Worst Feeling Ever - Waking up & Finding out you left the coop open

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Nifty-Chicken, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    This morning our daughter got up before we did and came into our bedroom and said, "Why are Whitey's feet hurt?" (yes, our daughter who was 3 at the time names our chickens based on color)

    My heart sunk then raced...

    The only reason she should be able to see a chicken is if the coop was left open the night before... and when the coop is open there is usually a VERY high probability of massive coon caused carnage.

    In a dazed stupor I threw on some clothes and went outside. I was expecting bodies all over but was so relieved to find the coop shut up tight.

    We don't know what happened, but somehow Whitey got left out. Maybe my auto coop door closer went off too early, but more likely she flew over our fence and couldn't get back in.

    We've lost a good number of chickens (and duck) from leaving the door open too late at night or not closing it. It is the worst feeling to wake up thinking that all your flock may be dead because of a simple mistake.
  2. Steve

    Steve Ye Olde Henhouse Builder

    I did that once last summer....woke up to find the door wide open, luckily nothing was wrong with the birds but it sure made my heart sink.
  3. RooManRed

    RooManRed Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2008
    Albany Ga.
    Glad everyone was o k .
  4. Daycare Mom

    Daycare Mom Chickens, Cuddly and Delicious

    Apr 9, 2008
    Conklin, Michigan
    Oh, I know that feeling all to well, I left my coop open last year and when I went out I couldn't find any live chickens. After it started to get a little light out about half the flock returned, the other half was killed and their bodies were all over the yard. It was very sad. I have never left the coop open again. But accidents do happen. Glad everything turned out better for you.
  5. Rte.66_chicks

    Rte.66_chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2008
    Kingman, AZ
    How bad were Whitey's feet? Had she been attacked?
  6. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    I've fallen asleep so many times and left it open. Somehow no chicken
    has been harmed.

    I'm very happy to hear all is ok. [​IMG]
  7. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Rte.66_chicks :

    How bad were Whitey's feet? Had she been attacked?

    Oh, I forgot to comment on that!

    Turns out her feed were just "black" from scratching in the mud in the morning hours while she waited for us to let her sisters out. My 5 year old interpreted the black feed as being hurt.​
  8. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2007
    Thank God they were OK!
    I've driven home in a panic once or twice -- when I was out having fun, and forgot to come to shut the coop door and no-one was home that I could call.
  9. HennyPennies2007

    HennyPennies2007 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2008
    I had just integrated a bunch of pullets into my flock...they were not the swiftest...neither was I. I woke up in the morning and they were all huddled up outside the coop door. Somehow I missed them when I locked them up. My run was not that big, but I somehow didn't see them. I was totally freaked out... but they were all OK. God was watching out for me.
  10. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, if feels like the chicken equivalent of Russian roulette... is that going to be the night that the coons are out and about sniffing at your coop or will you luck out and not have any losses.

    We've had about 3 attacks over the years. We've been SUPER lucky that every time there was an attack we were either just getting home or were just going outside to close them up. Too late to save a few, but early enough to save the majority.

    Fortunately even though we've left the coop open all night less than 9 times in the last 5 years, we've been REALLY lucky that it wasn't a night that the coons were in the area. If they were, we'd have had no survivors.

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