A raccoon came through our property and ate one chicken and killed the other five in a single night. I closed the chickens up in their coop myself just after sunset and did a check at midnight. Around 4 am I heard a noise and went outside, but didn’t see or hear anything. It wasn’t until kali opened the coop in the morning that she discovered the chickens dead and realized that I woke up because the chickens were under attack I just arrived after silence fell from the conclusion of the raccoons assault. I set out traps to catch the culprit but caught a opossum instead which I relocated to an appropriate wildlife management area.
We decided that we are going to do full grown chickens including a rooster AFTER we move to a new property. Because we are unlikely to catch the culprit which killed 6 chicks after 3 months of work and we will have to transition them to the new property anyway it’s not worth the effort. The adults should have an easier time and a bigger enclosure that’s more secure. And the addition of the rooster should stabilize the population and protect the flock. We are also getting more larger animals that should help protect them like pigs, dogs and peacocks.
We are heart broken over the loss of our chickens. They were well behaved, trained and enjoyed our company. Even in an urban environment we are not free from predators mentioned in an earlier related post. And despite the curious and rascally behavior raccoons are natural predators and not just cute trash pandas. We do have some good news which I will write up in another post. Wish us luck as we venture out in such of a permanent home, self sufficient and hopefully free from peril.