The scariest halloween ever, my flock is dead or dying....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by rparrny, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. rparrny

    rparrny In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2012
    I have had an eglu for two years...I actually have two of them. I have many racoons in the area and they are always a concern but I find with the coop door shut, it has been a fortress of safety for my girls. I often see the muddy footprints of the raccoons all over the eglu but they have always been safe.
    This morning I went out to let the girls out to enjoy a head of cabbage I got for them and inside one of the girls was half eaten another dead and two more barely breathing. All doors were closed and secure...tons of raccoon prints all over the top of the coop.
    There are vents on the sides of the coop but I would never have believed they could get to the girls that way, but I see no other option. So now I have no possible way to keep any chicken safe on my property without building a coop around a coop...and if they were clever enough to get through an eglu I doubt that would stop them anyway.
    My first thought it to break out the shotgun and wait for them to come tonight to finish the job on the two still breathing...
    Instead maybe I will call the town animal control and see if they will set out some traps.

    what a way to start the day...

  2. sn0wwhite

    sn0wwhite Songster 5 Years

    May 11, 2013
    Oh, no, I am so sorry for your loss!
  3. rparrny

    rparrny In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2012
    Well I called the town and was told wild animals are my problem not theirs, so I called a company that specializes in such things...I was told it was $550 each week for trapping. When I told the guy I'd rather get out my shotgun he offered me another of tomorrow it is legal to trap and shoot raccoons for a few months, the pelts get good money over in Russia. If I would allow traps on my property, he would set them up for free. Turns out most people want the raccoons released unharmed...I want those monsters to pay for what they did to my girls.
    He's coming tonight to set up.
    Am I a monster for wanting them dead? I've lived here for over 35 years and raccoons have always been an issue here. I let bygones be bygones. When they got one of my girls that refused to go in the coop one night and stayed in the fenced outer run I did not blame the raccoon, I blamed myself for not physically going in there and grabbing her and putting her in the coop. I don't consider my hens my pets...I respect them, they amuse me at times but they provide me with eggs and I provide them with good food and shelter. I have never gotten the bond with them that I have with my other animals. When I think of the terror they faced last night I am so upset with myself...but I have no idea what I could have done differently. I'm hoping that it was one very smart raccoon that finally figured out how to get at them and I hope that if I trap a few of them, any new coons that come along will not figure it out. The two girls left still barely alive are still in the coop, breathing rapidly. I doubt there is much I could do to save them and even if I could by tonight that raccoon would be back to finish the job and there isn't a thing I could do about it short of posting myself with my shotgun outside the coop all night.
    I will do my best to keep them warm and peaceful in the meantime.
    What a sad day...
  4. brandon170

    brandon170 Chirping

    Jun 6, 2013
    Central Indiana
    When he comes out to set his traps you should watch how he does it. That way if you have problems in the future you will be able to do it yourself if needed. Good luck

  5. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Songster

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    Oh, no. How horrible and what a shock that must have been. I've so sorry.

    There's info on BYC about how to trap coons. You'll also find some video's on youtube. If you trap them, you need to dispatch them as they'll just come back if you attempt to relocate.

    Good luck and - again - I'm so sorry.
  6. raveninca

    raveninca Hatching

    Oct 31, 2013
    I'm with you, I lost three wonderful chickens last night. It was our fault as we forgot to close the door upon sunset, we only remembered when it was past 9pm, and we caught the raccoon eating one of them, another laying next to her, and the third one inside the house. Terrible loss. We too consider out chickens pets and had names for each one. I will say that a little piece of my heart was taken when they were killed (sad face with tears). Anyway, there maybe another predator that could have killed your chickens, you mention there are ventilation slats in the igloo, I was thinking perhaps a rat or two could have gotten in there? I heard from a fellow byc owner that one of her chickens went into a seizure and rats attacked it and tried to drag it back to their hole but the chicken couldn't fit in it so they abandoned it. Just a thought. Right now we are obsessed on how to keep the raccoon from coming back and trying again. Good luck on your end.
  7. keepmumsane

    keepmumsane Songster

    Nov 5, 2009
    Oh thats hideous. We had a problem with ferrets and our fog at the time when I first got hens. Its a terrible thing to find. Doesnt matter if theyre pets or livestock no one want s that to happen poor girls. Im with you pests must go.

  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    For that much money you can buy 10 nice live traps of your very own
    4 people like this.
  9. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    That is awful, i do know coons do reach n grabs.. but the door wasn't open? i am not that familiar with the Eglu coop(heard of it but would need to examine it's design) can you just move the coop tonight? into a garage, a shed, other building??

