Thursday, March 22, 2018

New Chicken Coop Improvements

After losing our two hens last month a million thoughts raced through my head on what to do to protect my two remaining girls and keep them safe inside their home.  I had even designed an actual hen house that would be the Fort Knox of all hen houses, but once I went and priced out the lumber it looked to be a pretty expensive build.  Not practical and definitely not in the budget.  So what to do?

Even the cat got involved

After the initial clean up I had not been back out to the coop.  A week ago Sunday I finally ventured in there to survey our current set up and see where I could improve.  Honestly, there wasn't much improvement to be made, but I could see where one improvement would provide a way to increase security.

I felt bad having to remove the plum tree

It does give us more room to move around and
will make it easier for us to get inside and clean

I had found where the little bastard raccoon had made his way into the pen area of the coop.  He had pried up the mesh from the edge behind the plum tree.  And while I love the plum tree for the shade it provides my girls in the summer it was difficult to secure the mesh around it and keep critters out.  It was our main point of weakness and the raccoon had found it.  I made the decision to remove the tree.

Two layers of wire & furring strips screwed down over the edges
In the summer we can add shade cloth

Once that was done I removed the mesh from over the pen area and started over.  This time I put two layers of wire mesh over the top of the pen area and used a gob of staples to attach it down.  Then I used furring strips and screws all along the entire perimeter to secure the edges.  That little ba raccoon is going to have to really work hard to pry up the mesh along the edges now.  And he better bring a screwdriver!

Helper #1

Helper #2

I decided not to take any chances and I put cedar strips across the bottom of the pen and added extra staples to all the mesh.  I also reinforced the top and bottom of the door, just in case.  Call me paranoid....  because I am.

We are a family of nuts!

I decided now was as good a time as any to rebuild the back door of the coop.  It was on the project list for this spring anyway.  When I went to Home Depot to get more wire mesh and the furring strips I bought new hinges.  It matches the hardware on our gate a little bit.

We're home!

I spruced up the inside and refilled their feeders.  Now the girls were ready to move back in and I do think they were pretty much ready to go home.  So far, so good.  I'm praying I haven't missed anything and they'll remain safe.


  1. So glad the Edith and Rosemary are going to be safe! And I love the photo of you and your daughter--hilarious! Don't mess with a woman who knows how to use power tools, you nasty little raccoons!

  2. Attagirl! This looks like it will work.
    Now all you need are a few more chicks, to start the process all over again. Your current ladies are getting a little old. (Smack my face for daring to mention this.)

    1. Shame on you! LOL. Pretty sad when 3 years old is considered getting up there, huh? They are still laying though.

  3. YOu and your cute helpers did an awesome job on that coup! We refer to raccoons as "raccoons from hell" after one attacked our old dog and later another one decided to have babies under our porch and then come up on the porch at night and eat the god's food. We had to relocate that whole lot of them.

    1. Deceptively cute and a big pain in the butt! They probably don't think much of us either. Ha!

  4. Beautiful new coop! I love these photos. :)

    1. Thank you Emily. We are a bunch of goofballs sometimes. :)

  5. If the raccoons want in, double chicken wire will not stop them. They will even rip out solid boards. one-half inch wire fabric cloth (WBG) will do the job, just use large staples. The owl will frighten them away until they get used to it, so move it around. That is one beautiful chicken in the top picture.

    1. Well, I'm hopeful my improvements will be solid enough. We inspect daily and I'm working on a trap with US Wildlife. Edith is a real sweetheart. Thank you.


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