Our chickens began emptying their feed bucket in a few days when it normally only needed to be filled weekly. While our girls are plump, I couldn’t imagine how they could suddenly eat so much. Then one day, the mystery was solved.
One afternoon, while doing my chores I noticed that the interior of the chicken condo looked like it had been struck by a tornado. The feed bucket was overturned and the water bucket hung precariously. Thinking at first that dogs broke in, I counted heads and everyone was accounted for. Nobody appeared stressed. The chickens continued to run in and out. The alpacas cushed (sat) languidly around the coop.
Then it dawned on me. Occasionally, I witnessed Moose or Cocoa peak their heads into the coop. They weren’t just curious they were scheming. These two forever starving alpacas managed to push their way through the coop door, pull the feed bucket to the other side of the structure, and eat chicken feed to their hearts’ content. Their bellies were expanding as my wallet was shrinking from always buying chicken feed.
Ultimately, Jim Bob solved that problem by installing a swinging gate that keeps alpacas out yet allows the chickens to run in and out throughout the day. The alpacas still enjoy relaxing by the chicken coop. But until they figure out how to undo latches, they no longer can break in.