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Too many raccoons

post #1 of 4
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So I live in front of about 150 acres of land that is currently being reclaimed as prairie by a group called the Prairie Enthusiasts (plug).  As good for the land as it might be, removing all the Sumac and scrub trees that have taken over what used to be grass land; they are moving all the critters into the little five acre plot I bought three years ago.  Our chicken coop is one of the corn crib sections in the back half of our barn.  I lined it with plywood, put in heavily screened windows with removable glass panels at about five foot up.  It's very spacious, so I have room to go in and close it the inside which means no problems with predators unhooking anything.  We have still lost all of our chickens over winters though, and killing them seems to just leave room for the next family to move in.  First it was the fact that there was no ceiling over the birds and the coons would climb in from above.  Obviously I put up a ceiling that spring.  The second year two of them hid inside the coop during the day and I sacrificed my birds because I forgot to look around before closing them in.  Well, this year the monster's aren't waiting until winter.  Yesterday my wife saw one about the size of our Pit Bull on short legs hanging out in the back yard.  Is there a such thing as a Dire Coon?  I went out last night to find a female raccoon just sitting in the chickens doorway.  It knew right away it had already eaten because there were twelve out of fifteen birds sitting up on their roosts that the coon was ignoring.  I even had time to get my coon killing tools and she just sat there.  I'm going to start trapping them, but I won't be able to use a leg trap because I have barn cats and a dog that play in the woods where the coons live.  I'm going to be getting a live cage trap, but I know the coons will choose live chickens over any bait, because they've already had a taste.  So what I will do is strap the box right inside the chickens door.  Instead of closing them up I will use them as bait from the safe side of the cage.  We'll see how it goes.

Homesteading on a 6 acre hobby farm in Southern Wisconsin. Raising a gifted child, A barnyard mix of chickens, Icelandic sheep, A sweet elderly pitty bull, a few barn cats, and a large garden.  

 

 

History Geek- Medieval reenactment, fiber arts and cooking, and natural architectural nut.

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Homesteading on a 6 acre hobby farm in Southern Wisconsin. Raising a gifted child, A barnyard mix of chickens, Icelandic sheep, A sweet elderly pitty bull, a few barn cats, and a large garden.  

 

 

History Geek- Medieval reenactment, fiber arts and cooking, and natural architectural nut.

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post #2 of 4

Meanwhile keep your flock on lockdown!  I've used marshmallows and fruit to trap raccoons, so the cats aren't interested.  Use the large sized live trap, and a smaller one, and set two or three traps at the same time.  The coons will go for the bait, and then shoot them!  You've got a family, and they all need to be gone, because they've decided that chicken is the best.  My coop and run are predator proof, at least until bears arrive, so when the birds are in, nobody gets them.  Hardware cloth, well secured, and woven wire over it, and a solid foundation;  Many of us learn the hard way about predators!  Mary

post #3 of 4
You can use dog proof coon traps. Its a spike inside a piece of pipe they reach into for a goody. Marshmallows have been reported to be good bait. You can put the live traps inside a trash can to keep them from reaching through the sides to get bait. Any that get out of trap likely dont get caught again.
post #4 of 4

I am going to explain a little more about the dogproof coon traps.  They require an animal with hand-like front paws that can reach into the cylinder and pull upwards on the trigger.  In addition to coons, they catch possums and I'm told skunks and members of the weasel group.  Here is a link to my favorite dogproof trap.  Just about every trapper supply company sells them.

 

http://www.rpoutdoors.com/dudpcotr.html

 

There are some push/pull versions of this trap that might catch a dog or cat.  Just be sure to buy the "dogproof coon trap"..

 

I've used them around many properties with dogs and cats around, and never caught either, ever.

 

Live cage traps have failed for me more than any other method of trapping wild coons.  Coons regularly trip them and still get the bait.   Or, if they do get trapped, will tear the cheap traps apart and get out!  I suspect that when a coon gets caught in a live cage trap, any coons around see them, that they get wise to them.  This view is my take on catching coon and possum It's my opinion and can offer nothing as proof but our success..  All I can attest to is that if we catch 2-3 in live traps,  it gets right hard to catch more. 

 

I used cheap jelly/jam and fish like sardines and tuna with much success in the DP.  However, we've been using dry catfood down in the trap the fish around the trap, the fish and a small dab of Lenon's All Call coon lure right on the outside edge of the trap.  It has worked perfectly!

 

I have no affiliation with any trapping or lure company.

 

I promise the DP traps and these baits will put you well on your way to a coon-free chicken yard  The dogproof gives the coon two things he cant walk away from.  A smelly hole and tasty treat!  Whatever you do make sure he can get the bait out of the trap.  So, he keeps digging in until he's caught. shot and skinned.

Married 46 years. Great wife, 4 sons, 13 grandchildren! 

 

He who laughs last thinks slowest!


Give me ambiguity or give me something else.   

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Married 46 years. Great wife, 4 sons, 13 grandchildren! 

 

He who laughs last thinks slowest!


Give me ambiguity or give me something else.   

Reply
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