Window Wells and Wildlife

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Old 08-03-17, 07:30 PM
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Window Wells and Wildlife

Hi,

I've got some unusually enormous window wells and wildlife keep falling into them. Usually I elevator them out with a snow shovel, but had to climb in with gloves to get a panicked baby bunny out last week. Listening to a frog throw itself against the window even now. Frogs are the hardest to get out because they hide at the bottom and camouflage so well. The neighbor's cat also keeps chasing stuff into there and it's really pitiful to listen to her toy with it. I'd like to give the critters a way out.

The wells are far too big for covers that would fit into my (very limited) budget, so I thought I'd run to the hardware store and pick up something to make ramps from. I want to make sure I do it right, though, so a few questions:

- Is there any particular material you would recommend?
- Is there anything I need to consider when building the ramp (non-skid, placement, etc?)
- What range of angles should I be looking at? Do you think the wildlife will realize there's a ramp there?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 08-03-17, 08:32 PM
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What about some heavy duty screening on chicken wire just to cover it? Forget about a ramp.
 
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Old 08-03-17, 08:54 PM
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That would make the most sense, right? Unfortunately landlord's not on board. I'm allowed to put something there as long as it doesn't cover it and I don't bolt it in.

I've tested some shorter planks and they're pretty sturdy, but I don't know what angle the animals need, whether I should put some tread on it, etc. I know ramps are pretty standard for pools, troughs, and tanks, and this is theoretically pretty similar--just dry, so the angle's different.
 
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Old 08-03-17, 11:03 PM
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A piece of rough-sawn fencing about six or eight inches wide should be fine. Leave it long enough to keep the angle less than forty-five degrees if at all possible.
 
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Old 08-04-17, 04:09 AM
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Frogs are gonna be a problem no matter what. Baby rabbits as well. They'll just sit there or try to leap towards the sky. Other walking/crawling type things should get out via ramp.

Might try to scrounge or build sort of a terraced 1/2 pyramid so they just go a few inches at a time? How deep is it?
 
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Old 08-04-17, 04:27 AM
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Couldn't you just set a pressure treated wood frame over the top with hardward cloth stapled to the wood?
 
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Old 08-04-17, 05:41 AM
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You didn't mention a landlord until now. I'd let him rescue the animals. Every time that an animal falls in the well, call him.
 
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Old 08-04-17, 08:39 AM
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It sounds like the window well is for an egress window. If so, landlord is just following code; it's a life safety thing. I wonder if you could put a 1x10 board on edge around the window well. Might not jump over board
 
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Old 08-05-17, 05:18 PM
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Even if they are egress window wells code allows a screen to be laid over the top of them as long as it's not bolted or locked in place. It's no different than having to open the window. You could just push it out of the way if you did have to escape through the window. And somebody mentioned earlier chicken wire would be perfect for the issue of the frame could be very lightweight. I don't think the landlord could Object to that.
 
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Old 08-06-17, 12:36 AM
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Thank you!

OH a little fence is a fantastic idea! I can get a cheap plastic one at home depot and put it in the mulch around the window and they won't blindly fall in. Should reduce most if not all issues. BRILLIANT

Thanks everyone! These were all awesome suggestions for a thorny issue.
 
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