Outdoor feed storage problem

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by redhen689, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. redhen689

    redhen689 Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    SE PA
    These past few months are the first in 11 years that I have had trouble with preditors.
    I have never had a really secure set-up in most of these years, but never had a problem before. (I have an old movable coop, called a Hen Haven from a now defunct company. The pen section collapsed a few years ago.)

    First back in August, a fox (I suspect) came and took a broody hen right off of her chicks. A few weeks ago the fox came back and took a couple pullets.

    The remaining pullets and hen have been roosting way up in a tree since this time.

    I am working on securing the coop.

    My other problem is now that the chickens are more inaccessable, the preditor has been knocking over the plastic trash container I store the feed in and ripping the top off of it.
    (This is no squirrel it's something larger and stronger.)

    My coop design does not allow for food storage.

    Will a metal trash conatiner keep the preditor out? Or would he just knock it over and pull the lid off?

    What type of container would be fox, racoon, opposum proof? ( I'm hoping not to have to worry about bears. [​IMG] )
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    A fox won't eat the feed. Your problem is a coon or possum. A metal trashcan with locking lid is a good place to start.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    That sounds a lot like a raccoon. Personally I'd set a properly sized live trap and deal with it.

    I use a metal trash can with a fairly tight fitting lid and have not had a problem, but a determined raccoon could certainly get the lid off if it wanted to. May I suggest you build a small enclosure, maybe out of wire, that the raccoon can't get in, or build a stand to hold the can upright with a lock of some type so the raccoon cannot get the lid off. Say maybe a hinged board to fit snugly over the lid with a hasp to lock it down. Maybe a carabiner or snap lock through the hasp to hold the board in place.
  4. Midwest Lizabeth

    Midwest Lizabeth In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2011
    A metal trash can will help. Make sure to secure it with a metal chain. We kept wild bird seed in a metal trash can with a bunge cord and the racoons just chewed through it. Then we secured it with a large heavy nylon ratched strap, and the racoons chewed through it. We finally moved our metal storage can inside to avoid headaches associated with keeping it outside. If you've got racoons and they know the food is there, between their "hands" and their teeth, they're hard to battle. Might be time for a trap or a .22.

    If you're rebuilding your coop, you might want to include a secure box with a lock to store the can. Old refrigerators/freezers also work great to store feed.
  5. BarefootMom

    BarefootMom Songster

    Jul 20, 2010
    Half Way, Missouri
    A metal trash can with a tarp strap over the top will help

    OR use 5-gallon buckets with lids

    OR use food-grade 55gallon barrels with lids

    we use 5 gallon buckets and store them in our feed room off the shop.

    Another alternative would be the Rubbermaid tubs that are rectangular with lids, they are not as easy to knock over and the lids are hard for animals to get off. We store our milk replacer for our calves in those. You can buy rubbermaid tubs at WalMArt for about $5 each.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Mice chewed through my plastic storage containers. That's why I recommend metal.
  7. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    I use 55 gallon plastic barrels w/lids to store feed as well as the 45 gallon plastic trash cans that they sell at Lowe's. Never had a problem with anything getting in it or tipping it over. 5 gallon plastic buckets will lids from Wal Mart bakery work great as well.
  8. binders

    binders Songster

    Sep 4, 2011
    I use a metal can with a very tightly fitted lid. When I bought it I tried may different lid/can combinations until I found one that was really tight. I have to work the lid off slowly around the rim before it will come off using both hands. Don't think a coon would have the strength. Plastic just gets chewed through. Good Luck!

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