Something got in last night

MariposaMama

Songster
11 Years
Aug 31, 2008
270
2
129
Mariposa, CA
I'm so upset.
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I knew something wasn't right when I didn't hear our little OEBG roo this morning. After I put the kids on the school bus I went and looked in the coop and found one live hen and one dead one. No sign at all of the roo. I converted our horse shelter to a chicken coop and thought I had it secure, but I guess not secure enough. I can't see any obvious signs of the break-in, so it wasn't a bear or a fox that dug under. I think it must have been a racoon or maybe a possum.

This is our first time having chickens, and now I have to break the sad news to my kids. The only "good" thing is that I am expecting a phone call from the post office any time now to tell me to come collect the dozen day-old pullets I've ordered from Ideal.

Dang it man. I hadn't wanted a roo in the first place, but Rodeo was a gorgeous little guy and we'd all become really attached to him. Now I'm kind of hoping Ideal does throw in a packing peanut or two, but it just won't be the same.

RIP Rodeo and Buttercup.

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BabyGirls

In the Brooder
12 Years
May 24, 2007
89
0
39
Concord, NC
I am SO sorry for your loss. When I inherited my girls almost 2 years ago I started with 14. I didn't know that the coop wasn't that secure. After a loss of 1 and then a couple nights later 4 more- I was just devastated. There are so many predators that we have had to deal with: Fox, Opossum, raccoons, bobcat, snakes and they are all very mean and very aggressive. They will find a way to get in so you have to create ft knox for them as their protector. I have actually seen a opossum climb out 8 ft wire fence to get in and out of!

Your poor little guy probably fought his heart out. We actually installed a motion detector light/alarm from home depot that when something goes anywhere near the pen- it goes off and alerts us inside the house and out we go with the gun !

Really my heart aches for you and your kids I just lost my big girl turkey over 3 months ago and I miss her every day.
 

MariposaMama

Songster
11 Years
Aug 31, 2008
270
2
129
Mariposa, CA
Thank you for your sympathies. I know some people would think it silly to be upset over a chicken, but once you've owned them you realize that each has a personality and can grab your heart as much as any other pet.
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I just got the call from the post office, so I'm off to collect the new littles ones. I guess I should be glad of the timing, at least they'll be a distraction.
 

chicknmania

Free Ranging
14 Years
Jan 26, 2007
5,921
1,300
522
central Ohio
Silly? Not on this site. Just a suggestion...you might want to try burying hardware cloth or poultry netting, or make a trough and fill with cement, around the exterior portion of your coop. down about two feet, I think. Probably was a raccoon, and, if so, they'll be back. As a temporary measure, you can just take sheets of plywood and shove it up against the base of your coop, then weight it down, all the way around. Prevents anything from digging, you see. Not especially attractive, but works til you can do something better, and who cares what it looks like? Live traps might or might not work, but they are only a temporary solution, too. Also, check the rest of your building carefully, for holes that a predator might be able to access, I'm sure you know that, anyway. Good luck, sorry for your losses. If I were you I'd keep those little ones inside for awhile...their peeping can attract predators, too.
 

MariposaMama

Songster
11 Years
Aug 31, 2008
270
2
129
Mariposa, CA
Thank you for the advice, Chickmania. The horse shelter is solid cedar with 3X8 beams all along the bottom, so I know nothing dug it's way in. It had to be something that climbed it's way up the chain link I have covering the window openings. I didn't think I needed to attach it to the roof beams, but apparently I was wrong. That is going to be today's project so we don't lose the last one. Poor thing is clearly traumatized and lonely. I hope I can find her a friend about the same age to keep her company.

The day-olds I just picked up will live in the garage for a few weeks. I don't have a spare room in the house where they would be safe from the cats and dogs.
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At least I know that once the big door is closed, nothing can get in there.
 

Chirpy

Balderdash
12 Years
May 24, 2007
3,788
30
221
Colorado
I'm so sorry for your loss. You are certainly right that we get attached to these girls and guys (even if we didn't think we wanted him
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). I bet he saved your other hen when he lost his life.

It's hard learning that we didn't quite have things as secure as we thought. Every little while I panic and go over my whole coop again just sure I've missed a way in. I don't have a total Ft. Knox but I've sure tried. Don't beat yourself up over this.

I'm glad you have the new chicks... we'd love to see pictures of them. I hope they help your kids get through this loss a little easier.
 

jjthink

Crowing
13 Years
Jan 17, 2007
4,623
46
274
New Jersey
Poor roo and hen. So sorry to hear this. Sounds like just one remaining hen? Maybe you can find a way for her to come inside at night till the coop is pred proof and until you find her a friend or two - they are terribly lonely all alone otherwise.
JJ
 

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