lost all three to a raccoon last night

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Gargoyle, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Overrun With Chickens

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    We have a nice fully covered and fenced in 8' x 20' area for the chickens, I thought they were well protected. I have 2' high corrugated metal siding around the entire base, above that is the chain link, then a roof with skylights and lots of chicken wire covering any possible gaps. Inside is an insulated house, but I've only closed them in during the winter. Late last night my wife said I should go out and close them in (for the first time this season), but I thought it wasn't going below freezing, and we were already settled in... I regret not listening to her.

    A raccoon came up on the roof, got under the eave, tore loose some chicken wire that was nailed to the 2x4 truss and dropped in. Roostie fought hard, his head and crop were really torn up. The two hens were also killed, (heads torn but bodies pretty intact) and then the raccoon escaped out a 2-1/2" diameter space that I'd neglected between the corrugated metal and the fencing. A footprint on the metal really looks like raccoon, could anyone else have done all this?

    All three had great personalities, each very different, I'd grown quite attached...
     
  2. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry for your loss. [​IMG] Raccoon sounds like the most likely culprit - I lost my first flock of 5 to one of these wiley creatures years ago and the scene was similar.
     
  3. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is really tragic. I have a similar set up and I know it wouldn't keep a racoon out. I rely on the dogs to alert me even though they are indoors. I put my chickens in the box every night even in the summer although I open the roof and run a fan --hoping the fan will scare off another animal.
    So sorry for your loss.
     
  4. bakerjw

    bakerjw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's good advice after the fact.
    Chicken wire is only for keeping chickens where you want them. They are no deterrent to any 4 legged predator.
     
  5. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Overrun With Chickens

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    The fan is a good idea. I hadn't been closing them in when it was above freezing because the house inside is insulated, 4' x 4' x 4', built with left over SIPS panels (structural insulated panels- 2 sheets of particle board sandwiching 8" of foam) so it would get warm in the summer (it does have some chicken wire windows).

    I thought I'd made the place really secure, but the raccoon outsmarted me. There were gaps between the chain link fence and the roof, I nailed and tied chicken wire across, but the raccoon tore some loose. On the back there is an area about 18" wide where the fencing had been cut out in the past, we were going to open that and create a fenced in run, that leaves a 2 or 2-1/2" opening above the sheet metal.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Hunter0704

    Hunter0704 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am soooo sorry for your loss. Hardware cloth is the best fencing suggested for all areas that you have chicken wire, including any other areas not fully covered for protection. As one member said, chicken wire is to keep chickens in....NOT predators out. Possums can also get into such small areas you won't believe it. There have been a few times when I've let my dogs outside at night and watched a possum slip through the 2" x 4" wide wire fence. Amazed me! Another fact is fencing on the floor to keep out predators that dig under the walls of runs. Trial and error is unfortunate but necessary sometimes till we learn how to protect our flocks. Good luck with your updates to the run and coop! They should make a big difference. I always lock my flock in the coop for the night...summer or winter...strictly for their protection.
     
  7. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    Sorry for your loss.Looking forward to your update once you trap and dispatch it.There will be plenty of coons. I trapped 13 coons and 11 possums since I bought a trap at home depot this summer.
     
  8. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I read 'chicken wire' I knew the results and really didn't need to read any further. Really a shame to have to learn like that. Why that stuff is still fabricated I don't know.
     
  9. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Overrun With Chickens

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    Fox Valley, IL
    My Coop
    Quote:Thanks everyone. Yes, it's a hard way to learn. The three of them had wonderful, individual personalities. [​IMG]

    I tried to spoil them. Two days ago I got 25 pounds of grapes at the grocery store for $3.00, when stuff doesn't look perfect they box it up and put it on the discount shelf. (95% of those grapes are still perfect, I don't know what's up with the guys who work in that store). I also got 10 lbs of good eggplant for $1.49)


    I just got back from Home Depot with a raccoon trap and some 1/2" 19 gauge hardware cloth.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
  10. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would imagine once the raccoon sees you don't have chickens anymore it won't bother to come by. To trap it and kill it won't solve the problem as there will always be raccoons. It was only doing what nature intended.
    I will learn from you and reinforce the coop.
    Again, so sorry you had to experience this. I would be devastated.
     

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