I think something tried to break into the coop last night...

joneus

Songster
8 Years
Apr 2, 2011
344
7
126
Ballston Spa
but I cant find any evidence.

The coop is about 30' from my bedroom window. Several times I heard what I can only describe as a loud "chewing" or "scratching" noise coming from the vicinity of the coop and a couple of soft thumps, followed by some clucking & chirping from the chickens. I went out with a flashlight and my black lab (whose second favorite activity is chasing the "chippies"). I never saw anything, or evidence of anything, but one time she went absolutely ballistic trying to get at something under the compost pile and ended up flushing whatever it was into the woods.

In the end, I wound up closing the chicken door (which is usually open to their completely enclosed run) and barricading the main door with a 5g bucket of water and a large, heavy pallet.

Of course- now I'm worried that all the predator proofing I did while building the coop isnt going to be good enough.
 

GoldDogsMom

Songster
8 Years
Aug 10, 2011
850
13
111
Indiana, PA
My girls lived in their coop/enclosure for a year before our first attack...weasel...best thing to do is go around your coop and any holes/gaps 1 inch or larger, reinforce. I close them up in the coop at night because although I also reinforced the run, the coop is more secure.
 

Achickenwrangler#1

Songster
8 Years
Aug 7, 2011
2,431
106
183
west virginia
sounds like a coon, get more than one latch on the door, they will figure out how to open the doors if they can, it would seem you did a pretty good job of securing the coop since it didn't get in did it..it will prob be back until it gets frustrated, then go on to the next target, they leave a scent trail though, so the next night it will be a new coon, those little devils will figure out how to open the door - a lock would help, hammer and nails too -haha
 

joneus

Songster
8 Years
Apr 2, 2011
344
7
126
Ballston Spa
My girls lived in their coop/enclosure for a year before our first attack...weasel...best thing to do is go around your coop and any holes/gaps 1 inch or larger, reinforce. I close them up in the coop at night because although I also reinforced the run, the coop is more secure.

Thanks for the suggestion! I kept weasels in mind when I built the coop (one of my biggest fears because they're so small), but I'll double check and make sure there are no new gaps anywhere.

Achickenwrangler#1 :

sounds like a coon, get more than one latch on the door, they will figure out how to open the doors if they can, it would seem you did a pretty good job of securing the coop since it didn't get in did it..it will prob be back until it gets frustrated, then go on to the next target, they leave a scent trail though, so the next night it will be a new coon, those little devils will figure out how to open the door - a lock would help, hammer and nails too -haha

Would a coon make a chewing/scratching noise without leaving any evidence? The locks dont look like they've taken any sort of abuse and I havent found one mark on the coop that doesnt belong on it.

Yep- all the doors have multiple latches, even the egg door. I've got them secured with snap hooks, but I think (for peace of mind) I'm gonna go see if one of my screw gate carabiners will fit instead.​
 

Dchicken207

Chirping
8 Years
Jun 15, 2011
106
1
91
Maine
Game cam is great to have in a situation like this. I got one after seeing the pics on here and they are addicting! You will always know what is coming around day or night.
 

joneus

Songster
8 Years
Apr 2, 2011
344
7
126
Ballston Spa
Okay... so none of my carabiners fit, not even my little ones reserved for clipping my camera & water bottles to my harness.

So, the next best thing (and I'll get a pic when/if it stops raining tomorrow) turned out to be an oval screw-link holding one latch on the main door closed and the snap hooks linked end to end to the second latch, so there's no way to extend it enough to pull off the whole assembly.... backed up with a large cowbell... Yes. A cowbell... a loud one... for an alarm...

(climbers are nothing if not thorough in building their security systems!)

The egg door now has the one padlock that I could find on one side, so even if something could open the other latch, it wont be able to open the door.

The chicken door only opens from the inside... tho now that I'm thinking about it, maybe tomorrow I'll put a latch on that, too...

With any luck, that should be enough to stave off my paranoia for the night.
 

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