The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

StarPlate chicken coop vent holes

securing vent holes with hardware wire

The high demands of the summer garden slowed down for just a minute today allowing me to do some work on the Star Plate chicken coop.

We decided to leave a vent hole towards the top of three of the walls.

I attached hardware cloth with drywall screws and washers to keep out predators.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Are you planning to do anything around the bottom to keep predators out? I've heard that foxes and coyotes will dig under the walls to get in, but if you put an L-shaped piece of the hardware cloth along the bottom that extends a foot from the base of the coop, it will keep them out. Apparently they can't figure out that they can back up a foot and dig under, and give up after trying to dig unsuccessfully right at the base of the wall.

Then again, I can't remember what the inside floor of the StarPlate coop will look like, so maybe you don't need anything around the base.

Comment by Jake Thu Jun 13 20:59:00 2013

Jake --- Good point. We don't really worry over large predators digging in because Lucy is our primary anti-predator method. While we have had a raccoon in the coop a few times, as soon as our good dog hears the ruckus, she runs over and scares predators away.

So our primary goal with the predator protection is to keep out the small, insidious predators of chicks --- snakes and rats. For that, the goal is just to chink up all the tiny holes, with no big worries about digging.

Of course, Lucy is getting older, so we may wish we'd planned ahead for keeping out larger predators....

Comment by anna Fri Jun 14 07:26:42 2013

Oh I'm sure trying the L shaped hard wire. We just extended our run and I have been dreading digging down a foot. I just love this blog and all the extremely helpful comments.

Comment by Donna Fri Jun 14 10:10:05 2013

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