Most of us want to protect our babies, building a predator-proof chicken coop is probably the most important component of protecting them. Cats, dogs, snakes, owls and hawks for instance. The listing can be daunting. Here are some quick ideas to get you started with predator proofing your coop.
Motion sensor lighting is a clear first option. Night predators such as coyotes fox and owls hunt during the night and are easily spooked just from the light turning on and off. Although this has worked in a variety of situations for many people it is not necessarily the end it solution your looking for. Eventually, the predator will be hungry enough to dismiss the light or at least make a mad dash to the food in hopes they’ll get away with it.
Secure your chickens during the night hours to keep them away from predators. A predator-proof chicken coop has to be powerful enough to keep the local hungry animals out. Dogs and foxes can tear through thin material readily. A determined raccoon will reverse your latches, they are smart creatures too! Using 2 step latches really helps. Keep in mind a raccoon can open the same locks a 2 yr old can. Close up any small holes snakes, rats, rodents or weasels might have the ability to enter through. These guys will eat your eggs and not stop coming back even if they’ve been relocated.
Chicken wire is very thin it’s designed to keep the cows inside, most creatures can easily tear it apart from the outside. Rather, use 1/2 hardware cloth were necessary to keep out small animals like rodents and snakes and livestock fencing to keep out the bigger predators. Remember that some animals like fox and coyotes can dig a few feet in a couple of minutes. Extending the cloth or wire down into the ground usually prevents them from digging any further than the fence. My experience tells me that predators are lazy and will always choose the easiest food available and leave your chickens alone if they have to work too hard to get it.
A caged roof over the run keeps those pesky climbing and flying predators out. The Orpington Chicken which is a fairly large breed! Generally, cheap netting will work unless you’re experiencing trouble with animals climbing over the fence and attacking your babies.
To conclude, your place decides what is needed to earn a predator-proof chicken coop. Various areas and settings have various predators and dangers. Sometimes an electric fence is required especially if your in a place that has bears and bobcats for predators. Not many animals will go any farther than the first poke, it shocks them!