As you know, gentle reader, I’ve been waging a cold war against a raccoon. I count my blessings that said raccoon is merely irritating, stealing feed, rather than horrifying, disassembling chickens.
Still. It is irksome.
I cling to the hope that he will move on if only he were thwarted for a sufficiently long period of time. Say…a week? I’ve been in reactive mode, finding situations where he’d bested me and had a good meal, and patching them up to prevent a repeat. This has proved largely successful.
But…”largely” don’t feed the bulldog.
You know all about the Frankenfeeder. It’s retired now until the turkeys might have need of it in the spring. I just can’t face it right now.
The feed bin and tube behind the coop now seems to be secure, and not for lack of his trying. I find the bin overturned from time to time, but he can’t quite figure out the combination of the bicycle lock. (It’s 2116. Shh.)
The treat bin has been another story. The new strap was working well, but I left it insufficiently tightened two evenings ago, and he had another sit-in-the-sunflower-seeds party. The whole thing was really starting to get me down. I’d have a run of three or four nights where his efforts would go unrewarded, then…raccoon nom noms. Back to square one.
I was expressing my frustration to The Man when he said “Why don’t you keep the treat bin inside the coop?”.
The clouds parted, the pigeons flew, and the angels sang. So simple. So fiendishly elegant. I have been so stuck in my thinking that coop space was sacred that this perfect solution had not even occurred to my tiny, inside-the-box brain. But the belief that coop floor space is sacrosanct comes from waaaaay back, when we were determined that the chickens were to be confined to the coop and run. Always.
As things stand now, with the girls out all day, every day, they only use the coop to lay and to sleep, and space is not an issue. Clearly, the coop is raccoon proof, or he would have found a way in by now, on his less-than-successful evenings.
I moved the now half-full treat bin into the coop yesterday. This morning, I found empty buckets strewn around the coop’s outer hallway.
Someone was pissed.