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Help! Raccoon killings & now my hens won't go in the coop!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Lashaunda731, May 29, 2017.

  1. Lashaunda731

    Lashaunda731 New Egg

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    May 29, 2017
    We have backyard chickens in the city. Our chickens free range during the day & go in the coop at night. We hadn't been locking them in the coop at night because we honestly just got too comfortable & hadn't lost any until recently. We have lost 4 of our 8 chickens in the past 2 weeks. We are assuming it's a raccoon since we are finding the birds split open but not eaten. We are clearly trying to lock them in the coop at night now & set a trap to catch the raccoons but now the chickens refuse to go in the coop. They sleep on our back porch as far away from the coop as they can get. What can we do?!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    What does the coop look like? They aren't feeling safe in it or are uncomfortable. Otherwise you will need to physically put them in there. After dark you can pick them up and move them if you can't catch them when it's light out.
     
    Hamiam likes this.
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Physically move them into the coop and lock it. They are out of the routine and it may take a few repetitions of this over several days for them to get back in the habit of using the coop. Did the refusal start after the first attack? It is possible the attack(s) took place inside the coop and the birds now view it as an unsafe place due to the fact a predator was able to make entry because the door was not secured.
     
    Arin's Backyard, BYC910 and Hamiam like this.
  4. Lashaunda731

    Lashaunda731 New Egg

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    May 29, 2017
    It is definitely because they view it as unsafe since they were in the coop when the attack occurred. We just can't get them to go in the coop at night to get them locked up now. We are really trying to avoid putting in a run since we just bought a house & are moving in 6 weeks. But I also don't want to keep losing chickens.
     
  5. Hamiam

    Hamiam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, get them up off the porch & put them in the coop & lock it. Also, if it's a Racoon, you may need to reinforce your coop. They are very strong & also can open some latches/doors If you have a game camera or can borrow one, set it up facing the coop & get pics. Then you'll know for sure what your predator is.
     
  6. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    You know where they are choosing to sleep - go out, pick up each bird and place it in the coop (shutting the door after each one to prevent them getting back out.
     
    Hamiam likes this.
  7. Hamiam

    Hamiam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens can not see well in the dark, you should be able to walk right up to them & pick them up at night. Then place them in the coop.
     

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