Something getting in coop at night

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by SandyK, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. SandyK

    SandyK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2009
    Eldersburg, Maryland
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm so distraught!!! I've not had a problem with anything getting my chickens for six years or more. Now all of a sudden, something has found a way in the run and then is able to lift the automatic coop door.

    We have checked everywhere for an entrance, but only little holes here and there where the fencing comes to the door and gate. I have a heavy duty net over the entire run, no holes showing where they might have entered there.

    Whatever it is, usually takes two chickens a night, and tears a hole in the side of the chicken. Sometimes it has taken the chicken out of the run into the woods, and sometimes it leaves it. We did find a hole in the netting previous to this last incident and patched it. This time both hens were left in the run.

    At first I was thinking raccoon, but there is no hole big enough that we have found any where for it to get into the run through.

    We live in MD, back up to the woods.

    Next though, I saw a Flemming auto door on line. Does anyone have this one and can tell me if it will stay down and not allow an animal to pry it up to get in like ours w have now is doing??

    Whatever is getting my girls has to be strong. The original hole was in the top of the netting right by the gate. So it had to climb back up the fencing on the side with the chicken to get out of the run.

    Any thoughts on what it cold be.

    We even put the blinking lights all around the coop.

    Thanks so much,
    Sandy
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Can you set a box trap and bait with sardines? Sounds like a raccoon . Also I would block the coop door so that it is impossible to open.
     
  3. SandyK

    SandyK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2009
    Eldersburg, Maryland
    Thanks Sourland, I did block the pop door real good until I can get another door. That also was my next step to get a trap and try to see who was coming around. I thought raccoon too, but just can't figure out how it could possible get in. It has been about three weeks or so since the last incident, so I guess he was working on it real hard. We even put additional hardware cloth all around the outside of the coop, which would make it two different layers of hardware cloth to go through. Then stacked up 4x4s in front of the wire. I was so determined for nothing else to get in there. My poor sweet girls. He got one of my oldest ones, she was 8 yrs. old.

    Thanks again for your reply.
     
  4. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    Melrose Park Illinois
    I have to agree with sourland ,, I think it is a raccoon. They are quite dexterous. Smart and strong also. Here is a link to help you identify the predator.
    http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens/what-killed-my-chicken/
    You can sprinkle baking flower on a flat surface where you think predator will pass and then identify the tracks.

    SOO SORRY TO HEAR OF YOUR LOSS. Most of my losses over the years were to raccoons.
    WISHING YOU BEST.. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    They have such dexterous hands and are so strong that lifting the door would be possible for them. Like many predators if they can get their head through a hole they will squeeze their whole body through.
     
  6. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    And once they know where food is, they keep returning.
     

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