Whats getting in the coop??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by AMChandler, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. AMChandler

    AMChandler In the Brooder

    Nov 24, 2010
    We have a metal shed coop on a concrete slab. No major holes from what we can see. Something is getting in there and getting the chickens out! Last Sat was the first time. The only evidence was missing chicken and lots of feathers inside and out. This morning, same thing, but this time there was also blood outside in front of the door and what looked like a wing, but nothing else apart from lots of feathers.
    It almost seems like somethings coming in the front (sliding) doors, getting a chicken, taking it outside and closing the doors behind it. Thats crazy tho, right? Nothing can do that...?
    Any advice or ideas? We are down to two chickens. They've just started laying eggs.
    Thanks in advance!
  2. bald k9

    bald k9 Songster

    Sep 5, 2009
    Rural Edwardsville
  3. MMPoultryFarms

    MMPoultryFarms Songster

    Jun 21, 2010
    Okarche Oklahoma
    Quote:We would really need to locate your are to know what predators to look for what state are you from what are your surroundings like?
  4. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    Can the side bottom of the building be pushed in? Metal is not always braced good. If the doors are sliding ones a racoon could easily open it, but I don't think any animal would take the time to close it. Maybe a human preditor? Gloria Jean

    PS sprinkle some flour or lime around the area and look for footprints in the am.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I'm sorry you're losing chickens. That's a terrible think to have happen.

    It's kind of hard to tell, without seeing it. It doesn't have to be a big hole, though, it can just be a gap that's a little too big. I don't have any openings on my coop larger than a 1/2 inch. How big are the gaps around the door? Is it a sliding door that has a bit of a gap? Can the door or wall flex enough to make a larger gap? If that's the problem, you might be able to add just a bit of framing to solve the problem. How are the other openings in the coop? Vents, windows, where the roof and walls meet?

    Raccoons can reach through small gaps to dismember chickens and weasels come in really small, but deadly, sizes.
  6. caddyeldorado2006

    caddyeldorado2006 In the Brooder

  7. AMChandler

    AMChandler In the Brooder

    Nov 24, 2010
    Thanks for the responses. We are in Missouri, about an hour southwest of St. Louis, on 15 acres chock full of fields, woods, rocks and creeks. I have seen a raccoon around in the general area of the coop. The shed's pretty well framed up, the only real entry point I can see would be the sliding doors. We have a bungee cord type latch that holds them tight together, so they cant be opened without removing it. I can push on the sides of the door a little, which I can see something getting in that way maybe, although I had to push pretty hard. I dont see how its getting back out with a big chicken!
    We've had them out there since October. I dont understand why its happening now?
    I went out to take pics of the shed, but of course the camera batteries are dead, too!
    I thought of human predators as well. But I reaaallly dont want to think of someone coming way up here to get my chickens! [​IMG]
  8. dewey

    dewey Songster

    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    It's amazing how strong even small predators are. It doesn't really sound like a racoon but it can't be ruled out. My racoon could push open entry doors that were heavily weighted. They're stronger than small dogs and a determined dog can get through amazing things. It sounds like the doors might be being used like swinging doors, if there's no other entry point. Can the door be pushed open from the inside, too? So sorry for your losses...just when you think they're locked up tight, too!
  9. gambler

    gambler In the Brooder

    Sep 20, 2010
    western Pa
  10. AMChandler

    AMChandler In the Brooder

    Nov 24, 2010
    Found a chicken body last night stashed in a hollow tree a few feet from the coop! The feed store lady said a raccoon would only eat by the water and maybe it was a skunk! No sign of predator, tracks or anything around the tree.
    The two remaining big girls are so far so good, but seem very skittish now.
    Picked up 10 new chicks today, 5 Americauna and 5 Rhode Island Reds. Here's hoping!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: