Fox proofing your chicken coop

May 19 08:11 2011 Kerry Mundt Print This Article

Are you thinking of getting chickens but are unsure about how to keep them safe from foxes? This article explains the steps that need to be taken to fox-proof your chicken coop.

No one wants to wake up one morning to discover that a fox has attacked your backyard chickens. As such,Guest Posting it is important to make sure your chicken coop is fox proof. It is absolutely devastating to find your pet chickens after a fox has come through. You'd be surprised how many city people don't even consider foxes when setting up their chicken coop. There are many reports of foxes in urban areas, so don't assume that foxes are only for rural areas.

As manufacturers of mobile chicken coops, we've had many customers tell us about the brazen foxes in their area. Some come as close as their back porch in the early morning, and that's in a metropolitan area! Don't wait until you see a fox in your area, or hear of a fox attack before you safeguard your chickens.

Keeping foxes out of a mobile chicken coop

How to best fox proof your chicken coop, largely depends on the style of coop that you have. If you have a mobile chicken coop that has a run attached to a housing section, it's important to make sure that foxes can't tunnel underneath the outer edges of your coop. Even if you've got hard soil, don't think that a determined fox won't try to gain access.

The easiest way to fox proof a mobile coop is to attach a large mesh floor to the bottom of the coop. If it's attached to the base itself, it will be able to be moved along with your coop when you move your chickens to a fresh area of your backyard. It's important to make sure the mesh you use is still large enough that your chickens have room to scratch, but small enough to keep foxes out. We've found that mesh with 10cm x 15cm rectangles is ideal. If you stood this mesh upright, a fox could actually fit through, but when it's wired to the base of your coop, a fox will not be able enter the coop due to the angle of their burrowing.

The other option is to create a mesh 'skirt' around the edge of your coop. This allows your chickens more room to scratch, as there's no need to have the mesh under the coop as well, but makes moving your coop a little harder. We've tried both methods and the skirt is very cumbersome, but may be the preferred option by some.

Another important consideration is the strength of the mesh that is used on the sides of your coop. Unfortunately, some of the imported coops that I've seen on the market are made using very light 'aviary' style mesh. We've been told of foxes that have chewed through this thin mesh to gain access to the chicken coop. So just make sure that the coop you purchase, or make, has strong enough mesh. I would suggest mesh that is 2.5mm thick. We've found that this cannot be damaged by foxes trying to chew through, or children who love chickens and clamber all over the chicken coop!

Keeping foxes out of a fixed chicken coop

If you've got a chicken coop that stays in a fixed position, the main issue is making sure that the run area is fox proof. Most people with a traditional chicken shed and run erect a permitter of high chicken wire to form the run. This wire should have holes no larger than 80mm in diameter. As this style of run generally has no 'roof', it's important that the walls are high enough to prevent a chicken from flying over as well as to prevent a fox from entering (around 1.8m high is generally adequate).

The other important consideration is that the chicken wire at the bottom of the fence is dug into the ground, not far below the surface to a distance of about 50 or 60cm. As mentioned, foxes will dig to gain access to your chicken coop. When the foxes come across this wire time and time again, they'll eventually give up trying to access your chicken coop. Another way of achieving this barrier is to but something heavy like wooden or concrete sleeps on top of the mesh at the bottom of your fence.

Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

About Article Author

Kerry Mundt
Kerry Mundt

If you're after a mobile chicken coop that keeps your chickens safe and protected from foxes, be sure to have a look at Royal Rooster's range of mobile chicken coops. These are made from aluminum, are durable and look great!

View More Articles