1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

HELP!!Scary problem!! Any Advice?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wischickenlover, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. wischickenlover

    wischickenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    217
    0
    139
    Mar 5, 2007
    Ladysmith, WI
    I am a bit freaked out right now, and am wondering if anyone here has any advice. My flock is ALWAYS locked up each and every night, and are in their fenced in run during the day. They used to free-range, but because of a coyote problem, I have had to keep the penned. We also have a dog that doesn't play nice with the chickens, so they are always kept separated. This dog has an outside kennel, because despite our long and involved housebreaking efforts, he never learned.
    My teenage son locks the chickens in every evening, as he did Friday night. On Saturday morning, we woke to the sounds of chickens squawking and the dog barking. We ran to the patio window to see all of the chickens, not only out of the coop, but the gates to their run were wide open.......as was the dog kennel! After a lot of chaos we managed to get the dog back in, but had to wait til dusk for the ladies to find their way back in. My son (who is very responsible) was very upset and said he locked everything down tight the night before. So it remained a mystery. Go two days later to Monday morning. Each morning before I head off to work, I feed and water the chickens and let them into their run. The gates are always double-checked. When locked in, they are very secure-and they are always locked.Monday, however, happened to be my day off, so I took the kids to school and came back to the house. All the chickens came running to greet me when I pulled in the driveway!!!!(I have a flock of 80) They were all out again! So now I'm getting the willies. Can't figure out what's going on here! Fast forward now to this morning. Same scenario: went out, opened the coop to let ladies into their yard, fed and watered. I double-checked the gates before I left. I came back home.....and guess what?!!! They are all out AGAIN and both gates are wide open. So now I am more than a little shaken-I am quite scared! I live in a VERY rural area-closest neighbor is about 1/3 mile away. A few weeks ago, one of our neighbors a couple roads over was burglarized. His house was broken into and his vehicle was also stolen. Cops have no leads. So that makes me even a little more scared. This morning, I was scared enough to head straight for the gun cabinet. I have no idea what's going on here, but would sure like to find out! Video cameras are out of the question-our budget is kind of tight. If any of you have any ideas, could you please answer my thread? Thank you for reading this!

    Tiffany
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2007
  2. shandea

    shandea Out Of The Brooder

    74
    0
    39
    Mar 17, 2007
    So are they cutting your locks, or picking them? That is indeed scary. Sorry, I don't have any ideas for you, except maybe have someone stay up watching all night one night... maybe if the police are not super-busy in your area, they would come out and watch too... with their car hidden, of course.

    Good luck!
     
  3. bantymum

    bantymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    you poor lady, it must be freaky for you.
    do you know a male friend who could come and stay, at least to help you find whats going on?

    until then, keep your gun handy, but keep the safety on .

    This seems to be a security issue and maybe someone here can offer you specialist advice.

    I had a similar thing happen to me so I called the police and they added me to a priority list as I was on my own, then my ex moved back in and he ended up staying forever.

    Can you put a movement sensor light in near the coop.
    I really hope you are ok and get to the bottom of this.
    Helen
     
  4. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    974
    2
    171
    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    Cheaper than a video camera would be a good set of eyes with a normal camera. Have someone sit in the house looking out a window that can see the pen, but where they cant easily 'be seen' by anyone else. Make sure no one knows this other person is there, just in case its someone playing a joke on you or something. Go about your normal daily routine with the chickens and then leave the house. If the chickens are out when you return, your set of eyes should be able to tell you or show you (if they took pictures) exactly what happened while you were away.

    PS...I wouldnt worry too much about a burglar. If someone the chickens dont know gets into the coop at night, they may be in for quite a surprize! My grandfathers chickens once pecked a homeless man bloody before he was able to scamper out of the coop and was chased off by their dogs.
     
  5. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    I have had raccoons open doors in my garage (we keep the garbage there). If you're sure that's not the problem, and I personally don't think it is, then you have only one choice. It seems that someone is entering your property.

    Immediately report in full detail to the local authorities. Remind them of the local burglaries.

