About time to move to coop. are you predator safe?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cupman, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. cupman

    cupman Songster

    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    This thread may be more predator/pest section than raising baby chicks but I feel it's that time of year where most chicks are going out into their coops and the big world. I'm a first time chicken owner and I just wanted to post a couple misconceptions I had before moving my girls out. I hope this stays in the baby chick section as I didn't really follow the sub forums until I got familiar with the chick raising forum.

    1) Raccoons are smart and strong. Fortify your entire coop, the run, everything. I had the deepest staples I could buy and the third night the raccoons pried them out and got into my run and killed my polish rooster. They are smart, they will circle your entire setup searching for weak points.

    2) Raccoons are persisstant. I lost one chicken on day three, my polish, and day four I went out there with a gun and sat there on my lap top studying for my college finals, I noticed activity and long story short I shot a raccoon out of the tree. If you lose a bird to a raccoon, they will be back the very next night... they are not the type to wipe out an entire flock.

    3) everywhere is a weakness. We only fortified our skirt at the bottom of our cage, they crawled up to the 3 foot mark and pried open the staples and wire, nearly had another bird but I lucked out and disrupted the attack.

    4) This isn't really about raccoons just advice.. I have these nails my dad bought from a roofer 10 years ago, they are ribbed nails with about a 1 sq inch head on them, good for pinning things(like wire) to a solid structure.

    5) put your girls away until they put themselves away.

    There is probably a bunch more to add, and I'm sure other members will mention it. But I am a first time chicken guy and I underestimated raccoons by a long shot. You need to understand they are very smart and fairly strong. Staples is not enough to stop them, I made that mistake and lost a bird. Staples are good secondary support but I strongly suggest getting nails to take care of it, whether it's the square headed nails or the U shaped nails. If you just use staples your birds will be susceptible. Also, when you move your birds out for the first week or whatever, make sure to go out in the twilight hours and force your birds to go into their coop. I lost my first bird cause it was sleeping too close to edge. the coon reached in and killed my bird, drug it through the gap in the fence.

    Be careful, I've learned to not underestimate raccoons.. go fort knox, It's better to go overkill than to wake up to a dead bird. I never understood the power of a raccoon, but you should build defense as though you were trying to keep a 12 year old human out.. they are tough. Good luck.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011

  2. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I lost some birds to predators. I put an electric fence around my birds. Once a critter touches the wire they don't come back for more. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

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