predator proof chicken coop...

calsmom(8/9)August 30, 2007

I currently have a chicken coop, but no chickens due to predators. Our best guess right now is a bob cat. Whatever it is can scale an 8 foot fence, shred the aviary netting, catch a chicken (day or night), and scale the fence with the chicken. I have set several spring and live traps and have only caught tufts of fur in the spring trap. So I am thinking about building an A-frame coop so that hopefully it will be predator proof...since there will be no "top" to get in. Currently the house itself has had no problems other than a few snakes that can't get out after eating eggs.

Do you think an A frame would be sufficient? I am planning on a 12 foot across, 6 foot high (in the center, and 24 feet deep.

We have to worry about coyotes, coons, snakes, and apparently bobcats.

Looking forward to your ideas!! Thanks for your time and help!

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geez,thats awful for you...we have coyotes and raccoons ect but no bobcats. I would imagine that you're idea would be sufficient..make sure the bottom is wired too...there's no stopping a predator that's already attacked and succeeded usually,but your idea a frame sounds good.

good luck to you...I feel for you :(

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 8:30PM
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My son & I just built a chicken coop we thought was predator proof. Sounds just like the one you are considering. They have only been outside one week. Last night something came in and killed them all. Just ate the heads off all the chickens. We have standard chicken wire & we thought no gaps anywhere. Chicken wire even in the hen house. We think it is maybe a weasel. Don't know what we did wrong. No spaces I can find anywhere. Do they get through standard chicken wire? Is there such a thing as a predator safe coop. My 9 year old son is devastated. I also want to build this "predator safe" coop. If you make it give me some info when you are done. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 11:33PM
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WE live on seven acres have a coop off the ground only a small entrance hatch with ramp everythings been great for months, then this morning our rooster who was over two feet high and super mean was found this morning without his head. the entrance is too small for coyotes to get in and out of.. could it be weasels? and how do we prevent this?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 3:40PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

If you leave the hatch open at night you might as well be ringing the dinner bell. All kinds of critters love a chicken dinner. :(

I'd guess a skunk, weasel, raccoon, possum, etc. Chickens need to be VERY securely, 100% enclosed at night when they are most vulnerable. Our coop/run is made from hardware cloth, NEVER use chicken wire (poiltry netting). Chicken wire is to keep chickens out of a garden, not to keep predators away from your birds.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 6:19AM
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I'm living in my new house (actually an old farmhouse) which has a chicken house behind the garage. Everyone that comes by to visit gushes about chickens and asks when I will be getting some hens. I've learned the hard way not to put anything tasty outside without an extreme predator proof coop. Meat eating animals have nothing else to do except figure out a way into a coop. They will chew on chicken wire for weeks to get in. You can't just patch it and walk away. Since I can't see your coop I have no way of knowing if it is built predator proof but I can tell you that losing an entire flock is something every chicken owner goes through at least once.

Don't be surprised if the bobcat turns out to be a feral housecat. When I used to live way out in the sticks, stray dogs and feral cats were my biggest problems.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 4:08PM
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chelcass(Z5 Michigan, U.P.)

Velvet Sparrow said it best. Lock your chickens up at night. During the day all my chickens are in a enclosed pen (top bottom and sides). At night everybody goes into our chicken barn and are locked up. I used to let our chickens free-range during the day until the chickens were fussing one day and I walked up to the coop and came face to face with a coyote. Bugger ran off before I could get my gun and shoot him. Alerted the neighbors and a couple of them were able to take a couple of shots at him. Haven't seen him since but......................Needless to say the chicken don't free range anymore!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 12:35PM
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No, not all chicken owners have lost their entire flock to predators....

We have 2 means of keeping our chickens safe. The first is livestock guardian dogs that keep all our animals safe including chickens and ducks. Of course this means the dogs have to have access to the birds, meaning wing clipping would be appropriate for free rangers.

Our chicken coop is predator proof, 'cept maybe a bear if one had the notion. It has a cement floor, 2 windows with both 1x2 welded wire & hardcloth 1/2x1/2 wire. The entrance exterior door (for inclement weather) is solid wood, the interior entrance door (for nice weather) is wood frame, with cross-braces and hardwire 1/2x1/2 wire. This wire has been inplace for at least 15 years probably much more. There is evidence something has tried to get in, but has not succeeded as it is stapled well, and the cross braces on each corner & across the center keep it from being pushed in. Works extremely well.

Your A-frame sounds wonderful, given a proper floor, but I think I would opt for a design that would utilize the sidewalls better as the bottom corners would be unuseable on an A-Frame unless it was on a high base.

Just a thought.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 5:30PM
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