    Do you have security lights? You can get the kind that are motion sensitive, but you might be better off leaving them on all the time to discourage unwanted night time visitors. The costs could be included as "home improvement" for tax purposes. (We had to do something similar because someone kept messing with our mailbox after dark. We are surrounded by farmland. Our nearest neighbors are over a mile to the east and west of us.) You'll want to make sure they are bright enough to light up the hen house and kennel area.

    Change the locks on the hen house, run and dog kennel to combination locks.

    Sometimes you can rent camcorders. Would that be a possibility? One of my friends put up those dummy recorders..they look like security cameras but have no tape in them. That scared off a group of kids that were entering her barn.

    Home Depot, Lowe's, Radio Shack or your local hardware store may be able to help you get something set up rather inexpensively. Something like a closed circuit tv monitor.

    You could get a used baby monitor and set it up in the hen house. Maybe you can hear what is going on?

    Good luck.
    regards,
    keljonma
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2007
  6. wischickenlover

    wischickenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    217
    0
    139
    Mar 5, 2007
    Ladysmith, WI
    Thanks so much everyone for your quick replies! A motion sensor light I don't think would be logical, since thr dog kennel is relatively close to the coop-the light would be on all night. The last two times, this happened during the morning hours-about 7:30am or so, so lights probably wouldn't do much good. I think I will go to ACE today and find some of the very best locks they have and put them on the coop gates and kennel door. Obviously what I have isn't working. The scary pert is that hubby is gone to work from the wee hours of the orning, and many times I am here til early afternoon-depends on my work shift. I mean, is this some psycho trying to mess with me? Why would anyone do that? It's not an animal predator, I am pretty sure. These gates and kennel cannot be opened except by human hands. So now, I have to leave for work at noon.....and all my chickies are out ranging. No one will be home til dusk or so. I just have to pray that everything will be OK. Sure would love to catch who is doing this! And why?!

    Tiffany
     
  7. wischickenlover

    wischickenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    217
    0
    139
    Mar 5, 2007
    Ladysmith, WI
    I forgot-a cop would never come here and stake out y land. Only because I am so far out into the county and due to budget cuts, they are short on manpower as it is...wouldn't be a priority on their list. But thanks for the idea!
     
  8. ChickenGeorge

    ChickenGeorge Out Of The Brooder

    60
    1
    41
    Mar 6, 2007
    When you say locked down, do you mean there is an actual lock? I ask my son every evening if he locked up the chickens, but there is no lock, just a bolt. If actual locks are being opened. I would say someone is messing with you. They bad part is that they are watching you to see when you leave. If it were me I would leave then come back in a few minutes, of course then you may have a confrontation. The good part if there is one, is that it is mostly mischievous. They are not harming any chickens are they. I am assuming there are no holes in fence, under fence etc...

    I would say that there is no danger, but now a days you never know, there are some crazy people out there.
     
  9. wischickenlover

    wischickenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    217
    0
    139
    Mar 5, 2007
    Ladysmith, WI
    Hi George-the coop doors as well as the gates have barrel bolts on them. Not for long though. As far as your question about whether they are harming them or not.......when they let the dog out of its kennel...that's harming them because the dog doesnt do well around the chickens. When they don't let the dog out....there is still potential harm, because the reason they cannot range anyore is because we have a coyote problem. So, no, they are not being harmed directly, but they are at risk once they are let out. I don't care what their reasoning is...it still gives me the creeps to know that soeone is watching when I leave!
     
  10. ChickenGeorge

    ChickenGeorge Out Of The Brooder

    60
    1
    41
    Mar 6, 2007
    Oh, I agree, the watching part is creepy. VERY! I knew a man years ago, that had chickens, and for a time someone would come up, take a couple of his chickens, kill them and hang them up on his porch. Now that is what I meant by harming them. Never did find out who, it just stopped.

    I do think the more they do it, the more brazen they/he/she will get. Makes or would make me wonder why? Let us know what happens.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by