Tragedy in the coop

Joe1962

Songster
Aug 3, 2018
97
119
101
I have 4 surviving hens from last year and had 7 new 8 week old chicks in their own area in the coop. I let the adult girls out during the day and leave the little door open for them to come and go. I walked out around 6:30 and my boss hen came running across to yard to me squawking her head off. I when to the coop and seen one chick dead in the run and heard two hens going crazy inside the coop. I closed the door and went back to the house to get the appropriate tools. When I cam back there was a huge she coon in the run. Lets just say I will have no more problems from her. She had gotten into the chick run and killed three. Wounded two others, not sure if they will make it yet. I keep the door open so the can get food and water and lay there eggs. I could only find three of the older hens. I kept whistling for the fourth but she was not to be seen. Finally at about 7:30 she showed up at the coop. I don't want to lock them up.

I want them to be able to forage. I also want to collect their eggs. If I close the door they will lay their eggs outside. I guess keep live traps baited and relocate them when I catch them?
 

Henriettamom919

Crowing
May 1, 2019
1,102
2,056
267
North of Seattle
I am so very sorry :hugs

I would absolutely bait some live traps. There might be a wild animal preserve nearby that will come collect and take them for you.

I get your conundrum but if you see another in the next few days I'd do a lockdown so the baited trap is the only food available.
 

Joe1962

Songster
Aug 3, 2018
97
119
101
They are on lock down now and I have one live trap baited. They are not going to like it but till I know I have this under control. I had one hen setting on eggs for 11 days. The girls are rattled and she whet to the roost after this. I moved the eggs to the incubator.
 

50-45-1

Crowing
11 Years
Free ranging is risky bussiness. I can only do it because my three guardian dogs are also loose and on duty when the chickens are out.
I still have lost 3 hens this spring. I think to a very sneeky bobcat.
I would not relocate racoons. Dispatch them or call animal control and they will do it.
A secure coop and run are the best protection for your chickens. How about a run with some electric fencing?
Sorry you lost your birds.
Good luck!
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
12 Years
Nov 18, 2007
21,676
11,500
641
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
Free ranging is risky bussiness. I can only do it because my three guardian dogs are also loose and on duty when the chickens are out.
I still have lost 3 hens this spring. I think to a very sneeky bobcat.
I would not relocate racoons. Dispatch them or call animal control and they will do it.
A secure coop and run are the best protection for your chickens. How about a run with some electric fencing?
Sorry you lost your birds.
Good luck!
I agree. I have electric wire around my coops and pens, concrete under the gates, some buried wire in some places and heavy duty netting covering all of the pens/runs all due to losses due to predators in the past. I do not close the pop doors in the coops, but have had no intrusions in several years. I have game cameras set up in different places on my property and most every night see a predator on at least one of the cameras.
 

Joe1962

Songster
Aug 3, 2018
97
119
101
I did dispatch the coon that did the killing yesterday. I caught another in the live trap last night. It will be dispatched also as well as all future catches. I have hardened my coop and encased the run with hardwire cloth due to a weasel attack several months ago. This coon got in through the small door I have in the run for the chickens to come and go. I am heading to lowes to pickup an electric fence charger/wire/insulators. Can I run the fence all the time? Or will the chickens get scared of the coop?
 
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