In our area we have mice, voles, wolves, coyotes, skunks, raccoons, squirrels, and hawks. . I'm hoping someone can comment on our coop security needs... did we miss anything?
Our coop is raised two feet off the ground on a trailer bed, clad with roofing steel on the outside, with insulated plywood walls inside, the windows are screened with 1/2" hardware cloth. I've searched high and low for any openings, it seems very secure. The coop has an automatic door with a ramp into a covered run, roofed with more of the recycled barn steel, and screened with 1/2" hardware cloth. I've made a skirt of chicken wire around the run, secured with long fence staples.
The run opens into a 12' x 40' gated chicken yard, which we've fenced with 4" hardware cloth. The chicken yard is set tight against the treeline and surrounded by trees on all sides, to deter hawks. The idea is that we will leave the gate to the sheltered run open during the day, to give the chooks free range of the larger yard, and they can use the smaller run as needed for shade/ rain and snow cover.
There is a lively debate in my home about the need to run a chicken wire skirt around the whole chicken yard, to use 1/2" hardware cloth to close up the gaps in the lower part of the whole fence (to keep mice and little raccoon hands out), and/or to run wires along the top of the yard as extra protection to the hawks. Do these measures seem like overkill, with the rest of the coop and run secured?