coops; About Our Coops; Predator Apron; Chicken Keeping FAQ; Follow Us . Semper Fi. I have not had any bear or predator problems since. But hope for the best. It is about 10x15 in size. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for websites to earn fees by advertising and linking to Then we had to figure out how it got in and add some more safety measures. Joanne. What has worked and what hasn’t? Perhaps most predators don’t dig as enthusiastically as rabbits, but I wouldn’t want to chance it. Once again you have provided timely and reliable information to all of us chicken owners. We are in the process of upgrading our very pathetic coop … and reading all you wrote here shows me we have a LONG WAY to go. Pingback: Chickenpalooza! You can install a dug apron fence or a bent apron fence. We’re excited and nervous st the same time. Common chicken predators include birds of prey (hawks, eagles, owls), raccoons, opossum, snakes, rats, skunk, fox, coyote, bear, weasels, minks, fisher cats, bobcats and badgers. I would bury 2 ft of fencing and place large paving slabs all the way around the perimeter of the run, and would cover the top with fencing too – would that be sufficient to stop mongooses, weasels and foxes? Sorry, Donald, I just noticed your comment now. Thank you. Reinforcement to exclude weasels was definitely a good idea. In Toronto where we are piloting piloting backyard chickens. $4500 – The Austin Coop | Built on site at your location by the experts at Lonestar Coops. My little dog is actually very friendly with our chickens and will even go in their coop when I’m feeding. So make 100% sure that the seams are securely attached. They are powered by a solar charger. These lights can be attached around your chicken coop, facing out in all 4 directions. He survived from a high perch. You need to deter animals that dig, climb, or fly. Install a predator apron. Build A Chicken Coop & Keep Out Predators In 11 Easy Steps. Its your responsibility to keep them safe and clean, their lives depend on it! Thanks for all the good info!! 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. You must understand from the start that virtually nothing is 100% effective, but it is possible to make the coop and run almost 100% effective. 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. – Hardesty Haus. Weasels can climb, and many of them can squeeze through 1 inch openings. Then cover it up? As a general rule, hang feeders so they are as high as the chicken's chest. They go up around the doors (so we can get in), so theoretically a bear could get in if it touched only a door. : ) Thanks! Never underestimate a raccoon. Chicken wire is not adequate. Some sources say 10 sq ft per bird, but I consider that an absolute minimum. It can happen, but it’s not common. Keep the barrels where raccoons and bears cannot reach them, because they can open these barrels. Janet is completely correct, you probably will never forget. Because they probably are. 4. Even with that protection, though, I almost always close the windows at night, because sometimes the chickens roost kind of close to the window, and I can imagine a raccoon terrorizing them, even if it couldn’t get in. Learn how to predator-proof your chicken coop and run, protect your flock from predators and rodents, and provide security for chicken coops with a few simple tips, tricks, and tools. Piles of firewood, debris, old vacant sheds, and brush piles offer predators a safe haven as they approach. The only way to keep snakes out of the chicken coop completely is to secure it day and night with 1/4″ hardware cloth at every possible access point into the coop and run. We still love our predators though. Any sort of apron that will prevent animals from digging down should work. Wow, your set up sound just like ours. To prevent them from being able to do that, wire meshing is also placed around the perimeter. 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. I see some people will use logs or cement pavers around their chicken runs also. We have read all the comments and watched lots of YouTube videos, but I am not feeling secure enough yet to move the four hens and one rooster to the coop. Chickens are so awesome, even the raccoons want some. On Thursday afternoon something attacked the flock and I found one chicken dead and 6 missing. But when we went out to feed them dinner she was in the corner of the run with her head gone. We don’t have a breeding bear population in my part of Massachusetts, but dispersing individuals do pass through, and have been known to destroy entire flocks along the way. I know we’ve talked about this before too, but i want to mention the “predator apron” one more time. Keeping backyard chickens is a wonderful way to grow some of your own food and learn about animal behavior, but it does present the flock master with a few challenges. If the floor is just dirt and can be burrowed under, you’ll also want to consider putting mesh around the exterior floor of the coop — something called a predator apron — to keep