Originally Posted by NathanielJS
okay. I rarely close it, and there are only six of them in the roomy shed, so I thought it was fine.
And, 11 years without a problem? Hard for complacency not to set in (most of those chickeneers in more rural landscapes only start to become confident before getting brought up short after a year, or so).
Call around and see if some local hardware store can direct you to a fencing supply company that will sell hardware cloth/1"x 2" welded wire fencing by the foot (won't have to eat cost of entire roll). If the coons get to the inner coop (with the hole in it) they can reach through - chooks will often panic and beat themselves to death even if coon can't actually grab them. Also, urban raccoons will adjust their schedules, on the fly, in order to get the meat (high noon!).
See if the local humane society will rent some live traps to you "gee, I'd like to catch that poor cat and bring it in to be spayed..." and, once you catch the offenders - well, out to the Pine Barrens with them (so to speak).
Put a cheapo baby monitor out with the chooks, as well. Lots of growling/whining? Go out slingshot the raccoons - that should hold them off for a day longer.