The Chattooga Garden is a flower and vegetable garden. It has 4 large rectangular beds which are separated by grass alleys. In the rear there are 6 raise beds, a pumpkin patch, and the chicken coop. It is usually a very nice place to be.
The hen house was built with salvaged lumber and tin from a shed that was on this site before the garden. The lumber is poplar with some boards as wide as 24". We used chicken wire was to secure the coop on all sides including the floor. The residence of the coop are 6 hens and 1 rooster , Dutch bantams. Last week 8 eggs hatched . Everyone was pleased with the prospect of a larger flock.
This, however, did not work out. The day after the hatching the chick count was 6. Two chicks had vanished without a trace. Day three there were no chicks to be found and no signs of foul play.
What happened to the babies?
After reading I suspect we have rats. They are nocturnal feeders who can can slip through a 1/4" crack, are excellent climbers, will eat anything, and can have as many as twelve litters per year, quit a foe.
They would be attracted by the chicken food, eggs baby chicks, but not bother the adult birds because of their size. I think I have created a paradise for these vermin.
Getting them under control is the now the challenge. Poisons are not possible because of local pets. Traps will be by weapon of choice. This will be my personal 9-11 war on terrorism.