animals from burrowing in under the fence. Give us a call at 919-794-3989 or reach out through our contact page and we'll be delighted to help! Best size for predator apron or skirt - newbie seeking advice . Back down to the ground to do some dirt work and prepare to install what’s called the predator apron. Pingback: The Truth About Trapping: An Honest Look at a Controversial Topic -. The coop apron is a lot easier than digging straight down, 12 to 18 inches, and trying to bury the fencing material into the ground. The design also features skylights, a ramp, roosting bars, and vinyl flooring. Here's how to keep the predators out by making predator proof chicken coops. This may sound silly, but are there any suggestions you have to remind you each night to put the hens to sleep? Inspect your chicken coop and run each day, making sure there aren’t any signs of varmints burrowing or tunneling underneath the fence. Use welded wire and/or hardware cloth, perhaps even reinforcing your perimeter fence with cattle panel or chain link as well. Someone’s digging, trying to get in under the base! We suspect a couple of big hawks. Absolutely nothing was wrong with them. It will rust over time, but very slowly. So trade eggs for help to keep your chickens safe and it is a win, win! Jun 20, 2019 - How to install a predator apron around a chicken coop to keep animals from digging underneath into the chicken coop. Thanks again for the tips! 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 It is very potent, but really works. It looks like they are trying to use them as an apron/wall of sorts also. We got it on craigslist. It is readily available at Lowes (item #44380) and other hardware stores. I’ve read of other people stringing old CD’s over their chicken runs, and it seems to work for awhile. Pingback: Hens On The Homestead: 6 Questions You Need To Answer Before You Get Chickens | Little Farm in the Alberta Foothills. Are your two remaining birds still OK? We had quite a problem with a weasel. If you have the inclination and time for training a livestock guardian animal, that may be the way to go. Mind you they are so used to cats and dogs, they sit beside some of them, but with chickens it makes me nervous. Chicken killers will come knocking on the walls to get in and can’t, they will try and dig under the walls. Lost four hens to a raccoon attack recently and am building a new coop before replacing the flock. 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. Predator proofing is a whole new impossible level if just the sight of predators kills them. The bear came back to see if he could open the door on the shed (scratch signs on the door). I suspect there is something else wrong, so watch those other two birds. They’re very cheap to replace here also so it wouldn’t be a huge loss. Coyotes. I have chicken wire around my run, sides and top, and other then snakes getting in and taking an egg here and there before we catch it, I have had no other issues. Hello everyone. Although owls fly in at night if the flock is not put up for the night and has taken the heads of as many as five hens at one time. Predator proof both coop and runs. Do I need one egg box per chicken? Keep up the good work. Do this around runs, and if you didn’t elevate the coop, do it around the coop, too. I wanted to go electric, but I would have probably zapped myself. Use half inch hardware cloth for … How is it built properly? The short answer is as much space as possible. I am told that Great Pyrenees dogs are the best, while other dog breeds, donkeys, llamas, etc., may be less reliable. Feel free to share your thoughts or ask questions below! Backyard Chicken Predator Proofing Tips. For diggers, you should fortify the coop floor and consider burying a predator apron, an extension of the fence under the ground. 12 noon standing 10 feet from me. Often, though, hawks and other animals eventually learn to work around those sorts of deterrence measures, so keep your eyes peeled! Fall Garden Vegetables Plants Garden Planting Garlic Growing Garlic Grow Your Own Food Growing Herbs Fruit Garden Gardening Tips. Predators who want to burrow under the coop will try to do so from the perimeter. That way the hawks wouldn’t see the chickens inside the building. THEN, we put square-edged limestone border stones (they are loose but about 30 pounds each) around the perimeter where the coop meets the ground. An apron isn’t as effective as a trench, but will provide some measure of security from digging beasties. (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.) Even galvanized hardware cloth gradually breaks down when moist. I once had a rabbit dig out of an enclosure with 18 inches of fencing buried underground. This post contains links to online shopping, which is a way for you to support One Acre Farm at no additional cost to you. If a racoon puts fingers through, there’s now an extra 1/2 inch of air between the two screens before anything is touched. A coop apron will resolve digging by large predators outside your coop. In that first year without an incident, we had a rooster. They were out for just one hour, but later that day I noticed one had an impacted crop. We thought we’d finally gotten the predator situation under control this late winter. In winter they have a heat lamp even if they don’t need it its there for them in the corner. 