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Old 01-04-2018, 09:05 AM
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barnetmill barnetmill is online now
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Buddy had a problem with coyotes getting his chickens. He got a couple geese. Geese are the meanest animals in the world. Problem solved.
I know that geese are mean critters. Running a coyote off and not becoming the yotes next meal is quite impressive. Some of our coyotes have gotten quite large and make 40lbs and maybe larger.
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:11 AM
BadgeBunny BadgeBunny is offline
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We have a neighbor who leaves cat food out for the feral cats (we live close to a lake and *******s dump their unwanted dogs, cats, ducks and even chickens all the time). This, of course, brings in the possums and coons from the lake. I've never lost a chicken here in town to a coon. Only seen one possum in the tree over the chicken coop.

Rats and mice are a bigger problem than the larger varmits. I suspect, in part, because that big bowl of cat food the neighbor lady leaves out is MUCH easier to "catch".

Oddly enough, I've never had a problem with snakes either.

Now that I've said all that my backyard will be a jungle teeming with wildlife, covered in chicken carcasses, in 24 hours. Lol
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:22 AM
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Walter Tyler Walter Tyler is offline
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Get a live trap and turnem into sausage...
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:41 AM
S610 S610 is offline
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Originally Posted by barnetmill View Post
I do not approve of using it, but the bird netting used to protect berries from birds when placed so that snakes crawl through it will capture snakes. Acts like a gill net.
I have avian netting over the top of the run, the taunt netting isn't a problem but a loose piece that hangs near the coop door has caught the resident rat snakes. After cutting them free a 2 or 3 times I finally trimmed all of the loose netting off.

Having a snake fall on your head when you open the hen house door is a bit unsettling and they are in/out of the coop all day long looking for eggs. Took a while to seal every gap to keep them out at night.
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:52 AM
PurpleKitty PurpleKitty is online now
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Having a snake fall on your head when you open the hen house door is a bit unsettling.
I BET.
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Old 01-04-2018, 12:32 PM
zuren zuren is offline
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Originally Posted by fistfulladirt View Post
A mink could also easily get thru that 4" gap. They can climb like a squirrel.
We thought we had 'coon problems and turned out to be land-lubber mink. Chewed off the heads and ripped the breast of my hens. Caught some mink with traps, and shot some.
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Nothing but the heads gone ? I think weasel ?
We have a known mink population in our area and our neighbor has chickens. He eventually ended up with problems with carcasses exactly as you describe - heads chewed off. I believe a 9mm solved that problem.

My sister also has chickens and had a coon problem. I sounded like coons make a bigger mess (or kill for sport and leave the carcass) of the chicken than simply chewing a head off. So my vote is you have a weasel or a mink issue, not coons, and they can get into VERY small openings.

When I was researching chicken coops once upon a time, many of the suggested designs either completely enclosed the birds in a cube of wire cloth (including underneath) or if that was not practical, had you bury the edges of the sides 12-18" into the ground then flared out to stop diggers from getting under and into the pen.
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Old 01-04-2018, 12:56 PM
S610 S610 is offline
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Originally Posted by zuren View Post
When I was researching chicken coops once upon a time, many of the suggested designs either completely enclosed the birds in a cube of wire cloth (including underneath) or if that was not practical, had you bury the edges of the sides 12-18" into the ground then flared out to stop diggers from getting under and into the pen.
There really aren't many daytime predators that will try to enter a fenced coop other than hawks or possibly a bored overly excited neighborhood dog that tries to dig their way under. I guess maybe if there were never humans around coyotes or something might try during the day, but it is seems to be very rare. Burying hardware cloth around the perimeter would likely do more to keep rats/snakes out, but never line the ground with it, the birds want to scratch in the dirt and dust bathe, wire on the ground would tear up their feet and cause infections.

