what kind of animal can open the top hatches on a chik-n-barn?

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

  1. fallenweeble

    fallenweeble Songster

    Dec 4, 2007
    we have the smaller/younger chickens in a chik-n-barn/yard combo. when setting the whole thing up i put 1/2 inch hardwire on the bottom of the barn and yard and also at the corners and other vulnerable areas. there are no gaps bigger than one inch.
    on saturday evening something managed to get a roo out of the coop! [​IMG] (he was my silkie/buttercup baby, only half grown!!!!). we looked everywhere for him on sunday but could only find some feathers in the yard. he is nowhere to be found.
    none of the other chickens are missing from that coop.
    the only way, i figure, that he could have been taken out of that enclosure is if something opened one of the top hatches on the chik-n-barn. but what type of predator has this capability? (besides humans . . .)
    i did buy a live trap on sunday in hopes that i could catch the villian and i've had it close to the coop for several nights but so far - nothing! [​IMG]
    this is like an X files episode!!!!!
    any ideas or theories are welcome.
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I bet it was a coon. They can open doors and peek into every trash can down the street to see what's inside to eat.
  3. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    I'll second that... they're like little monkeys when it comes to opening things...

    So sorry about your baby... :aww
  4. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Humans is my first thought...

    Crafty raccons is next, though...

    We have our chick-N-barn raised up on a 2' high frame and I still worry about coons getting in, even though we have the spring-clasps holding our lids closed.


  5. antiquebuff

    antiquebuff Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Franklin, NC
    I would guess a coon also.....they will do anything looking for food and have been known to open latches and doors. Sorry you lost your Roo.[​IMG]
  6. TeaLady

    TeaLady In the Brooder

    May 9, 2008
    Coons are smart and strong. We're working on our coop now; for the temporary one on the back porch I'm using a gate latch with an unlocked padlock. I'm ready to go to a locked padlock with the key on a string next to it if need be. I don't think they are quite up to using the key.
  7. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    *Racoons might STEAL the key, though. Maybe, tealady. Weeble, sorry about your roo. :[ I hope you find out what happened & can get it stopped.
    Last edited: May 28, 2008
  8. Bi0sC0mp

    Bi0sC0mp Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    yup a sneaky coon its amazing the things they can do open doors.. windows.. unreal..
  9. I have a hasp and combination lock on the door to our run as well as inside latches. Coons can definitely get past a 1" opening, 1/2" is more reliable. I'm so sorry you lost your roo, he may have taken up a defensive position and got taken first. This predator will return.
  10. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    The rule of thumb for coons and latches is if a "3-4 year child can undo the latch, so can the coon". They also have the benefit of being excellent climbers, and they are extremely strong.

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