This morning I went to my new coop to feed the girls. I have one large 20x30 coop (used to be a run in shed) divided for my large fowl and bantams and an attached run 30x30 divided as well. We covered the entire run including the top and dug not only a foot down but a foot or so out and buried both wire and plastic boards to deter anything digging in around the entire run. I currently have 10 large fowl with another 6 in a sectioned off brooder and 3 bantams with another 6 in a secured brooder within their area. Sadly a cat found a breech in the wire and ripped apart two of my bantams, the third is gone – just gone, no feathers or carcass….gone! The struggle started inside the coop and ended in the run. The horror the other girls/chicks saw and heard must have been incredible. I’m sick over it. I know I let them down in the worst way. How do I know it was a cat? The breech in the wire on the top was just large enough for a cat and I had to search high and low for the breech as it wasn’t obvious, nothing else was disturbed and oh, as I was walking the perimeter for signs of digging I saw the little @#% sitting in the brush staring at me. If I had a shovel close by the cat would have met its maker!
My hubby fixed the breech and made sure there were no other concerns. Not the way you want to start the morning. I will be installing doors to the coop and closing them at night. They did not have doors on their old coop which was less secure than the new one and nothing ever entered. Aside from guard dogs (I have three dogs but they do not live outside overnight) is there anything else that would deter a cat? The coop/run are bordered on two sides by my neighbors horses, donkeys and a steer. I’ve heard guinea hens or toms may help. Your thoughts are appreciated.