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We have kept chickens relatively problem free for about the last 8 years. We have an eglu Go attached to an enclosed walk in run (2m/3m) on a hard standing. We recently lost all out chickens. I assumed that I had left the gate accidentally open as it was open and 3 chickens missing, 1 dismembered in the garden. We blamed our local fox (the reason we have to keep them fully enclosed. Later that evening we witnessed a visit from a badger but thought little of it. We restocked but after a few days found all the chickens dead in the run with their heads bitten off. The run was still locked shut. The whole unit, nesting box and run had been shifted about a foot. The bottom right corner of the eglu Go had been prized open and broken. I now also wonder if the badger had forced open the gate to the walk in run during the first attack as it is quite unlike me to leave it open. 

Has anyone else experienced badgers breaking in through the back door of a Go or the gate of the walk in enclosure?

I am really writing this as a warning to others and also seeking suggestions for fortifications. So far I have weighted all round the edge with concrete blocks, and built a cage around the Go, attached to the walk in run with cable ties, also weighted down. We are rather nervous about restocking as the incident was rather unpleasant, especially for our young kids who witnessed the aftermath...

badger1.JPG

badger2.JPG

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I think we should add this to the sticky about Fox Attacks.   I’m so sorry for your awful experience but thank you for sharing it.  The pictures are very useful too so that others can take precautions.   You might like to put a post about it on the Omlet Chicken Keeping FB page to reach those who get their advice this way.   I hope you do restock.  Would an electric fence be another defence worth considering? 

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Thanks for pointing out about the FB page. I am new to this forum and not sure how to add to a sticky? We are trying to consider the logistics of an electric fence and how that would mix with cats, small children and not enough space around the enclosure to avoid shorting it out. We did read that quite a high voltage is needed to penetrate the thick wiry fur on an badger. 

Once complete I plan to bait the hive with tasty badger delicacies to tempt it to try to break in again. Hopefully this will test out all my additional security features before putting any more birds lives at risk. We live in quite an urban setting but our garden is sandwiched between a small brook and a rail line. I suspect the local urban wildlife is more hungry than usual due to closure of local take aways and restaurants, and braver than usual due to reduced traffic on the roads. 

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I think the idea of an electric fence is that most animals will generally touch it first with their nose, so it doesn’t need to be that strong to deter.

It sounds very likely that this was badgers both times.
 

The cage around he go and lots of extra cable ties will hopefully do the trick - I’m not sure blocks would - badgers are very strong.

Sorry to hear you lost your chooks - never good.

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Very sorry to hear about your chickens - that's very upsetting.  In our previous house we had badgers, foxes and deer regularly visiting our garden.  Our chickens were all housed in eglu classics or a mark I cube, with attached runs, and then electrified poultry netting surrounding the lot.  We did lose 2 chickens to a badger attack (we interrupted the badger in the middle of the event) but it was an occasion when the fence battery needing charging and the fence was shorting out because of long grass - which was my fault.  However, the rest of the time (approx. 10 years) we had no problems even though we regularly saw badgers and foxes in the garden, and had camera trap footage of their nocturnal ramblings across the lawn (accompanied by our two cats).  We also had a 7 year old child at the time who learned how to use the electric fence and how to avoid it - as did his friends.  The cats also learned to cope with the fence (one of our current cats regularly jumps over the fence in and out of the chicken run- she appears to know not to touch it). So, providing the fence and battery are checked regularly we have found them to be effective against badgers - but you definitely need to peg the fence to the ground otherwise badgers will go under it.  We also lock our birds in their eglus and cube at night, as well as shutting the run doors, for added security.

 

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So sorry to hear about your losses......it's heartbreaking to find that your lovely girls have been decimated like that and I do feel for you. I think that there is versimilitude in your comment about food outlets being closed and urban wildlife foraging in other places. And electric fence sounds like the solution. Good luck!

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Such a sad story to read.

I am so sorry for you and your family to have gone through such an experience xx

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I have very cautiously reintroduced 4 new chickens to the run. I have carried out a lot of modifications including a cage around the sleeping compartment which totally encloses it, with double flaps to get in, security spikes and a lot of heavy blocks around it. The run entrance also has double flaps to get in and security spikes. There is a metal mesh skirt around most of the base allowing the run to be weighted down inside and outside. Every joint is cable tied together in addition to the plastic clips supplied. I have also been sleeping downstairs on the sofa with the window open and a baseball bat just in case. It took 4 days before the badger revisited at 4:30am but I woke up with the commotion and chased it off. It was huge and making a good effort at the weakest side of the run. I have further upgraded security as a result. My next step is to concrete the whole set up to the paving flags... Any more secure and it will be impossible to get in to clean and feed the chickens and collect the eggs! Fingers crossed this lot do better than the last ones. If this set up is not badger proof I fear I will have to give up. 

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Posted (edited)

Have you thought any more about an electric  fence round the whole set up?  

Edited by Patricia W

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I am also sorry to hear of the attack, badgers are very strong and determined. One point ot add to your already impressive fortifications is that the 2nd generation Omlet housing isn't anywhere near as robust as the first generation, so mark 1 cubes and the Classic. The fact that the mark 1 cube is raised off the ground will also help with security. The classic is still made, and the Omlet cube 1 is available on eBay. Quite a lot of us older forum members prefer this range.

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