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. I’m pinning 🙂 Home for 8-12 Chickens. Protection against fox, no matter where you live requires a comprehensive defense. Should we make a closed area for when we are not with the chickens during daytime ? Install a predator apron. I’m thinking snow will build up on top of half inch material..We also have bears but electric fencing we think will handle them.. We are 1st time chicken owners and have built a coop with the specs you mentioned: elevated hen houses, roof (clear corrugated plastic), 1/2 inch hardware cloth all around and buried 18 inches in the ground, and a combination lock on the door we use to enter (I’ll change it to a padlock). Animals And Pet Supplies. How to protect chickens from goannas and lizards. Since there is no way a predator can enter the henhouse, a door is unnecessary. Predators like raccoons, foxes, owls, even neighborhood dogs are known to attack backyard chickens at night or in plain daylight. However, her mom tries to chase them constantly so I have to keep her out of the coop for security reasons. Updated 10/18/19. We woke this morning to one of our chickens missing. It scares them and makes them stay away from your yard. Cover the run with it, too. Back down to the ground to do some dirt work and prepare to install what’s called the predator apron. The bear came only once and never again. Thanks, Pingback: Rainy Day Blues – My Best Island Life. If you’re going to have a wood floor, put the coop on stilts, because the floor will eventually rot, creating entry for weasels, rats, and eventually larger digging animals. Whether you are keeping chickens in the city, suburbs, or country there are chicken predators present. He managed to kill a few of my ladies. Use an electric screwdriver or nail gun to speed up building a coop. Hanging the feeders will prevent mice and rats from accessing the feed meant for chickens. I’m not sure about a guardian breed of dog – I’d be worried the dog might bite visitors or hurt my cats. I feel so guilty for what they all must have gone through. Discourage both of these sneaky creatures with a padlock. We’re assuming it’s raccoons, but it might also be coyotes. I love all wild life and know it is my fault I didn’t keep her safe please any ideas. Bought a coop as requirements are 10ft per chicken, with run. Predator Proofing Your Chicken Coop and Run. Features: Predator Proof solid wood construction with metal roof, 16 gauge 1/2″ hardware cloth, 16 gauge predator apron and upgraded hardware & latches. Store feed in tightly covered metal barrels to prevent access by mice and rats. I’m not gonna lock my birds inside a dark room all their life! How to Predator Proof Your Chicken Coop. Cover the Run . Please if you can not afford to purchase the supplies you need to keep your chickens safe don’t get them! Possums, skunks and snakes wouldn’t mind stealing some eggs and chicks, too. You must fortify your set-up to foil creatures small enough to slip through little holes, strong enough to destroy a car, or deft enough to open one-step locks. Photos and video showing how to install a predator apron around your chicken coop Now, my neighbor has lived beside us for two years and says she has lost over 200 chickens to foxes! Do you think I could do the barrier on the inside of the coup on the dirt floor? Pin Share Email Lauren Ware. every possible threat. HOUSING, FEED, DISEASE, SAFETY-PREDATORS,HOT WEATHER-HEAT STROKE,COLD WEATHER-KEEPING THEM WARM AND OUT OF DRAFTS, ETC…. I am getting8, 1yr old chickens and 1 rooster this weekend. What is your approach to predator proofing the chicken coop? How to install a predator apron around a chicken coop to keep animals from digging underneath into the chicken coop. Any help appreciated! They’re going to be digging as close as they can to the coop where they’ll immediately run into the apron. My pleasure, Julie. I am now re-planning my entire layout. The chances of that happening to 9 at once are vanishingly small. Home; About; Chicken Coops; Blog; Photo Gallery; … Your chicken coop should have a solid, predator proof flooring. Still does not make sense that they were very healthy young birds for 10 weeks of their life up to that very morning and all of them gone by evening. Can someone help, I was wondering about the type of fencing that goes underground. View all posts by, Guide to Designing the Perfect Chicken Coop - One Acre Farm, Predator Proof Your Chicken Coop And Run | Homestead & Survival, What To Raise On Your Homestead or Backyard Farm - One Acre Farm, Limited Free Range Chickens: 12 Tips to Balance Freedom & Safety - One Acre Farm, Chickenpalooza!

predator apron for chicken coop

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