Originally Posted by TerryH
We built a door exactly like this one on an old coop/tractor we're fixing to put pullets in a few weeks from now. Our place sits right on the edge of a gorgeous vast brackish marsh that reaches all the way from my backyard to the Gulf of Mexico. We trapped 4 adult coons, 2 large boars and 2 younger ones. We put them in the run. We baited inside the coop with some fish guts. We waited a full day while they tried furiously to get in the pop door and everywhere else on the coop. They also tried maniacally to get out of the run that had hardware cloth laid along the ground about 2 feet inside the run. On day two, we opened the pop door and allowed them in the coop. They ate everything in there and drank like drunken sailors.
We scared them back into the run, closed the door again. Now, they knew how the door opened and that there was food in the coop. Two days no food no water. They worked themselves to a frazzle and couldn't manipulate the door mechanism! So much for the genius of coons. We will try different doors on our other coops as we slowly upgrade them. The door on this coop is not yet automated. We will add electric door openers as finances allow. Right now we are focusing on keeping the coops secure, cool and bug free in anticipation of the brutal cauldron-like summers we have here.
We know full well how smart coons are. We have had to trap and kill many to protect ours and our neighbor's chickens! But, to equate their prowess with that of humans is taking it a little too far. It get's tiresome to constantly see people's good ideas shot down with opinions based on no experience. We are located in a place with a crazy abundance of coons and possums. We will have the opportunity to catch "test subjects" at will, practically in our backyards.
The grandkids wanted to keep the coons. They think the coons are hilarious! They really are fascinating animals. Even the daughter's-in-law were amazed at these crafty suckers.