Can't be complacent too long...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mandelyn, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2009
    Goshen, OH
    Last couple of nights I wasn't locking the birds up since we haven't seen any action. Besides, the runs are pretty tight, the building is metal, and all my neighbors' fences buffer my yard with our own fence too, we're totally enclosed by other people's yards.

    Today I was sitting down for a break, and notice mud on the middle bar of the duck run. Really? How did mud get up there? Wait, it goes to the top too! Huh.

    Upon further inspection, I see a mud swipe made by fur. Couple of... hand prints. Those aren't from kitty-cat paws, those are coon marks! A big and apparently very hairy coon played in the mud puddles and then climbed all over my duck run. I had noticed by a lack of poop indoors, so the ducks have been opting to sleep outside. No more!

    All wire was intact, but you could see where the run had been thoroughly inspected. We used small size welded wire, being cautious. Glad we did! The coons are watching after all. Wish I had a game cam to see if it really tried or decided against it and went for trash cans instead. Our trash cans have never been hit so I was thinking we didn't have coons that bad.

    The coons 2 miles away at my dad's house are vicious, I've lost birds to them growing up. Once a mother even brought her kits INSIDE THE HOUSE, breaking in through the screen door, to score some dog food.

    The ducks didn't put up a fight going to bed tonight even with a week off from routine. They marched right in this evening. Perhaps a coon pawing around outside made them decide bedtime wasn't such a bad idea after all.

    I was even super paranoid and put the pop door latches inside the coop, so yeah I have to enter both sides to lock them up, but if a coon does break into the run, he'll meet nothing but a solid face of wood and no latch to tinker with. So long as I go out there and lock it.

    Thanks Mr Coon, for reminding me that you exist and climb fences too. Two series of fences, at that.
     
  2. lindalue

    lindalue Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2011
    We also have a coon problem..they destroyed my strawberrie patch I had covered and all my containers on my porch where I was doing a salad garden..we bought nite guard solar lights before putting our chickens in the outside coop..so far no signs of the little buggers.not sure if this is going to last but so far so good....
     
  3. bburn

    bburn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    We lost three hens, one a broody and that seems worse, this spring to three racoons.

    Traps were set.

    Three coons and on possum later.....I still have the traps set and change out the bait once in a while. It is a horrible feeling to go out and realize what you thought was secure was not. In my case, my DH and I had argued about security and turns out I was correct....now he says do whatever you have to do to keep them secure....you see, the broody hen was his!
     
  4. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2009
    Goshen, OH
    When we were building my husband kept asking "Are you sure it needs to be this way? Seems a bit much for chickens"... Babe, it's not for the chickens and keeping them in, it's to keep everything else out! You have no idea how strong a coon is!

    He should be happy we don't have bear. I would have built them a bunker.

    Glad I didn't lose any, but that was too close for comfort!
     

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