Devastated and request for help

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by afairleigh, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. afairleigh

    afairleigh Hatching

    Jul 30, 2013
    My birthday was in July and I got a chicken coop which I excitedly assembled with my husband, James. We purchased 2 chickens at Callahan's last Saturday and were SO excited to get started (our kids helped pick them out and take care of them) Our beautiful chickens free ranged in our backyard during the day and began to learn their chicken coop and were locked up every night. One of the chickens began to lay eggs, which we so graciously ate for breakfast. We thought we critter proofed our coop by placing bricks anchored down by bungee cords on top around every levered door, locked up the coop at night with a nice lock and wire and Wednesday morning I went out in the morning to feed them and let them out, they were slaughtered by a curious raccoon. One was still alive which I had to have euthanized and I can't quit crying over all of this. Turns out the raccoon pushed up a board from the bottom of the house where they lay eggs and got in that way.
    If anyone is willing to offer input to how we can make our chicken coop predator proof, I sure could use the input as I certainly didn't intend for this to happen to our beautiful chickens and I don't want to ever repeat this process.
    I'm wanting to get started in the next month. If anyone is moving soon and needs to pass along egg laying hens I'd love the opportunity to care for them once our coop is proofed. I am so sorry these poor chickens had to learn from our mistake and we would have never thought to secure the board on the underneath part of the coop but now we will. We will most likely build a big cage/coop with a enclosed ceiling and put the coop inside of that and still let them free range during the day.
    If anyone has any left over coop wire or can recommend coop wire, any and all suggestions are appreciated.
    Thanks and I'm so excited to find this support online!
  2. you can an electric fencer pretty cheap (watch sales) and string 3 wires about 2 inches apart starting 2 inches from the ground around the perimeter. Works for us anyway.
  3. TheSpeckledRoo

    TheSpeckledRoo Chirping

    Dec 10, 2012
    Hello, welcome to BYC!!!

    Can you send a picture of your coup?

    My coup is elevated off the ground, maybe consider something like that?

    Where are you from?
  4. JanetS

    JanetS Songster

    Jun 22, 2012
    So sorry for you loss. Can you post a picture?
    This is our coop. We used 1/2" hardware cloth on the run, windows, and vents. We also buried 12" patio stones sideways in the ground all around the coop and run to stop digging predators.
  5. coop-er

    coop-er Songster

    Nov 28, 2012
    Wow... I love this coop-did you design it yourself or come across some plans? I too, will be looking to upgrade after losing 80% of my flock to a fox....-time spent free-ranging will be minimized for my next group of girls- thanks for sharing this.
  6. JanetS

    JanetS Songster

    Jun 22, 2012
    Thanks coop-er. We got the idea from this website. It's the Wichita cabin from the coop tab under small coops. We changed some things to fit our area better but we have been very happy with it. We expanded their run since this picture was taken. If your interested I can post some pictures of it.

    Sorry for the loss of your chickens. It's a full time job trying to keep them safe.
  7. LeslieDJoyce

    LeslieDJoyce Crowing

    Jul 30, 2012
    Sherwood, OR
    My Coop
    I'm so sorry you had to experience that. [​IMG]

    It looks like a really great coop and you've done some great things with predator proofing it already and gotten some valuable experience. Maybe you can attach hardware cloth to the floor/underside of the coop to stop the problem you already know about. Otherwise it does tend to be trial and error ... you don't always know what predators you've got until you get the chickens.
  8. coop-er

    coop-er Songster

    Nov 28, 2012
    I would love to see any additional pics you have- this looks like a design I could turn into Fort Knox...
  9. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Songster

    Mar 6, 2013
    Another option to keep them from digging under your coop is dig a small trench beside the coop, about six inches wide and then fill it with cement. That quickrete cement mix is fairly easy and inexpensive. If you have coons, you need to be creative on your latches because I have heard they can work latches and use good hardwire cloth because some say they can tear through the filmsy stuff.
  10. RAST

    RAST In the Brooder

    Mar 8, 2013
    Sorry, I can certainly understand how you feel from experience and that coon was not just curious, it's instinct was to kill, eat the crop and maybe a little more, then do it again if possible.
    I buried 12" tin flashing around my coop vertically. It has paid off from the signs of coons trying to dig in. Dig down bout 6" and try somewhere else. Lots of shovel work, but it works.

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