raccoon-proof chicken tractor?

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Okay, the plans are on paper and my son is going to get it built, and I've found a guy who will let me order just a few chickens. Problem is, I've put a LOT of new dirt down, and I'm noticing tracks. I'm no expert, but I know what the cats' tracks look like, and the dog's, so I'm thinking it's a raccoon. (I'll google or check with our extension agent to make sure.) So, the question is will regular old chicken wire on the tractor be enough to keep them away from the chickens? Or do I need something stronger/denser?

(Nadine) Devers, TX(Zone 9b)

Racoons can tear into a chicken cage made with 1 inch chicken wire.. I had one that did it and even open the latch that I had on there..Luck would have it that I had no chickens in there..I had my puppy's food bowl in there...lol...So now I use 1/2 inch hardware cloth with spring latches on all my coops that I make.Plus the racoons can stick their hands inside the plain old chicken wire and pull out whatever they grab...

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

The man I purchased my chicks from highly suggested 1/2 inch wire. So, I am going to use that knowledge. I know there is a skunk in the neighborhood and I don't want it getting my little ones.

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Exactly what I needed to know. I suspected as much. Hadn't thought about the spring latches -- I know they're pretty nimble-fingered. Thanks, Moodene.

nivlac, send pics when you get your coop or tractor built.

Edited to ask -- Moodene, do you have a tractor, or just the coops? I'm wanting mobility so I'm planning a tractor.

This message was edited Sep 7, 2006 2:29 PM

(Nadine) Devers, TX(Zone 9b)

My coops are up off the ground but I can put the wheels on them to move them around...Right now they are inside the backyard until I get my hoopstyle chicken house built.

Antrim, NH

I think you'll want to go with something really sturdy, for your own peace of mind! THa way you won't have to worry. I have heard of raccoons sticking their paws in and pulling chickens to the wire, then killing them and eating what they could through the wire. Yuck! Smaller holes are probably better.

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

(suppressing a shudder) -- Makes me want to just keep them inside, but don't believe I'll go that far. I'll check for the densest wire I can find that would be reasonable for the project.

Thanks for the input.

Shenandoah Valley, VA(Zone 6b)

My friend in raccoon country uses the hardware cloth (he made the "mother earth news" tractor) and has had no problem. As long as the chickens can retreat to an area that is solidly covered (wood planks, for example) two raccoons can't work together to make the chickens huddle against the wire.

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Gotcha. With a solid retreat, hardware cloth, and spring latches, I should be able to keep them OK.

I love this site. How long would it take to get this kind of input without it?

Shenandoah Valley, VA(Zone 6b)

More like, how many poor chickens would disappear before...

I'm grateful for DG too.

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

No kidding - when you're talking about trial and error with living things, it's much nicer to be able to turn to more experienced people than just "take a stab" at it!

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Solid retreat? got it it is on the list.
I too love DG. I have n't started the coop yet..hehee... we are enjoying them 3 week old little ones too much right now so inside they will stay. I'm not cleaning up that much so I think mama is willing to put me outside than the chicks. lol

I got some wood and wire cloth so now I need to start researching coop and tractor plans or pictures. I just love haveing the litle ones and watching them grow. I really like hearing them talking while I am meandering around the house.


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