ok, well we've had a bit of excitement for tonight... went out to put up the 'delinquents'. my gold neck d'uccle pair WILL NOT go to bed in the coop but prefer to hang out on top of the mille cochin pen. EVERY NIGHT! well, tonight hubby shined his little flashlight that general direction and were were met with about 4 pairs of eyes WAY too far apart to be chickens. i went back in for the big flashlight, he went in for the .22
tally for the night:
humans: 1 momma and 4 baby raccoons
raccoons: terminal lead poisoning and 0 chickens.
2 of the babies were in my baby pen (chicks who just started free ranging). cute picture but it'll give me nightmares. both babies were on the roost with my barred rock and 2 oegb pullets, trying to figure out how to get out. we gave them the 'way out'... momma was on top of the big pen trying to make a hole, the other 2 babies were in the horse trailer (coop) with my big birds.
*attention raccoon lovers* don't whine to me. they're in my coop and don't belong there, they're dead. end of story.
all i can say is thank god the dogs are good at alerting me of problems. i don't shut the coops until i'm ready for bed, and both of them were trying to go into the baby coop after the coons... LOTS of obedience training comes to play when you've got 'easy prey' and a gun aimed at the prey, and you tell the dogs 'here! down! stay!" and they do.