    You can definitely trap on your own, i wouldn't pay some guy that kind of fee, the only problem is coons are clever... they come back when they know they have a source so while you may get rid of the current ones, sadly more can come later, a definite redesign of the coop and/or set up is your best long term solution , can you pen around this Eglu? even if it's smaller for overnight purposes.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013

  10. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I decided to do some reading, ran across this review on Amazon(from this yr)

    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars A design flaw in the Eglu Go got my chickens killed, June 19, 2013

    This review is from: Eglu Go - Green - Chicken House (Misc.)
    Hi everyone,

    I want to give notice to anyone considering purchasing an Eglu Go who lives within range of raccoons. You can easily search the internet for a range map of raccoons if you are unsure if there could be raccoons in your area.

    I bought an Eglu on March 4, 2013 to house three chickens that we got for our children as an Easter present. We had great fun watching our new chicks grow up indoors for a few weeks until they were old enough to be moved outside into their new Eglu Go home. The chickens seemed happy in the Eglu Go, but the happiness didn't last very long. A few weeks ago I went outside to let the chickens out from their coop and was surprised to see one of our chickens, Chicky Chirpa, walking freely around our backyard. And that's when I saw the massacre.

    The entire back wall of the Eglu Go is a door that latches and unlatches with a turn knob, a useful feature for easily getting into the coop to clean and retrieve eggs. This is how the raccoons got into the chicken coop. There were muddy raccoon paw prints all over the back of the door and it was clear to me from viewing the prints and the scratches around the knob that the raccoon(s) fiddled with the knob and managed to open it. The door was completely separated from the Eglu Go. Feathers were everywhere. My girlfriend and I ran around our neighborhood looking for the two missing chickens hoping that they had escaped and were running around like Chicky Chirpa. After having no luck finding them, we returned to the Eglu Go and saw raccoon prints in the dirt leading away from the Eglu Go toward a vacant house next door. The vacant house next door has an open crawl space where the tracks were leading. I grabbed a flashlight and trained the beam into the crawlspace of the house to find even more feathers and the bodies of our other two chickens, Mary Poopins and Princess Zelda.

    What a disappointing and heartbreaking experience! We had to explain to our children, 7 and 4 years old, that their chickens weren't alive anymore. We've now got one chicken left and are still figuring out the best way to introduce new chickens in the future. Feeling very unsafe with the Eglu Go and disappointed in what otherwise could have been a fun and rewarding experience, I feel compelled to let everyone know that I am most dissatisfied with the Eglu Go.

    Central to my decision to purchase the Eglu Go are the claims it makes about keeping out foxes. I assumed the safety and security issues that were addressed in the design phase of this product would include most urban critters, but this is not the case.

    I called customer service and, after being told that a representative in the US (I live in Oregon) would be calling me back, I waited a week with no response or calls from Omlet. Three days ago I called a second time and spoke with Johannes. He said that raccoons have not been much of an issue for owners of the Eglu Go, but they do have an ancillary add-on lock that attaches to the back door. He said he would find one in their stock and get one out to me and call me back. Why this locking mechanism doesn't come fitted on the door already I do not know. Well, this morning I got the following email from their customer support:

    Hello Josh

    I'm so sorry to hear you are having trouble with Racoons getting into your GO. Johannes in the UK office has located some of the locking bars we have had made and is having them sent over to the USA for them to go on sale in the USA.

    It will probably be a couple of weeks before they arrive but I will let you know when they do so you can place an order for one if you wish to do so.

    Best regards

    So this is where I am at. The lock is not available yet, but when it becomes available in the coming weeks I will be asked to pay for it. How much will it cost? I have no idea. Ugh. After spending six hundred dollars on a coop that couldn't keep raccoons from killing my chickens, I'm told that in the coming weeks I may, if I wish to do so, pay for a locking mechanism to place on the door.

    In the meantime, I have connected ratchet straps across the coop completely closing off the back door. This makes it impossible for me to get into the coop to clean and retrieve eggs without removing all of the straps, a time consuming and annoying process, but it's the only way to keep the door critter-free.

    If you've made it this far into my long post, I want to reiterate my initial warning: if you live in an area where raccoons could be present, the Eglu Go in its current state cannot keep them out of your coop and away from your chickens. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it really sucks to find your chickens killed by critters that this high-end urban product should keep out.

    Sincerely, Josh Sullivan, Bend, Oregon
    In memory of Mary Poopins and Princess Zelda.


    UPDATE: Omlet contacted me and said that they will send me one of the new locking mechanisms for free as soon as they are available."

    I'll direct link the page, as another reviewer spoke of a coon problem.
    2 people like this.

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