Some sad news this Flock Friday: a raccoon got into one of our chicken coops, and killed two of our chickens. (Don’t worry, there are no graphic pictures in this post.)
I’ve had some issues with a couple of the pop door openers recently, where they sometimes don’t open or close. I wasn’t too concerned about the one on the new chicken coop, as the run is fully enclosed, even with netting on the roof; just a small opening into the old run. I’m not sure if the raccoon got in via that hole, or over the fence and through some small gap in the roof netting, but it did.
When I did my morning rounds on Monday, I saw a dead chicken in the run: Lola, the introverted chicken (a Blue Cochin). Looking around, I saw a second dead chicken elsewhere in the run: Tilly (a Double-Laced Barnevelder).
Reviewing the cam footage, I saw the raccoon in the coop shortly after midnight on Monday:
The raccoon looked at the seven chickens roosting on top of the nesting boxes:
But went after the easy target, Lola, alone on the main roosts:
Not a nice way to go at all. I don’t know what happened with Tilly, though; I only saw the raccoon in the coop once. Perhaps she was on the outside roosts, which attracted the attention of the raccoon? Unfortunately, the run camera doesn’t record, so I couldn’t see what happened there.
I feel really bad that I hadn’t manually closed the pop door. I have been checking it each night ever since, and working with the manufacturer to diagnose its issues.
Still, it could have been much worse, if the raccoon had gone back for more.
Sorry if this sad news brings you down; it’s all part of life on the homestead, but not a pleasant aspect.
For the other chickens, life goes on. Here they are with leafy treats:
Buffy in a nesting box:
As for the ducks, I’m continuing my daily duck posts for another few days, while there are frequent changes, though will probably stop sometime in the coming week, and roll the duck pictures into the Flock Friday posts from next week. Though I’m tempted to do a “daily duck” post, restricted to one picture per day, or something like that. Let me know what you think.
So for now, let’s suffice with one last picture of Bert before the new ducks joined him, stealing the koi food:
More duck pictures tonight.