Something is getting in the run.....but how

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mike harrington, May 8, 2019.

  1. mike harrington

    mike harrington In the Brooder

    Jun 4, 2017
    Southern MD
    In the past week I have came home from work to find 2 of my Hens with their heads chewed off and part of their backsides chewed on. I know it is a raccoon most likely as there is a big fat one wondering around my property. The only problem is my coop and run in enclosed all around with chicken wire and at some points doubled up. There are no indications around the bottom to say it's going under the fence so when the sun comes up I'll investigate the top a little better. I've had no predator problems for the past year and now twice in 1 week.
    penny1960 likes this.
  2. I predict you will find a hole in the chicken wire somewhere. Probably up high.
  3. Tortoise

    Tortoise Songster

    Aug 19, 2018
    I'm new at this, keeping chickens. But I have read that chicken wire is not a safe enough fencing because coons can reach thru. Possibly they are reaching in and getting them?
    So sorry btw.
    trumpeting_angel and penny1960 like this.
  4. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

    Aug 30, 2017
    Poplar Bluff, MO
    My Coop
    Or it's a weasel their MO is to bite the neck and drink the blood in any case you need to catch the varmint and kill it as it will keep coming back. As @Tortoise mentioned the function of chicken wire is to keep chickens in not to prevent predication. Examine your run closely for any openings. Add a hot wire to the outside to keep predators out. Use the chicken wire as the ground it's very effective that way.

    trumpeting_angel and penny1960 like this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Agrees...could even be an overlap that can be pushed thru but not look like a hole.
    Looks for tufts of hair.
    Is bottom of mesh, where it meets the ground secured?
    trumpeting_angel and penny1960 like this.
  6. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Songster

    Jan 24, 2016
    I am dealing with something similar. In my case a skunk pulled away a section of the hardware cloth I have under my coop. I think a weasel went into the hole the skunk made under the coop and then into the run. Weasels can get in a very small hole.
    trumpeting_angel and penny1960 like this.
  7. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land

    Dec 29, 2015
    Mossyrock, WA
    Hardware cloth is much more secure replace all chicken wire as soon as possible I am so sorry you lost the ones
  8. PetitePlume

    PetitePlume Chirping

    Dec 20, 2017
    Dawson City, Yukon
    I would say smaller than 3/4 inch looking at the size of the skull.
    So it would go right though the chicken wire. Although they are usually nocturnal.
    Rat trap in a box with a small hole! You could just leave iteven in the coop or where ever, the chickens couldn't get it. They are xurious and like dark holes...
  9. mike harrington

    mike harrington In the Brooder

    Jun 4, 2017
    Southern MD
    I went through my run 3 times and zip tied every little opening/loose wire I found. Went from 5 Hens to 0 in 2 weeks.
    No weasels in MD it's a racoon got him on the trail camera.
    May go with a HOT fence 24-36 inches up along the bottom of the run or maybe over lap the fencing some more.
    They lasted about a year but the racoons found an opening that I couldn't find. Time to start over
  10. trumpeting_angel

    trumpeting_angel Crowing

    Feb 6, 2019
    So sorry for your loss! How sad. Best of luck with the coop/run modifications!

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