Night time presents 99% of the risk so most folks just focus on predator proofing the hen house and locking the birds up at dusk, and they fence the chicken run with welded wire or something similar to keep animals like dogs from easily getting in. At night the birds are literally blind and will often stay still as the flock is being slaughtered, during the daytime predators like raccoons, possums, snakes etc... can't catch them so they don't even try.
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:01 PM
fistfulladirt fistfulladirt is offline
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Originally Posted by S610 View Post
Night time presents 99% of the risk so most folks just focus on predator proofing the hen house and locking the birds up at dusk, and they fence the chicken run with welded wire or something similar to keep animals like dogs from easily getting in. At night the birds are literally blind and will often stay still as the flock is being slaughtered, during the daytime predators like raccoons, possums, snakes etc... can't catch them so they don't even try.
You are so right about that. I lost half of my flock overnight, as the coop was completely dark. Hens never had a chance against that big black weasel, they just sat as they were ripped apart. I had to put them down as they were still alive but really torn up. Talk about shock! The next night mink got into the rabbit cage and snuffed the bunny. It had pried open the flimsy hatch. I put a #2 double coilspring in the hutch next to the rabbit and nailed the bugger the next morning. The mink have come up in broad daylight and I had one latched onto one of my Muskovies. Mink have terrible eyesight and I was able to walk right up and blast it. I've had at least a half-dozen encounters with those furry black "snakes", but the outside run on my coop 12'x8'x8' is now completely enclosed by wire, including the base in which I buried wire about a foot deep all the way around. No problems now for the last five years.
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:28 PM
usmchawk usmchawk is offline
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Thanks for the input. I will patch up those 4" holes this coming weekend, hopefully between the dogs and me we can keep the coons out until then. I've got a 10/22 loaded by the door and a surefire flashlight beside it - would love to have another Daniel Boone coonskin cap! :-)
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:29 PM
AZ_HighCountry AZ_HighCountry is offline
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Agreed, getting the wire mesh down below grade at least a foot is important. I've watched dogs, cats, other assorted predators try to get into our pen when I was a kid. Including trying to burrow underneath. It slowed them down long enough to get the appropriate bead.......
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:46 PM
usmchawk usmchawk is offline
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I've no problems with the base or sides. When I built the run, I buried the fencing at least a foot on all sides and I laid it down on the floor and filled in about 6" of soil on top of that. My issue, I believe, were the gaps between the top of the walls and the roof rafters. I still have 3.5" (2x4) gaps in the back where the rafters contact the top of the wall. I have to get those gaps closed this weekend.

The only good news is that since the weather has gone back and forth this fall, the Americauna's quit laying and they were the ones killed.
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:55 PM
S610 S610 is offline
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Originally Posted by usmchawk View Post
I've no problems with the base or sides. When I built the run, I buried the fencing at least a foot on all sides and I laid it down on the floor and filled in about 6" of soil on top of that. My issue, I believe, were the gaps between the top of the walls and the roof rafters. I still have 3.5" (2x4) gaps in the back where the rafters contact the top of the wall. I have to get those gaps closed this weekend.

The only good news is that since the weather has gone back and forth this fall, the Americauna's quit laying and they were the ones killed.
Hopefully you won't have to shoot any raccoons, but if you do, try not to do it inside the hen house.

If the birds get scared out of their wits inside the hen house they may refuse to sleep in it for days which is a real pain because you have to round them up at dusk and carry them in one by one. Plus a traumatic experience can stop egg production for a few days.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:07 AM
Lugh MacArawn Lugh MacArawn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S610 View Post
Hopefully you won't have to shoot any raccoons, but if you do, try not to do it inside the hen house.

If the birds get scared out of their wits inside the hen house they may refuse to sleep in it for days which is a real pain because you have to round them up at dusk and carry them in one by one. Plus a traumatic experience can stop egg production for a few days.
No joke on that. I have been dealing with roof rats for a couple of years now, have lost some new born rabbits in the past, but mainly just had to put all feed in metal cans. My chicken coop is just straw bales stacked up with a plywood roof and several inches of straw on top. Had a nest of rats in there. Simple snap traps tripping during the night scared the chickens enough they refused to use the coop for a few days. I imagine even a .22 shot inside the coop would really "ruffle" their feathers.
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Old 01-06-2018, 07:22 PM
Cat wrangler Cat wrangler is offline
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If it is cold where you are at, I second the weasel or mink. Coons tend to semi hibernate. Weasels go white in the winter and are really quite small.

I have had coons around that never bothered my chickens. My chickens free range part of the year. I have lost more birds to domestic dogs and hawks than any other critters. The one time I found a coon in the coop, it was just after dark and I was late getting home, bit a bullet.
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Old 01-06-2018, 07:26 PM
Cat wrangler Cat wrangler is offline
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[QUOTE=S610;17207778

Having a snake fall on your head when you open the hen house door is a bit unsettling and they are in/out of the coop all day long looking for eggs. Took a while to seal every gap to keep them out at night.[/QUOTE]

If that happened to dh I bet I would have to look for him in the next county, or dead from a heart attack! Might make me have to go change my underwear.....
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:58 PM
S610 S610 is offline
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Originally Posted by Cat wrangler View Post
If that happened to dh I bet I would have to look for him in the next county, or dead from a heart attack! Might make me have to go change my underwear.....
LOL. If it had been a big spider I would have freaked out BIG time and had flashbacks for days!

But snakes don't bother me, though I did start checking the top of the door before entering.
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