New hen owner for 3 days and already had my flock eaten

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lczobrist, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. lczobrist

    lczobrist Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 28, 2013
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Hi all. I just ordere 4 10 week pullets and got in wed. Have coop (pre fab see design) and something tore thru patched fence last night and got into my coop. thinking it got in thru unlocked nest box. I am horrified this happened already. One survived. 2 were gone with only feathers left and one was dead with gash wound on side of body.

    Not sure thinking a racoon gone in.. I want to secure it right away properly to prevent this from happening again. I was thinking electric wiring around coop for nighttime??? and raccoon trap..

    any thoughts??
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    The nest box door needs a hasp on it that coons can't figure out. Same goes for any other opening.
    It's a tough lesson.

    For most predators like coons, possums, weasels and fox - a fence is no deterrent. They can climb and jump just about anything.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Sorry for your loss! Electric fencing, hardware cloth, a coon trap - coon eliminated, and you are headed in the right direction. Predators are a constant threat.
     
  4. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Whatever it was will be back tonight. Put her in a dog crate in the garage every night until you sort the coop out.
     
  5. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry for your losses. Predators can be very frustrating. As mentioned by others, its time to beef up the coop defenses. If you use chicken wire for fencing, it does a good job of keeping chickens in, but does little to keep predators out. Dogs and raccoons can rip right through it. 1/2" hardware wire is a much better choice. Electric net fence will keep out most 4 legged predators, I have a section of my yard protected with net fence, and have not lost a chicken or duck since installing the electric fence. Finally, lock all doors / hatches etc. I use two different style locks for each door. Raccoons are very smart, and can learn to undo latches, door handles etc. By having different locks, you make it more likely the predator won't be able to figure it out. You'll never be 100% secure, but with proper planning, you can provide your girls with a safe secure home. Good luck!
     
  6. chickenlover73

    chickenlover73 New Egg

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    Coyotes and raccoons are pretty thick where I live in Missouri, I have a coop that was built with 4 x 4, frame wise, I also have a donkey and a german shepard, plus I electrify my fence at night, they free roam thru the day, Iam very well covered, but not too long ago a horned owl got a chicken in the middle of the day, those are nasty, but even with all that critters can very very resourceful
     
  7. lczobrist

    lczobrist Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 28, 2013
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Thanks for all the advice. I am keeping mine in a box in our back room with vent. holes until we get it in a secure environment. It tried to dig under the door. The coop has small thick wire so can't get in that way. Adding several different syle locks on door and egg hatch. Then going to dig a one foot trench around and drop tin/ chicken wire.. Is one foot deep enough and what is the best material to use??
     
  8. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a bobcat attack Christmas morning last year. I have no garage so the 2 survivors had to come in the house as well. Took about 3 days and they would come up to the house and sit on the deck when it was time to go to bed.

    Chicken wire no matter where you put it is not going to stand up to anything other than chickens. You should also run a strand of hot wire around the bottom.
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    The wire to deter digging doesn't have to be deep at all but it must extend out from the bottom of the fence at least a foot, two is better. The predators will dig at the bottom of the fence and hit the wire.
    Hardware cloth is preferable.

    Best is an 18" strip of expanded metal (with the diamond shaped openings). It isn't too expensive if you have a salvage metal yard nearby. Nothing can get through that stuff.
     
  10. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If anyone in CO wants some of the metal (had no clue what it was technically called) there is a ton of it at next to me at work. Most of it is 36x60 and strips that are probably 12x60. I've been trying to find a good use for it and it's such a waste to see it end up in the dumpster.
     

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