OK, so the debutantes were moved from the garage into their new digs.......and all is well......or was, until I screwed up. Not realizing what the consequences would be, as I was re-filling their feeder, I decided to dump the small amount of old feed left in the bottom onto my garden compost pile, which is adjacent to the chicken house. Within 15 hours, I had managed to attract a skunk and a raccoon to the compost pile to munch on the left over feed.......and in doing so, the raccoon also took notice of the birds hanging out inside.
So far, this appears to be the one and only visit the raccoon has made. But enough to convince me its time to order that Duke dog/cat proof raccoon trap and have it ready. If he comes back, he will be dealt with. Reminds me of our Scout trek to Philmont Scout Ranch and the saying they had down there about bears. "A fed bear is a dead bear". Once fed, they will keep coming back, so eventually, it will have to be killed, and since you fed it, you killed it. Fine for killing a bear in NM was $500. Or at least that was what they told us, so we were pretty careful not to feed any bears!!!!
Now wondering how many predator problems are our own fault. Are we doing anything to attract them or otherwise bait them in, where they then discover live birds that taste just like chicken?
Also, I know all this because I have a trail camera set up and aimed at the open front. So I am able to monitor what goes on out there in the dark. Have, but have also not installed a motion sensor, so not only will I know what is going on, I'll know when. For those wondering what is getting your birds, this is your answer. Install a trail camera.
Cat is one of three that came with the new place. Hard to say they are mine.......but they live in the barn and I feed them.
Among other things, chicken house was built to repel boarders. So far, it is holding.