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Mystery - predator or animal burglar?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
We have a coop with an 11ft like big enclosure I snide of a larger fenced area for our chickens. When we are away for any length of time we lock the chickens into the inner enclosure. We returned home yesterday to find the outside door at the end of the enclosure kicked in - both hinges broken - and all three chickens were out running around in our yard. Their water was tipped over and empty. They still had some food left.

It appears that something rammed or know caked in the door, as the hardware cloth was pushed in (not broken). We can't figure out what did it. It would require a great deal of force to bread that door down and we're not sure if a coyote or raccoon could have done it. That, and the fact that the chickens had been wandering around outside unbothered makes us think it wasn't a traditional predator.

We're wondering if one of the fearless local deer might have tried to kick in the door to get to the feed - has that happened to any of you? We found some fibrous material stuck in the wire - seemed too brittle to be fur. Maybe from a hoof?

Anyway, it's a mystery. There are a lot of chickens in our area and we're not aware of any recent coyote attacks. What might it have been?
post #2 of 6

:welcome  Where are you located?  Are there bears in your area?

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Good thought. Hmm. There are bears up in the hills, but we've never heard of any coming down into our area. A cougar has also been spotted, but I think a cougar or bear probably would have done more damage. Note: the chicken feed wasn't eaten and the chickens weren't harmed and had probably been running loose around the property for a couple of hours.

Might a deer accidentally run into a coop? It's located in a spot where deer used to pass through a lot...
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
PS - sorry for the type-os. Combo of finger typing and bad autocorrect. 🙄
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
We are thinking it was probably a deer. A neighbor had a deer knock his fence down wile on the run...
post #6 of 6
I think you're probably right. I have had deer run through my backyard in the past and knock down pretty good sized bushes(before we had our fence). We had an arbor in the front yard that was made from rebar and pretty darn strong. I saw a deer run into it and almost get tangled up. But it managed to run off and when it did the bottom rebar was bent. A deer on a headlong run can pack a punch. Think of the damage when they hit the side of a car.
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