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Damage to coop by raccoon - Need suggestions

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by HappyMo, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. HappyMo

    HappyMo In the Brooder

    Jun 29, 2009
    Hello fellow BYC Forum folks!

    Our girls (10 happy chickens) have lived in the coop my husband built ("Cluckingham Palace") since July 2009.
    Last night (12/17/09) we suspect a raccoon stood on the roof of the nest boxes and tore off part of the rubber sheet that keeps rain out of them. [​IMG]
    The nest boxes stick out from the building:



    Here's the nest boxes from inside:


    We put the rubber gasket on to keep the elements out of the nest boxes since we get plenty of percipitation (we're between Enumclaw & Auburn WA). We had thought about metal, but since we open the nest box lid AT LEAST once per day, we figured that would break off eventually. I worry that any kind of insulation jammed in from the inside would be pecked at and/or eaten...

    Does anyone have some construction ideas to help with this?

    The run is like Fort Knox and the windows/doors etc. are secure. I'm not as concerned about the animals getting in as I am about keeping the weather out - ESPECIALLY out of the cozy nest boxes.

    Any construction suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    aka Happy Mo

  2. Daidohead

    Daidohead Songster

    Nov 6, 2009
    Red Bluff, Ca
    I had the same problem trying to seal the hinged area. Eventually I made the top of the nesting box solid and made the back wall of the nesting boxes my access door. works great.
  3. gsim

    gsim Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Quite possible to make what would look like a steeply sloping windowsill that would sit maybe a foot above the lid with an eye for a hook to connect to when gathering eggs. [​IMG] A roof extension would be way too much work now. Another thing is to electrify the coop and pen to teach preds that it is not pleasant in your back yard. The rubber is very necessary unless the roof has a really huge overhang. Some do that to make rainy day egg gathering less of a chore.

    I electrified a 2,000 sq ft pen that way with 4 courses of hotwire all around. Coop sits entirely inside of pen. No losses yet.

    BTW, is the window covered with chicken wire open to the pen or to the area outside of the pen?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  4. LAMchop

    LAMchop Chirping

    Nov 24, 2009
    SW VA
    Just wanted to say I LOVE your nest box curtains. Too cute! [​IMG]
  5. HappyMo

    HappyMo In the Brooder

    Jun 29, 2009
    Thanks to everyone - the suggestions are very helpful.

    To GSIM: Thanks - we were also thinking along the lines of the slanted windowsill idea. Maybe with some "L" shaped flashing...
    I'm also leaning towards electrifying the works, but my hubby isn't.
    In the photo you asked about, the chicken wire to the left of the nest boxes is a wall that separates the coop in half so the girls can't get into "my half" where the food and cleaning gear is stored. My half is the front portion of the coop.

    Here's a pic of the coop sort of from the front with the run gate open:

    When I'm home I let the girls free range - we have 2 fenced acres. When we're gone, they're locked in "Fort Knox".

    Here's Patsy going in their door:

    At night the run gate, chicken hatch door, and front door are all shut and secured. The front windows are screwed shut for the winter and during the summer are only open during the day.

    To Daidohead: Thanks for the secure the top idea. I really like that idea, but my husband thinks he wants to try something else first. I have a feeling we'd be better off to just secure the top as you did, but I've put him in charge of all construction...

    To LAMchop: I really enjoyed making the curtains. I even sewed them by hand instead of on the machine just to stitch in some extra love. I could've just tacked up some burlap, but figure I have to look at it every day and wanted something pretty. Thanks for commenting on them since "the girls" haven't seemed to notice! [​IMG]

    Thanks again everyone - I don't know what in the world I'd do without the BYC Forum!!!!

    Have wonderful day,
    HappyMo [​IMG]

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