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Lion-Proof Small Livestock Mobile Enclosure

Pen Assembly Instructions


Designed by the Mountain Lion Foundation to provide livestock owners an affordable means of predator-friendly animal husbandry.



Lions and Livestock Losses


Unlike wild animals, most livestock do not have the skills to protect themselves.  Thousands of years of breeding have made domestic animals dependent on people for protection.  In the United States, livestock owners have traditionally turned to government agencies to kill wildlife which threaten livestock production.  However, statistics show that even when lions are killed on the same property year after year, livestock losses continue.


Young, inexperienced lions that are more likely to prey on livestock move into vacant territories and continue the cycle of killing and being killed.  Where older lions are skilled in taking their preferred prey  -  deer  -  livestock kills are less likely to occur.  Some ranchers say that the best protection they have from mountain lions is an older, more experienced male lion established somewhere on the ranch.


Even completely eliminating lions from a geographic region will not prevent depredation.  If there are no lions to live in the territory, other predators, particularly coyotes, will fill the space.  Killing a lion for preying on livestock does not reverse or compensate the livestock loss, nor does it prevent future losses. Hundreds of taxpayer dollars are spent to kill each and every lion.  The only real solution is to prevent livestock depredation by creating safe shelters for domestic animals.



Tools List


1.  Bolt cutters

2.  Sledge Hammer

3.  Pliers

4.  Wire cutters

5.  Drill with 1/4" bit


Materials List


1.  One 10' x 20' Moto-Shade(tm) Multi-Purpose Canopy kit or equivalent

2.  One prefabricated chain link 36" gate

3.  One 6' chain link post

4.  Two self-closing chain link gate hinges

5.  One chain link gate clasping closure

6.  Three Rolls of 50' x 6' 111/2 gauge chain link fencing

7.  One 100' roll of 9 gauge galvanized tension wire

8.  Seven 4' t-posts

9.  Eighteen 21/2" hose clamps

10.  One 5lb spool of rebar tie wire

11.  Chicken wire

12.  Ten eye-bolt/turn buckle units, each unit consisting of:

One 1/4" x 4" Eyebolt

One 1/4" turnbuckle

Two 1/4" nuts

Two 1/4" washers

One 1/8" u-clamp


Enclosure Assembly Instructions


  1. Select a level area 10 feet by 20 feet for assembly and placement of the enclosure.

  2. Assemble the roof frame of the multi-purpose canopy kit according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  3. Measure half the length of the gable ends of the roof frame and drill 1/4" holes for the eyebolts

  4. Insert eyebolts, with a washer on each side of the pole, making sure the "eye" of the eyebolt is on the inside of the frame, and secure it with a bolt.

  5. Attach the turnbuckle to the eyebolt by twisting the eye open with pliers, slipping the turnbuckle on, and twisting it closed again.

  6. Attach the tension wire to the turnbuckle using the u-clamp.

  7. Once the eyebolt/turnbuckle is in place at each end and connected to the tension wire, tighten the turnbuckles until the wire is taut.

  8. Lay the chain link across the length of the roof on each side and attach it to the frame and tension wires with the rebar tie wire. Allow for one foot over hang on each 20' side, unless placing posts in the ground. If you do this run another row down the center of the canopy to completely cover roof with chain link.

  9. Loosely attach a 10' length of chain link or chicken wire/poultry netting across the front and rear gable ends and use the bolt/wire cutters to cut it to size, leaving enough wire to bend down and close any open links.  Remove the excess. Tip: Double layer the chicken wire for more security.

  10. Attach the plastic sun-shade or tarp.

  11. Lift the roof and insert the legs. This works best with six people, one at each leg.

  12. Using the sledgehammer, pound the six 4 foot t-posts into the ground right next to the frame legs and use the hose clamps to strap them tightly together.

  13. Attach the chain link over hang to the canopy legs using hose clamps, near the bottom edge of the chain link.

  14. Attach gate to middle post using standard self-closing hinges for a chain link gate. Place a 6' chain link post opposite the door and stick in place with 4' t-post.

  15. Attach gate closure to gate and new post.

  16. Drill 1/4" holes at the bottom of each leg and install the eyebolt/turnbuckle units and tension wire. On the two rear-most legs you will have to drill two holes and install two eyebolt/turnbuckle units, one connected to the side tension wire, another for the rear tension wire about an inch above the first.

  17. Make sure the eyebolt/turnbuckle units and tension wires are attached and tightened at the bottom of both sides and at the top and bottom of the rear.

  18. Begin attaching the chain link to the multi-purpose canopy kit frame, keeping the top of the chain link even with the over hanging chain link. Start at the front corner and work toward the back, then around the back and toward the front again. Use the bolt cutters to trim the bottom of the chain link to fit the terrain and bend around the corners. Note that each roll ends with an "open" link. This can be removed by twisting it and pulling it out the top, then place the beginning of the new roll so it overlaps the end of the old roll and reinsert the "open" link to splice the two rolls together.

  19. Look over the entire structure and make sure the chain link is securely attached in all places and use more rebar tie wire where necessary.

  20. If the ground is not level where you have placed the enclosure, or if you intend to move it frequently, you may secure chain link across the floor of the enclosure. Attach it to the sides of the enclosure to prevent domestic animals from escaping, and to prevent digging animals like coyotes from entering.  Chain link can also be extended outward from the bottom of the pen and buried to create an "apron" to prevent coyotes and other animals from digging under.  

























After you have completed your pen, please send photos and comments to MLF.  We would love to hear your story and any suggestions you can offer to help other people assembling their pens.



Download a printable brochure of these instructions.



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