I need y’all to tell me if this is crazy.

SamanthaDianne

Chirping
Jun 23, 2019
53
118
96
Richwood, TX
So this is my first actual post here I have read and learned so much put I have a specific question or maybe questions I would like advice on. We recently started keeping chickens in May. We started with five and lost two. One didn’t make it very long at all. We just found the poor girl in the coop one evening and she was already gone. The other got sick and we didn’t know it until it was too late. Rookie mistakes I guess. Well the second one who died was my sons favorite. He literally cried himself to sleep that night. The remaining three were healthy and starting to lay so I told him we would go get a new Rhode Island Red that weekend. We went that weekend and got a second little coop and more chickens. I guess the chickens got the best of us and we over bought.
That’s not the crazy part though. We have two Nigerian Dwarf Goats also so the fenced part of our yard is a board fence with hog wire and we have an electric wire along the bottom and top. It’s kept the goats and original chickens perfectly safe thus far. So we now have 12 chickens and a rooster, which is too many for the small coops it’s so hot outside (I live in Texas) that they want to sleep in the runs and not in the coops. We let them range all day in their part of the yard so we built a large moveable chicken shelter and it does great for the sun and rain, but some of them have been sleeping in it. It is not at all secure, am I asking for trouble? My husband thinks I’m nuts because I want them under lock and key at night and he thinks I’m over exaggerating. I am adding two more rows of electrical wire to the top of the fence this week. We never could decide how tall to cut the posts on the fence off so they were left long after the fence was finished.
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
5,603
17,949
707
Cleveland OH
My friend, I live in picket fence suburbia and lost my whole flock in one night due to a loose door on the coop. A raccoon wormed it's way through in from above. Coop was closed, one corner of the door was wobbly - every single chicken dead as a doornail and scattered in bits and pieces across the lawn. My precious birthday rooster too.

Yes, unless you have 100% secure top to bottom fencing you need a secure coop at night.

And yes I have seen birds of prey walk into a chicken coop before (though that was a hawk).
 

SamanthaDianne

Chirping
Jun 23, 2019
53
118
96
Richwood, TX
My friend, I live in picket fence suburbia and lost my whole flock in one night due to a loose door on the coop. A raccoon wormed it's way through in from above. Coop was closed, one corner of the door was wobbly - every single chicken dead as a doornail and scattered in bits and pieces across the lawn. My precious birthday rooster too.

Yes, unless you have 100% secure top to bottom fencing you need a secure coop at night.

And yes I have seen birds of prey walk into a chicken coop before (though that was a hawk).

See this is my fear. I have yet to see a raccoon the entire time we have lived here. I know there are coyotes because the neighbor man is always out to get them. He keeps over a hundred chickens and roosters and he actively baites coyotes to get rid of them.
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
5,603
17,949
707
Cleveland OH
They're probably there and you just can't see em. My city annually releases reports on the coyote numbers in my city. I've lived here 7 years and ne'er seen a one but I know they're there.
You don't REALLY know what's there until you get a game camera and a bait station and bait it for a year. And coons are everywhere. And smart and fit into tiny spaces and vicious and the climb and....
 

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