Ask a leader livestock, farming and gardening questions here

Discussions about how to grow your own food or raising livestock.
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Denob
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Ask a leader livestock, farming and gardening questions here

Post by Denob » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:56 pm

Feel free to ask livestock, farming and gardening related questions here.
One of our volunteer topic leaders will be happy to answer you.



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Denob
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Re: Ask a leader livestock, farming and gardening questions

Post by Denob » Sun May 25, 2014 10:24 pm

Here's a quick question about chicken coops.
I am building mine now and was wondering what size hardware cloth to use for the run...1" , 3/4" , 1/2" ?

MrsPrepwPets

Re: Ask a leader livestock, farming and gardening questions

Post by MrsPrepwPets » Mon May 26, 2014 12:45 am

The smallest you can afford if you'll have chicks - snakes have super powers, but 3/4 works well for the Moms. If the coop is one of the suspended designs (either up in the air or with lettuces/weeds grown under it to keep some of the chicken yard in controlled feed), a smaller mesh or overlapping a 1" mesh is easier on their feet.

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Denob
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Re: Ask a leader livestock, farming and gardening questions

Post by Denob » Mon May 26, 2014 2:57 pm

Geez, I hadn't thought about snakes!
We have a few living here, although they are just small garden snakes and feed on mice and small frogs.
I will be starting with chicks, but they will be in an indoor brooder until feathered out, so likely too big for our little snakes.
The coop will sit on the ground so a layer of hardware cloth on the bottom is a must to prevent predators from digging up and into the run.
Interestingly, the 1" and 3/4" are the same price, while the 1/2" is almost double.

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Re: Ask a leader livestock, farming and gardening questions

Post by MrsPrepwPets » Mon May 26, 2014 3:56 pm

We're from snake country, and periodically something has gotten in and then can't get out with an egg or chick in its gullet, or rattler will be looking around for pests and end up biting a bird that has spazzed. The teeny tiny rattlers seem to realize that the chickens, especially, seemed to KNOW they are a direct descendent of T-Rex and will go after them right back, so they tend to be real still and real selective about when they go hunting in the coop, but there were a couple of bigger guys along the way.

We try to save the little snakes and the lizards from the ducks, when we see them go into wolf mode, because they eat the pests. (Moms no longer runs chickens.) We do pay a lot of attention though, because the bedding and warmth attracts them in and under the coop, and tends to attract mice which then attract other predators.

She has to come up about 3' on the sides with the mesh in the main coop and in the back where there's airflow to the boxes, too, to try and keep raccoons and possums from reaching through to grab a wing or leg or head and pull it through. In the south, they'll wreck birds even if they can't get the whole thing out. The 3/4" diamonds/hexagons over a 2x4" rectangular link used for the rest of the coop worked pretty much perfectly for her.

I guess that's like the snakes and might be more of a location thing. If you don't have anything that will reach through when the idiots crowd into a corner, or dogs that do not live inside and will protect them at night, the larger link on its own is probably fine.

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Denob
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Re: Ask a leader livestock, farming and gardening questions

Post by Denob » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:21 pm

Something is trying to dig under my chicken coop...
HPIM2083.JPG
HPIM2083.JPG (2.83 MiB) Viewed 4175 times
Has anyone else seen this and know what I have to deal with?

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Re: Ask a leader livestock, farming and gardening questions

Post by farmgal » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:47 pm

need to make your photo smaller at almost 3 MIB, I can`t even download it to see it :)
http://livingmydreamlifeonthefarm.wordpress.com/

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Denob
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Re: Ask a leader livestock, farming and gardening questions

Post by Denob » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:56 pm

HPIM2083.JPG
HPIM2083.JPG (135.44 KiB) Viewed 4175 times
There's more info http://thepreparedcanadian.blogspot.com ... -coop.html

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Re: Ask a leader livestock, farming and gardening questions

Post by MrsPrepwPets » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:38 pm

D:
Got any footprints in the loosened soil?
They're hard to pick up in pics sometimes, so you can sometimes dust them with powdered sugar or flour to help them stand out (easier to see the depth and from that the shape).

Also, is the deep end of the hole toward the lower right of the picture, or is that my eyes?

Predators that both dig and try the fences tend to be dog, coyote, fox, raccoon or possum, not that that's overly helpful.
Delicate fence nibbling and lack of a deep hole strikes me as raccoon, but I don't really want to make that guess without a footprint and I can't tell what's depression and what's rock and what's just thinner soil even in the big pic.
Foxes will give wire tugs with teeth or claws, but will go down-down in their attempts to dig a lot of times. Could be it was just interrupted enough to stop for the night.
I'm not from a part of the world where I know what badger or wolverine livestock raiding attempts look like. Do you have those?

Since it's not afraid of the space, you can try marking the area with predator urine (cat or coyote, but not the ones for the females in heat) or lay a low electrified wire, or spend $150-250 on some electric bird net/fence (less if you have convertible supplies like posts, battery, connectors already).

Most U.S. counties or state game agencies will also let you get a live trap if you claim a raccoon problem. They let you sign it out for a week or so, it gets baited, you turn over the live critter and the trap. Anything like that there?
Note: Sometimes when you trap and relocate one, three more expand and fight over the territory for a while.

Good luck, boss man!

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Re: Ask a leader livestock, farming and gardening questions

Post by Denob » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:53 pm

The most likely in your list would be raccoon, as we do have plenty of them here. We also have fox, but I would expect a bigger hole to be dug for that.
I unfortunately disturbed the pile of soil before checking for footprints...it's right outside the back door, and you kind of step on it before you notice it.
It is likely that the security light chased him away before he got too far.
I'll be keeping watch this evening around dusk.

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