Originally Posted by HandLoad
I am curious if anyone has seen a Raccoon attack on a Chicken in Free Range.
Also, How fast can they Dig Under a Fence that is Buried at lower edge Two to Six Inches.
Anybody witnessed any of these? Do I have Time from Chicken Alarms to Get dressed and grab the Gun, or do I need to BE THERE?
I can help with this in part from having raccoons as pets when a kid. We also had gamechickens. Coons were free range (not confined) and sometimes followed us about during day but most of foraging when they became independent was after dark.
During day a coon might chase a chicken but effort was not serious. Chickens can run almost as fast a racoon but turn faster and could fly up and to other locations faster than coon could follow. Chickens during these interactions would make bawking sound like done for any diurnal ground predator and they would do it for quite a while. Coons where threat only to brooding hens and eggs and chicks less than about 3 weeks old and they would go after such chicks even while flogged by hen. Despite this, coons I have encountered not a threat to chickens during day. Raccoons in Costa Rica may be different story since they are much more diurnal.
After dark raccoons are much more serious and chickens less capable. Chickens are not as able to evade even when under a somesort of light since after dark the chickens seem sort of dazed. When raccoon pursues chicken under low light levels the chicken runs only in short bursts, usually not far enough to loose coon tracking it. Chicken usually squawks when contacted by coon. After dark my raccoons would climb to get to roosting chickens and used sight determine where chicken was located. They did not seem to have the ability of a monkey (human) or cat to figure out an indirect route before starting ascent. Coons also could not climb just any surface but could climb ropes pretty good. Coons can not jump more than twice their hight so anything more than 4 feet is above jumping reach.
When attacking they used a combination of hands and mouth. Roosting birds were grabbed at by feet and tail feathers, usually with bird bailing from roost where raccoon climbed down to continue effort unless another bird was close by which was also assaulted. On ground raccoon would target back and neck but either way would concentrate on neck and head to make kill. It was not a rapid process like done by a dog or cat. Raccoons seem to have a problem properly restraining victim. Despite this they can pull 20 lb piglets from pens and kill those after dragging them a ways.
With respect to speed, I can out sprint and out distance a raccoon but they can turn pretty quick and can put up a good bluff and will fight hard if cornered. Good boots and jeans a must. They can bite through most clothing and are inclined to bite more than once. Claws are used to more effect than you might think possible by looking at them. They also like to scrape you with hind legs while biting.