If you own a chicken coop, then you have come to accept the fact that your chickens are also a part of the family. This is why caring for your coop is so important to the well-being of your chickens. The coop is where your chickens eat, sleep and lay their eggs. So why not keep your coop and provide extra protection? Think about it: There are tons of predators out there that want a piece of chicken from your coop like foxes, raccoons, weasels, and even your own dog. But it doesn’t stop there. You also have to worry about mother nature. Imagine waking up in the middle of a storm to find your chicken coop toppled over and your flock running all over the place getting wet. Now that would be horrible. Luckily: If you take the necessary steps beforehand, you can save yourself some time and money while still maintaining the level of security and protection that your chickens need. Let’s take a look at some of the steps you can take to keep your coop up to par while preventing predators from getting to your chickens.
Properly Caring For Your Coop
Planning ahead is the best way to keep up your coop. You need to make sure to keep your coop dry, secured to the ground and have added protection. Caring for your coop is not as complex as it seems. You just need to make time to care for your coop and apply these preventive measures:
Keep Your Coop Dry
Although your coop may come with a weatherproof coating, wear and tear from outside elements can eventually deteriorate your coops exterior. This can cause your coop to become vulnerable to rain. Nothing is more annoying than having a wet coop. If you don’t take care of this problem as soon as possible, you can run into situations like wet nesting boxes, wet chickens, mud bog coop, and moldy feed. And for those cold climate areas, your chickens may develop frostbite due to the excess moisture. Fortunately, there is hope: As a preventive measure, it’s recommended to apply a water sealant such as Thompson’s water seal clear multi-surface waterproofer, which you can find at Lowe’s for $54.50. This will help prevent any leaks from occurring.
Secure Your Coop Down
Many coop owners won’t think about this, but states that have high winds, such as Kansas and Nebraska, can become problematic for lightweight coops. Coops can actually be toppled over or even blown away. In hurricane states, heavier coops can have the same problem. If this happens, your chickens will have exposure to the outside elements and local predators. Yikes! Keep in mind: The best way to prevent your coop from being blown away is to secure it to the ground. For example, you can set four metal fence around the coop and anchored with thick gauged wires like the Hillman Group 9-gauge galvanized utility wire, which is found at Lowe’s for $9.98. There are many ways to strap your coop down. You just need to find the best solution for your type of coop. And by doing so, you can rest assure that your coop will stay in place during high winds.
Add Extra Predator Protection
Well, getting a coop is the first line of defense. What about the 2nd, 3rd and 4th line of defense? With the types of predators preying on your chickens, just having a coop will not cut it. Don’t get me wrong, having a coop is a safe place for your chickens to lay their eggs and roost at night. But: You still need some extra added protection, especially when your chickens are in the coop run: Raise the coop - One of the first things you should do once you have a coop is to raise it from the ground. This will deter snakes, rats, and skunks from living underneath the coop. Also deter them from stealing chick, young hens, and eggs. With that, be mindful of keeping your coop tight. You don’t want a snake or rat to squeeze in through a small crack or hole. Cover the coop run – You should at least have a part, if not all, of the coop run covered. This will offer protection from outside elements and aerial predators. You can do this by using welded-wire fencing – game-bird netting or chicken wire. Motion Sensor Lighting – This type of protection can help deter night predators, such as a raccoon, from attacking the coop. Simply add a solar-powered motion sensor light to your coop like an All-Pro 180-degree 2-head white solar-powered LED motion-activated flood light with timer, which goes for $79 at Lowe’s. Voilà, you have yourself some night protection.
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