1. Lifetime chicken lover

    Lifetime chicken lover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2009
    Rogers, MN
    So, like many a chicken owner, I am using an old (VERY OLD metal) shed as a chicken coop for our 10 Black Australorps. Last year we lost all of our chickens to raccoons, who climbed over the run fence somehow. This year, I covered the whole run with chicken wire tightly bound together.
    Two days ago, the raccoons found a new way in- they ripped open the metal shed!!! Took 7 of the chickens in one night!
    I worked all day yesterday creating a loft in the shed, where I don't think the raccoons can get in- but, unfortunately, neither can the chickens!!!! How do I teach them to use the walking plank (or whatever you call it)? What is the maximum climbing angle the chickens can climb? Is 40 degrees too steep with "steps" every 3 inches or so?
    I've been lying awake the last few nights trying to come up with a solution...and worrying that the raccoons will still get in and I will find another pile of chicken bodies:(
    Anyone have any ideas?
     
  2. Lifetime chicken lover

    Lifetime chicken lover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2009
    Rogers, MN
    Am I doing something wrong? Why doesn't anyone respond to my posts? I'm just wondering...
     
  3. Oven Ready

    Oven Ready Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2010
    Thailand
    Our chicks can climb 35(ish) degree, rough, wooden planks with no steps - the adult birds just fly to where they want to go, they never use the ramps.
     
  4. boogiedog

    boogiedog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2010
    Oakland hills, CA
    Unfortunately if the chickens can climb it it is likely the racoons can as well. Is there any way to fortify your coop itself? Even wrapping some hardware cloth around metal open areas and securing it may help.
     
  5. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 14, 2009
    Oregon
    I am concerned they will be back, too. Unfortunately raccoons are very persistent and can tear through metal, fencing, etc. We had a mother raising babies in our chimney a few years ago, and all the resources we were able to find said that they will tear through almost anything if their babies or whatever else is at stake. The best thing that you can do is fortify whatever part of the shed to the best of your ability and set a trap or sit out with a shotgun if you are where you can do that.
     
  6. Lifetime chicken lover

    Lifetime chicken lover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2009
    Rogers, MN
    I take the ramp away at night and lock the chickens in. The coop is like Fort Knox at night...at least I hope so. I am really thinking about starting all over- using the other shed we have, which has windows, etc....but am afraid the raccoons will get in through the windows. Is there any way to prevent ALL predator attacks?
     
  7. boogiedog

    boogiedog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2010
    Oakland hills, CA
    I have my windows covered with 1/2 inch hardware cloth - firmly attached to the window frame so the glass can be open but the screen (hardware cloth) always remains in place.
     
  8. scarter

    scarter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 22, 2008
    Roberts, WI
    We used hardware cloth with our staples that we used for our fencing posts over the windows. Just nailed them in and nothing has gotten them. We do screw some plexiglass over that window in the winter since we have other ventilation that's higher up and this year I noticed that it was really cracked. It looked like something really tried to get in at some point. It's so broken that we have to replace it this winter. Last week we trapped a raccoon and a opposum so they are still out there and looking. No fatalities this year so far.
     
  9. Lifetime chicken lover

    Lifetime chicken lover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2009
    Rogers, MN
    Does it help to have a dog?
    I have been thinking about getting a dog, with the main purpose to protect my chickens. Of course, I would love the dog, too. Are there certain breeds of dog that are better with guarding chickens? I know a lot of dogs have a high prey drive and just wouldn't work.
    I just really want my chickens to survive this year, because I made a deal with my husband that if I could keep the chickens alive this year, I can get goats next year.
     

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