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Something got into our coop last night

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Oblio13, May 28, 2008.

  1. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Heard a commotion at 3:00 a.m. in a coop that had two Silky hens and three young peeps. The squawking stopped just as I got out there, so I think whatever it was ran off when it heard me coming.

    One chick is missing, and one hen is very bloody, especially around her head, but still alive. Her feathers are scattered everywhere, the bucket she was in was moved a couple feet, and the feeder was tipped over. She put up a good fight. The remaining birds are very traumatized. They're used to being picked up, but when I tried to catch the injured one, she raised such a fuss that I decided to leave her alone for now.

    The coop is built very tightly, or at least I thought it was. The only cracks are around the door, and I can't imagine anything larger than a weasel or maybe a mink getting through them. I've seen both in the neighborhood, as well as coons, skunks, dogs, foxes, coyotes, fishers and bears.

    I plan to secure the door better, and set a couple traps (Conibear 110's) baited with sardines (and/or chicken parts, if the hen doesn't survive) tonight.

    Anyone got any better ideas?
     
  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Is there any way the predator could have dug a hole and came in through the floor? My grandparents had a raccoon get into their coop through the roof, so you never know.
     
  3. dixygirl

    dixygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you could post a picture of the coop we could help you search for the possible points of entry
     
  4. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    OH wow what a scary thing for the poor babies! I would sure block those holes. they say that if the predator can slip it's head through it can get through. Can you take pics of where you think the predator got through? Someone may be able to give you some additional advice if they see pics. SO sorry for your lose! Now I bet you will have to retrain them all over again because they are so scared [​IMG] Good luck getting that predator!
     
  5. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]


    The coop is built under our deck. The sides are hog panels. There's chicken wire over everything but the door, including buried under the entire floor.

    The only place I think something could get through is the door (pic), which is covered with plastic poultry netting rather than chicken wire. Squirrels have chewed holes through it. You can see some of the hen's feathers behind it.

    The hen is still alive, by the way. I carried her over to the chopping block, but then thought there'd be no harm in waiting. She can't seem to unfold one of her legs, but it doesn't seem to be broken, and she's missing an eye. But she's calm and let me clean her up.

    Poor thing, I could have saved her a lot of misery if I'd been a little faster out the door.
     
  6. Pitchfork

    Pitchfork Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2008
    Oklahoma
    With a hole that size anything from a fox to a coon, possum, weasel. If it left in a hurry I would rule out possum they can move fast but rarely do. It would have been in there staring at you with a blank look that said, "what"?
     
  7. lovemychicks9

    lovemychicks9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2008
    South Carolina
    Hi I just wanted to share some pictures of the hasp/lock system my husband got at Lowes for our coop. They have the lock right on the hasp. You have to spin the lock itself and that closes it and you can then lock it and coons can not get it open if it is locked at night. Just remember to take the key and put it in the house or they will figure that out too. I had my husband put up farm fencing and then 1/2" hardware cloth over the top of that all the way from 8 inches underground to the rafters on the outside and then put boards over the top of the wire on the rafters. He even put cement around all the footings of wire so we have a 8 inch base of concrete around the run. I did see coons hanging around the coop last night though and spent 2 hours outside at 3 in the morning chasing coons out so I guess they will try anything! good luck everyone!!! Trudy [​IMG] [​IMG]

    these are the locks for the doors-
    [​IMG]

    this is what the door looks like with 2 locks on it-
    [​IMG]
     
  8. dixygirl

    dixygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes it appears they can squeeze in the large hog panel holes and the plastic netting is so weak it serves no purpose at all. You would have been better off using just welded wire and forgetting all the other things you are using.

    http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs...+wire&langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

    Home Depot has 2x3 and 2x4 welded wire. They are what I use.
    [​IMG]
    I double up with chicken wire with smaller holes around the bottom.


    PS Lovemychicks9 yours looks ideal, but that hardware wire is even more expensive!
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2008
  9. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Well, there aren't any holes in the coop big enough for me to stick my fist through, so I still think it's gotta be something small like a weasel or a mink. Hopefully we'll know by morning.

    I've set a couple Conibear 110 traps with sardines as bait, and left the injured hen in the coop, too. The other hen and the two remaining chicks will spend the night in a box in the house.

    I've also got a suppressed .22 and a flashlight by the door, and the window open so I can hear any squawking, or better yet, a loud metallic "clang".
     
  10. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I would say raccoon because its could bite through the plastic and grab the bird.
    How's your hurt one?
     

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