The problem is that raccoons really do like chickens ..... FOR DINNER!
I have an 8' tall chain link fence around my chicken run. It was a safety zone for the girls from any local dogs that got into the yard.
Unfortunately, the two new chickens didn't want to stay in there and they taught the others to do this. ~
So, the minute I let them out of the coop in the morning, they all fly over that fence and wander around the yard. They wander into the neighbour's yards, even though they have dogs. My neighbours have been very good about having my girls dig in their flower beds and eat their tomatoes but it's just not safe.
They do love to come to the patio door and squawk at me for treats. I mean, who doesn't love having chicken poop all over their patio?
I don't really mind having to hose a bit of poop off and they provide hours of entertainment for the kittens. ~
But, the other day when I came back from visiting a couple of doors away, there was a raccoon in the yard! A raccoon can rip up four chickens in no time at all. It was a young coon and it ran off when it saw me but I knew I had to get moving on closing in the top of the run or it would be Bye Bye Birdie!
I share the chickens with my sister and brother in law and they came to help close in the top. ~
It's not pretty but it gets the job done and I don't have to worry the whole time I'm away from home. ~
I'm going to have to grow some kind of vine up over the whole thing and disguise it. Hmmm - what to grow? Any ideas?
Just when I was feeling good about living with an eyesore for the sake of the girls, a neighbour told me his dog had chased a couple of them the day before. Okay. Then, he said all four chickens had been perched on top of the fence this morning. Okay. Then, he said he hoped they didn't get their necks caught in the roof fencing when they tried to fly out.
Why did he have to put that thought in my head when I was sure I was done worrying!