Mystery - predator or animal burglar?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MapleReach, May 6, 2016.

  1. MapleReach

    MapleReach New Egg

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    Apr 5, 2016
    Outside Portland, Oregon
    We have a coop with an 11ft like big enclosure I snide of a larger fenced area for our chickens. When we are away for any length of time we lock the chickens into the inner enclosure. We returned home yesterday to find the outside door at the end of the enclosure kicked in - both hinges broken - and all three chickens were out running around in our yard. Their water was tipped over and empty. They still had some food left.

    It appears that something rammed or know caked in the door, as the hardware cloth was pushed in (not broken). We can't figure out what did it. It would require a great deal of force to bread that door down and we're not sure if a coyote or raccoon could have done it. That, and the fact that the chickens had been wandering around outside unbothered makes us think it wasn't a traditional predator.

    We're wondering if one of the fearless local deer might have tried to kick in the door to get to the feed - has that happened to any of you? We found some fibrous material stuck in the wire - seemed too brittle to be fur. Maybe from a hoof?

    Anyway, it's a mystery. There are a lot of chickens in our area and we're not aware of any recent coyote attacks. What might it have been?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Where are you located? Are there bears in your area?
     
  3. MapleReach

    MapleReach New Egg

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    Apr 5, 2016
    Outside Portland, Oregon
    Good thought. Hmm. There are bears up in the hills, but we've never heard of any coming down into our area. A cougar has also been spotted, but I think a cougar or bear probably would have done more damage. Note: the chicken feed wasn't eaten and the chickens weren't harmed and had probably been running loose around the property for a couple of hours.

    Might a deer accidentally run into a coop? It's located in a spot where deer used to pass through a lot...
     
  4. MapleReach

    MapleReach New Egg

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    Apr 5, 2016
    Outside Portland, Oregon
    PS - sorry for the type-os. Combo of finger typing and bad autocorrect. [​IMG]
     
  5. MapleReach

    MapleReach New Egg

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    Apr 5, 2016
    Outside Portland, Oregon
    We are thinking it was probably a deer. A neighbor had a deer knock his fence down wile on the run...
     
  6. Birdydeb

    Birdydeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think you're probably right. I have had deer run through my backyard in the past and knock down pretty good sized bushes(before we had our fence). We had an arbor in the front yard that was made from rebar and pretty darn strong. I saw a deer run into it and almost get tangled up. But it managed to run off and when it did the bottom rebar was bent. A deer on a headlong run can pack a punch. Think of the damage when they hit the side of a car.
     
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