Looks like we had a (strong) visitor last night..not that my half-ass staple job was going to keep anything out but I was waiting for the weekend to fix it all up since it was getting dark when I originally did the work and was rushing to get done.
SO, last night @ 2am I hear some urgent chirping..so I went out to poke around with Jango on leash ( so he cannot run away if it is a bear) and I see 3 critters scoot away from the coop..took a peak inside the mini-coop and the chicks were still there. So I set off after the critters..around 30 ft from the coop I see some black and white tails going up a tree..a mother and 2 juvenile raccoons..must have been the same ones who got Ma..I harrassed them for an hour or so..then went off to bed.
Well, when I checked this morning we still had chicks..minus 1 (blackbeard)..I had not counted the chicks and I know nothing was into the coop after I saw the raccoons but they had claimed a chick via the coop weakpoint..and nearby in the daylight I found the pelvis and spine..they had cleaned blackbeard to the bone.
..and then there were 3:
Now that we have a problem I went out and bought a live raccoon trap and set it up in the mini-coop..awaiting another visitor.
It is simple but seems effective..but raccoons are known to be wily so I will see it if works. I also moved the chicks back into the main coop and everybody seems to be getting along fine and now the chicks follow behind the main flock when out foraging..one mostly happy family.
Hopefully more to come when I actually catch the raccoons..or the raccoons clean me out and force me to stop posting about chickens!