What type of shelter do you use to protect chickens?

Discussion in 'Animal Husbandry' started by Deeishere, Jun 2, 2016.

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  1. Deeishere

    Deeishere Member
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    We have lost 3 of our chickens.:( We don't know what animal has killed them. My husband has them encased in boards, wire and did secure it some more. It does not look that secure to me. He likes being able to make it easy to move around so they can eat the grass. He has set up a trap and did catch a possum last night. I don't know could a possum kill chickens. Do you raise chickens? If so what are you using to protect them? I am thinking a barn-like structure (like on Little House on the Praire). It may not be cost effective, but if we lose all our chickens there goes the eggs and meat.
     
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  2. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    Our neighbor who is the caretaker of a vacant lot has loose chickens. Sometime last month, one his chickens came back home with a broken leg. Loose chicken need not be fed regularly and the caretaker may have no budget for chicken feed so she let her chicken loose. But now she made a coop from tree branches and bamboo (there is a big bamboo grove between our house and the caretaker's hut. She's lucky to find an old chicken wire that she used for the walling. And for the roof, the coconut fronds served as a cool roofing. The chickens are now caged for more than 2 weeks. I still haven't talked to her about letting the chickens loose again. Not to brag, but the caretaker had 3 chickens - 2 male and 1 female - so my husband bought 2 female and 1 male to complement hers... that would make 3 pairs of chickens.
     
  3. cluckeyo

    cluckeyo Well-Known Member
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    My dad has some chickens. He built what he calls a "chicken tractor" out of an old cotton trailer, for them to live. It has a ramp going down to the ground were they can forage, and then come back up to roost. The ground level is enclosed with chicken wire. It has solar powered hot wire around it to deter predators. The whole thing is on wheels so it can be moved from place to place. Very ingenious and works good.
     
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  4. Arboreal

    Arboreal Active Member
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    Keep a dog, and it will scare off the predators if around the henhouse at night (but make sure all the chicks are inside then, or pooch may attack them, unless he's very well trained). Another good idea is to raise the chicken coop above the ground, so rats, snakes etc. can't get inside. If electricity is not a problem, you can install a night light activated by motor sensor, it keeps most predators away as they're nocturnal animals. Not sure if it will work for possums, however.
     
  5. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    1cm mesh! and make sure any hole is smaller than that!
    and securely latch the door at sunset
    We have lost chooks to many things!

    After we fixed the door and put new 1cm mesh to replace the 1in mesh our loss's stopped!

    and if you have a flap over the laying box's latch it do not rely on gravity or springs.
     
  6. Deeishere

    Deeishere Member
      18/23

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    Thanks for the info. I will pass this on to my husband. It sounds like something that will work well for him. Do you how much the solar powered hot wired cost? If you don't mind asking I would greatly appreciate it. I know he wanted to get some type of wiring that would cause an electric charge to any creatures trying to bother the chickens. Those can be very costly.
     
  7. cluckeyo

    cluckeyo Well-Known Member
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    We got that solar wire at Tractor Supply Co. You can get a good charger for around $150. Go to TSC.com and search for "solar power electric fence". They have all the supplies you will need there. It works really good too.
     
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  8. acheno84

    acheno84 Member
      18/23

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    My father in law has built a box on top of a wooden deck that he has raised and covered in chicken wire. He has a door that opens up to the bottom tier for when his chickens get bigger and need more space, and he also has a door that gives him access to them as well. His area doesn't have a lot of grass anyway, so he feeds them what they need for now. He likes them being on a raised deck so it helps keep predators that can dig from going under the barrier. He has the bottom grid wrapped in chicken wire as well so he can eventually just add wheels to the bottoms and move it around when he ends up moving onto the land he bought.
     
  9. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Expert Member
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    I used to have chicken coops but nowadays I keep them in a separated place surrounded by walls, it's easier to set up their egg-laying spots and they have a lot more freedom to roam around. It's quite small at the moment but once the small ones that came out recently get big I'll have to extend the area, should be a fun project.
     
  10. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    From what I know of caged bird in general, they need to be kept in a wire mesh that is too small for rodents to get into. I suspect rat are getting in and killing your chickens. I have seen large rats kill birds before and you need to protect them from that. Even though small mice won't harm your chickens, they do eat your chicken feed and defecate in their food supply.

