predator got 2 of my chickens...figured out how to unhook coop door

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mprivett, May 14, 2011.

  1. mprivett

    mprivett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2010
    Chatham County, NC
    I have 3 fully grown dominiques (one roo, two hens) and one of the hens hatched out chicks about 4 weeks ago so we have them separated in a pen next to the main coop/run combo. Went out this morning and our rooster and the hen without chicks were gone and the one of the coop doors with hook and eye latch was wide open. We saw a fox hanging around a few mornings ago so we are suspecting a fox.
    [​IMG]

    Then I saw the feather trail........something had either dragged the rooster or fought all the way to the edge of the woods with the rooster because we found poor little Mr. Rue with his head completely gone and the rest of his body laying there. My other hen, Chamomile, is nowhere to be found. Not sure if the predator had maybe taken Chamomile and Mr. Rue was trying to fight and defend, and as a result got decapitated? Or could it have been a raccoon? I am SO sad [​IMG] Mr. Rue was such a wonderful rooster, very good to the ladies, good protector, very sweet. So sorry to lose him. I hope his offspring (that we still thankfully have) are as good as he.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here is our coop and run:
    [​IMG]

    Whatever it was had learned to undo the hook and eye latch on their coop to get in and thus the chickens ran out to get away. The feather trail started a ways away from the coop. No sign of any carnage right near the coop. I have heard that a raccoon can unlatch doors? Guess we will have to put locks on them and make the coop more secure.

    Below is a picture of the latch on the coop:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ms.Frizzle

    Ms.Frizzle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2011
    Wisconsin
    Racoon's have paws that are a lot like hands, I wouldn't put it past a coon to open a latch.
     
  3. mprivett

    mprivett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2010
    Chatham County, NC
    Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too even though we saw a fox a couple mornings ago. Are raccoons known for ripping the heads off of chickens? Or could a fox killed this way to silence Mr. Rue in his attempt at defending?
     
  4. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would replace that style of latch with the ones that have the other part you have to slide away.

    And add a hasp that you can put a lock through at night. I would also add some corner braces to the doors, coons are strong and that door looks like it might break pretty easy
     
  5. mprivett

    mprivett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2010
    Chatham County, NC
    Good ideas-thanks! We will have to get some locks and different latches and maybe brace the door more a bit.
     
  6. Trunkster

    Trunkster Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Those two small latches are Not adequate protection for your chickens, coons can open doors. I have actual pad locks on all my exterior doors, I don't even leave the keys in them. Coon paws are like hands.
    Quote:
     
  7. mrszlopez

    mrszlopez Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 4, 2009
    Jackson,NJ
    headless chicken & latches undone SCREAMS racoon. I agree with the others & say get a padlock or something. we have a pretty bad coon problem here & ive had latches undone as well. sorry for your loss [​IMG]
     
  8. jennh

    jennh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2007
    Lititz
    [​IMG] Sorry for your loss. It's heartbreaking to see the carnage. [​IMG]
    I agree it's raccoons.
     
  9. mpguay

    mpguay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2011
    So sorry! This is the type of scenario that has me thinking "are chickens worth it"? Especially when they get a much loved bird.

    YES, I have had raccoons open my hen door. It slides in. The varmit pulled it open just like I do every morning. hmmmm....
     
  10. mprivett

    mprivett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2010
    Chatham County, NC
    thanks, everyone. We will be getting some locks for the doors and extra protection. Right now hubby is sitting out on porch with rifle ready to kill the coon when it comes back.....
     

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