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!
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.
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.