    See below? That mesh is small enough to keep out small mice. Something to think about.
    cTUkU8DXQMCSrmeWnRfy9xTpzZvrHfe9.jpeg
     
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  11. remnant

    remnant Expert Member
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    A safe kitchen shelter should be easy and cheap to construct as well as provide maximum protection. The chicken cage should be constructed without fixing it to the ground. It should consist of insulating material like heavy boards and allowances made of wise mesh for ventilation. Its roof should be a hardy canvas or wide iron sheets. Then fasten it on the roof of a house. This
     
  12. filmjunkie08

    filmjunkie08 Active Member
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    I appreciate all you information on chicken coops as I am wanting to have some backyard chickens. My concern is the extreme temperature changes that occur in my area of Texas. In the summer it can range from 106 - 110 degree temps to windchill factors of 18 degrees in the winter. How do I make a coop that will keep the chickens cool and warm? Or are chickens tougher than I think they are? Any help or advice would be appreciated.
     
  13. Deeishere

    Deeishere Member
      18/23

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    Thanks for the info. I will pass it on to him. So far, he had them in this old coop but wants to rebuild and secure. He actually caught two possums. I can't imagine them killing the three chickens but who knows.
     
  14. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Foxes are very good at running up fences, you need a high fence to keep them out. Feral cats will kill chooks & the only way to keep them out is to have a top on the chook run. Same with Raptors, eagles & hawks etc. I have never known a possum to take a chook.
    Keith.
     
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  15. Arkane

    Arkane Master Survivalist
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    Chooks are hardy things!
    Provide shade for the summer and plenty of water!
    For winter have areas out of any wind and in sunshine!
    and night roosts need ventilation all year but little in winter and lots in summer!

    A tin roof with gutter and barrel connected to a drip water bowl makes watering easy
    A feed bowl in the roost that you fill every evening before you shut them in makes that easy!
    Laying boxes on an outer wall with opening lids on the outside make for easy egg collection, but latch them good.
    Keep the place clean at least weekly. Any chook that gets henpecked will eventually die, deal with it quickly while it is good to eat!
    It will not get better! it will starve and lose its feathers get rash's etc and become unfit to eat, so deal with it sooner rather than later
    I repeat once a hen gets henpecked it is doomed !
     
  16. filmjunkie08

    filmjunkie08 Active Member
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    Thank you for the information Arkane. You make it sound easy to have chickens. I have a small family so I was thinking of starting of with 3 laying hens. Should I expect one egg daily from each chicken or should I expect more?
     
  17. Lisa Davis

    Lisa Davis Active Member
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    The mesh is the best. Hot wire will work, too, but I've seen predators go through them, especially smaller predators (like fox) scurry under hot wires that are spread too far apart for something to pass through. Honestly, I have had some real bad times when I was younger raising various animals that became the target of predators. I have even installed a camera to watch the enclosure all night so I could see it with my own eyes. It's always better to know exactly what you are dealing with. After all, they are an investment.
     
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  18. Deeishere

    Deeishere Member
      18/23

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    Thanks Keith for the information. I didn't think about hawks and feral cats attacking the chickens. I know a few months back we had a bobcat killed two of our chickens. He was very persistent in that he was able to squeeze his way into the secure area where the chickens were located. My husband tried to kill it, but it got away. We have all kinds of big birds (don't know the types) around here. My husband didn't think a possum killed it either but they were in the traps....maybe just looking for food.
     
  19. neoKit

    neoKit New Member
      8/23

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    I used timber to make a poultry house. I have 8 chickens so I required a smaller poultry house. It's floor is made of timber and it is raised 2feet from the ground. The house is approximately 12 feet by 12feet. I made a roof using old metal sheets.
     
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  20. Deeishere

    Deeishere Member
      18/23

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    Yeah, we had to learn the hard way. It's best to prepare for all types of animals. My husband killed a raccoon this morning who got to 6 of our chickens on last night. He set up a trap by taking one of the dead chickens and placing it in a trap. So the raccoon got back into the coop to get the dead chicken. He found it this morning and shot it. He doesn't know how it could get in such a small space. He thought what he built was secure enough. I am taking all of your suggestions to him. He is new at this. I like the idea of an electrical fence to shock the little critters.
     
  21. Rere

    Rere New Member
      8/25

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    1cm mesh! and make sure any hole is smaller than that!
    and securely latch the door at sunset
    We have lost chooks to many things!

    After we fixed the door and put new 1cm mesh to replace the 1in mesh our loss's stopped!

    and if you have a flap over the laying box's latch it do not rely on gravity or springs.
     
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