Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by LvMyChks, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. LvMyChks

    LvMyChks In the Brooder

    Mar 10, 2009
    Kansas City
    In the last week I have lost 2 RIR hens and NH roo found inside 10x20 locked chain link pen. They free range in day and I thought I didn't get them locked up soon enough. I set trap last night and kept looking out to see if I caught anything. Saw reflection of eyes and went running. Coon went up fence and up tree next to pen. The top is also fenced but had a bend where 2 pieces meet just big enough.

    Uncle came to help. 4-10 didn't work very well in top of tree. Finally got him, front paws still red from last hen!I feel awful - making sure they were locked up tight only to be trapping them for the coon's dinner.

    I still have 1 China goose, 3 EE and 1 white leghorn. I have lost 10 this past year, We also had fox in yard 3 times early morning and got him on CritterCam 2pm one night. My oldest EE is about 9 and I couldn't stand to lose her.

    My EEs roost on 6 ft interior fence. Question - Do I leave the gate open so they can fend for themselves against coon and risk fox or lock up? Coons have also been on deck eating dog/cat food and birdseed so I feed animals in day instead of leaving out. Guess I will start feeding them so we can trap!
  2. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    I have tons of coons and opossums but have never lost a hen. I use the hardware wire and skirt it out from the run. The run is attached to the coop and I never close the coop doors.

    Why not give the hardware wire a try?
  3. morelcabin

    morelcabin Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    An electric fence works wonders. I run it every four inches for 6 strands and nothing bothers with my birds anymore. They are behind just chicken wire
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    They cannot fend for themselves at night. They cannot see. I'd leave the gate closed and set the trap.

    Good Luck!
  5. NancyDz

    NancyDz Songster

    Oct 9, 2008
    Dutch Flat, CA
    Do they have any kind of coop? I think you need something to enclose them in at night without wire. A coon can pull them right through chain link. At a minimum use hardware wire. Even a dog house or dog kennel t( hard plastic type you transport in ) that you can shut them up in at night would help.

    Sorry about your birds, Did you get the coon? If not it will be back until it can't get to them.... once they've had a taste they keep trying.

  6. mkelle11

    mkelle11 In the Brooder

    Dec 13, 2008
    Chickens cannot defend themselves against raccoons or fox- the best you can do is deal with the problem before you lose chickens.

    Up your coop security- if you could, just buy a little tool shed that you can lock up at night, and get all the birds to roost in there. And be careful with the locks- the little hook-and-eye latch doesn't work. Raccons can figure such simple things out. Other things to consider is patching up all holes in your fencing, electric wire, ect. As for the hens who roost up too high, you could try running out and grabbing them when they roost, relocating them to wherever.

    Anyways, up your security, and invest in a live trap. The minute you suspect there is a raccoon lurking, set the trap and catch it. Shoot it. This might seem cruel, but these animals are smart- if they know there is an easy meal here, they will want to come back, and they have been known to find their way back even when dropped off 20 miles away. If you do not want to shoot it, then relocate it atleast 30 miles away, preferrably not by anothers flock.

    Good luck. Raccoons suck- we lose, on average, 3-8 chickens a year to them. Ugh.
  7. LvMyChks

    LvMyChks In the Brooder

    Mar 10, 2009
    Kansas City
    Thanks for the suggestions. The pen is very heavy commercial chain link with rabbit wire arount interior 6' pen used to introduce new chicks. Dog house in small pen and Wood hutch in large area. EE won't use Wooden hutch. Good thing they prefer to sleep high, they are all that's left plus 1 smart leghorn that joined them. Coon came down tree and thru small bend where top fence meets. Coon is now dead. Big guy! Took several shots to get him out of tree.

    After much whining, hubby used jack to straighten top fence. I also let my 12 yr old Golden sleep in the pen. Goose luvs her. I am looking for that poison you mix with coke but can't find at feed store. I am going to make sure all is OK before putting out the new chicks.

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