Raccoon Attack in Urban Coop + Older Bird Question

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Dekum Chickens, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. Dekum Chickens

    Dekum Chickens In the Brooder

    Jul 5, 2016
    My story is a sad one and at the same time, lucky.

    I have TWO questions:

    1. How can you best protect birds from predators at night?

    We had our first causality to city raccoons - at least we think it was a raccoon or maybe multiples. We always close the doors to our coops (that are additionally surrounded by a 6 foot hardware cloth run) at night. However it was 4th of July last night and we forgot, and due to the fireworks and neighborhood noise didn't hear any squawking like we typically would if there was a problem (our bedroom window is right near our coops). We lost one bird and another one has minor injuries. The scene in the morning was totally confusing, feathers all over the yard from all of our birds - with our birds scattered all over the yard themselves - we aren't sure how they got out given our run that surrounds the coops has a ceiling on it (there are a couple gaps in awkward corners, assuming they somehow squeezed through there, which also may have been where the raccoon got in). I'm NOW worried that even locking them in - they may not be safe considering the predators were able to get in despite our large run (again, we didn't close the coop doors like we do every night - I'm racked with guilt). What is the absolute be set up for a small, urban back yard set up for 6 birds to be safe? -- I feel so awful.

    2. Older Bird on her own - okay?

    We had two older birds who roost together in one coop, and another newer coop for 5 pullets. The older birds picked on the younger ones even after weeks of supervised introduction, so we finally decided to let them all be separate. However now that we've lost one of the older ones to the raccoon - there is one old bird who will be on her own in one coop now. She is very aggressive (even now) towards the little ones and refuses to intermix with them. That being said, I'm worried about her being lonely or too cold in winter alone in the one coop. Should I leave her alone or try and get her to join the others for safety and interaction and warmth? And if so, any ideas on how to intermix? She just chases the younger one relentlessly and pecks hard enough that I've seen blood on some of the little ones beaks.

    Thanks in advance for ideas - we inherited these birds when we moved in and are doing our best to learn -- and learning very hard lessons along the way. We are very aware of our faults - and want to correct them.

  2. carlf

    carlf Chirping

    Jul 2, 2016
    Mobile, AL
    Sounds like a raccoon, how did it get into the run?

    1. Get a cage trap and start trapping raccoons. Or have critter control do it if you don't own a gun to dispatch them. don't relocate them, you will just be moving your problem to someone else.

    2. Better secure your run, find out how the coon got into the run and fix it.There is no 100% predator proof run or coop. But you can make it more secure by fixing how it got in.

    3. Get an outside dog.

    Don't be so hard on yourself, sooner or later, something is gonna happen and we will all lose birds. Its just part of owning vulnerable livestock in a world full of predators. Do the best you can for them, that's all you can do.

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