Retrofit sliding bolt latch?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mobius, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    My coop, now delivered, has three sliding bolt latches on the outside; one to a walk-in person door ( to the run) and one to a coop access cleanout: large door, on the back-end of coop not protected by run, and one on the nesting box (also to be accessed outside of the run). All latches are about three or four feet off the ground.

    The coop is very heavily built and solid. I will be putting hardware mesh over the window...etc etc.

    In the interest of predator proofing as much as possible, is there a way to retrofit this sliding bolt latch to make it more secure? I have raccoons in the area and I wonder if those locks will really be safe....also thinking about putting another bolt towards bottom of the person door...

    I don't really like these sliding bolts...I was hoping for a latch I could slip a small carabiner through. Any thoughts, preferences, what has worked for you????

    I did post this in the predators forum but not sure it was right place....apologies if overdoing it....
  2. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    You should be able to remove the sliding bolts and replace them with a different style latch? Yes, raccoons can operate sliding bolts.
  3. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    Do racoons maraud around all the time, or are they night-time visitors? You should be able to easily change the latches to a padbolt so you could use a padlock (or carabiner) on it, or if the potential "latch openers" are night-time visitors, you could keep the latches for ease of daytime access and add a staple and hasp to padlock at night.
  4. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    There are sliding bolts that have a 'lock' hole, but be aware a carabiner can be opened by a smart and determined coon...

    A good rule of thumb when coon proofing is that if a 5 or 6 year old child can figure it out so can a coon...

    Get yourself a small luggage lock instead to secure it, one of the three or four number ones can be hand just about anywhere...
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Primarily dusk to dawn prowlers but during 'baby' and 'breeding' season or if food is scarce due to weather or time of year they will come out well before dusk and stay out well past dawn... Even sometimes in the middle of the day if they are real comfortable with their surroundings...
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
  6. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    On my new bunny house, I've put staple and hasps. They are held closed with pins (cotter pin, aka R clip). I've never met a racoon, but I can't imagine anybody without opposable thumbs removing the pins, but it is not too much of a pain in the neck for people to access.

    I'd keep the bolts and add another fastener.
  7. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Even though raccoons don't have 'opposible' thumbs, they surprisingly can manipulate many things that you would think require that... They use both hands together and have slightly offset thumbs/pinkies that can come together across their palms for a pincher type grasp, while their paws are incredibly sensitive to to touch (2/3 of their brains sensory perception is devoted to tactile touch) allowing them to do some amazing things... For example they can readily open jars, twist off water bottle tops, open doors using the door knob among other things... I had one as a pet when I was a child and witnessed much of their ability first hand and he never ceased to amaze me, his cage was locked with a padlock as he manged to figure out every other type of traditional latch...

    Read the bit on this page from a 1908 study about their ability to open and remember complex lock arrangements and how fast they figured it out...

    You can see the dexterity in their front paws in this video as they pickup cereal...

    IMO an 'R' clip would not challenge your average coon for long if they wanted in...
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  8. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    Thanks meepbeep, they are fascinating. I suppose that leaves padlocks everywhere. The trouble with having to lock predators out is that it also locks people out. I suppose if you have a routine and don't need to keep going in there, it wouldn't be that annoying, but I go in and out quite often, I'd hate to have to negotiate locks all the time.
  9. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well. Amazing. I was wondering if I was overthinking (Overthinkers UNITE!) but apparently NOT!! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]Thanks for all suggestions, I feel quite edified now! yikes!
  10. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    I was surprised by the racoon's little "hands". I didn't know they were like that, I thought they'd just have paws.

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