Chickens killed last night


10 Years
Jun 14, 2009
This morning we found our BLRW alone in the coop. Around her were the rest of our pullets (6), all dead. 2 were killed in the coop and the rest were killed in the run. All of their heads were bloody and some were half eaten. Our run is enclosed by a shed wall and a wooden privacy fence. We have hardware cloth buried around the bottom. We had deer netting over the top which was hanging down onto the coop itself. Therefore something climbed the privacy fence and went through the deer netting. We back up to an industrial park but do have some areas with lots of trees. Could this be raccoons? We will be fixing our coop. What can you use on top that is more durable than deer netting?? It would be hard to use hardware cloth on top for us. I'll try to post a picture of our coop. I just feel awful about the pullets and never want this to happen again. I should have locked them up in their coop every night. They've been fine for 7 months without any incidents. . .

Chickn chick 46

10 Years
May 22, 2009
I'm so sorry about your pullets
I have many times been horrified at myself
for forgetting to lock in the hens at night. It seems like you had a good strong defense against predators. We have chicken wire on top for hawks and birds of prey, but alas, locking them up tight in the coop at night is really the best defense for night time predators.

Sorry you lost your babies, don't beat yourself up too much, we all screw up


10 Years
Aug 2, 2009
Metro Atlanta
You might consider running a 2x2 rail around the perimeter of the top, then attaching rafters every 2 ft and stapling chicken wire over that. Or divide your coop in half and make the half that encloses the coop the most secure from top to bottom (maybe do that hardware cloth over the top of the coop section.)


11 Years
Nov 8, 2008
Portage County, Ohio
I'm really sorry for you that this happened. Practically speaking, I agree the net across the top of the run is about the best you can do for daytime. Covering a whole run tight enough to keep coons, possums and the numerous other nighttime varmints out would be very expensive and very labor intensive.

Make sure there's hardware cloth or solid doors across any openings of your coop, and make sure it's fastened tight, because raccoons are quite strong and can rip staples right out. Make sure the door latches tight, and it's fastened every night. Also, be sure that the hasp or however you latch it is something that say a 2 or 3 year old couldn't open if they were determined. That's about the dexterity and intelligence a raccoon is said to have.


11 Years
Apr 14, 2008
North of Nashville
Chickens always need to be put up in a coop/house at night. Racoons are very smart, excellent climbers and can get in most pens easily. A hot wire around the outside of your pen might be a deterrent however a racoon can drop from trees into a yard. I have sheet metal around the base of all the trees next to my run! The main thing is to lock the chickens inside at dusk.

Sorry for your loss. It only takes one time. I know about that too unfortunately.


Muddy Acre Farms
10 Years
Sep 20, 2009
Pride, La.
You could use either chicken wire or hardware cloth over the top!! Staple from your fence to your building and use zip ties to connect them together where they overlap.

We used chicken wire and didn't have anything to nail it to on the top so we used zip ties to connect the wire together worked out perfect!!

Good Luck!!


On Vacation
10 Years
Aug 30, 2009
Hartville OH
We can relate. We just lost our NHR Roo last night. We said for months we were going to lock them in at night. The NHR liked to sleep at the opening with his butt hanging out. We thought it was cute. I am currently looking for a new NHR roo and we are definitely locking the rest in at night!! Unfortunately, lesson learned.

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