Advice wanted from NON-trigger happy folks please...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by teach1rusl, Jun 22, 2010.

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  1. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    If your first impulse is to shoot first and ask questions later, please move on to another thread...thanks! [​IMG]

    Last week, in broad daylight, we found two little baby raccoons, cute as buttons, a little less than half the size of my small, female cat, hanging onto our front yard board fence (we're in the country, and have @ 3 acres fenced w/horse fence in front and field fence in back). Our dog had alerted us to them. But she's a lover, not a fighter, so she didn't go after them, and I was happy about that. My chickens were out and about, paying absolutely no attention to them. We pushed them off the fence with a push broom, and they scurried across the gravel drive and down into a wooded gulley. Okay...fine.

    Fast forward to last night...we're in bed and the dog (in the house) gives a couple of barks. At about the same time, our motion sensor light (aimed down into the run of our coop) comes on, filtering in through our bedroom window. DH and I both jump up and head out to the coop. We see nothing, but I figure something (maybe raccoon or possum) ran across the top of our covered run, and the motion sensor caught it. I check on the girls and they're just fine, looking like "What the heck you guys doing out here at this hour?" We head back inside, but our dog wants to stay out on the porch. We'd just hit the bedroom again when the dog begins barking a bit threateningly, so we head back out. I call her over and encourage her to sniff out what she was barking at. She starts sniffing and circling the car parked back there. I can't see anything under the car, but DH finds a baby raccoon hiding up under the tire/fender well. He asks what I want to do, and I tell him to leave it, as the girls are secure. Well, at least we know what it was...

    So now our quandry...the babies don't bother me. Our run is pretty secure, and the girls are always shut inside their coop at night. Plus, even if they weren't, I doubt coons this small would take on full grown chickens. I think they are attracted to the food we leave out...the girls have a feeder on their chicken porch, and sometimes other areas out on the property, sometimes there are leftover melon rinds in their run, plus we occasionally (although seldom) have catfood out on our deck for our cats. BUT, these little guys won't stay little for long, and they're smart critters that I'm sure will grow smarter with time and experience. Plus, I'm wondering if the parents are out and about on our property too, or whether these little guys are out exploring on their own...

    I can trap them. But I don't really believe in relocating critters like this, because then someone else is dealing with them. And I could trap and shoot them. But Lordy that would be hard; these guys are tiny and cute. That would sit heavy on my conscience. I'm going to try sprinkling Critter Ridder around the run, and putting all food away at night. It may be coincidental, but we never had these issues when I had two dogs (lost my male golden in May). We are getting another dog soon, so the smell of TWO dogs on the property may help. Is there anything else you can think of that may help deter these little guys??? Gosh, I just really don't want to have to shoot them... [​IMG]

    This was the pic I posted last week when I thought they were just visiting, not moving in...
    [​IMG]
     
  2. LadyinRed

    LadyinRed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can put up an electric fence a little under a foot above the ground on the outside of your fence there. Seeing as they can climb over the fence it wont do much good if its on the inside and they jump over it and get trapped inside the fence. It wont kill them. But they wont keep coming around.
     
  3. monita

    monita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Spray ammonia around the perimiter of your coop and run every evening..... it will keep the critters away. It works for us. We spray it around our coop and around the outside trash can as well to keep animals from tearing it up. I know it works for racoons, cats, skunks, and possums. Not sure if it will work for bigger animals such as fox and dogs as we have no problems with those. Hope you find a solution to the problem without having to kill them. Good luck.
     
  4. LadyinRed

    LadyinRed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Hmm, Might have to try the ammonia here as the skunks love the horse pasture.. I keep finding my horse skunked cause he's curious about the 'funny critter'. [​IMG]
     
  5. DaughterOfEve

    DaughterOfEve Chillin' With My Peeps

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    another addition to your arsenal, put a radio in the coop or run tuned to a station with lots of talk radio. The sound of voices can be a great deterent. (works to keep deer out of the garden)
     
  6. Fuzzy_Hat_Farm

    Fuzzy_Hat_Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you called animal control? They will not necessarily euthanize them. Around here they relocate them to a park unless they are obviously diseased. They have preserves here that they do relocate animals to but only animal control is allowed to relocate. 'Average Joe' is not allowed to relocate, against the law here. I would call and ask them how they handle this. Can't hurt to ask.
     
  7. bakerjw

    bakerjw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Once they figure out they there is food to be had then they will return and take whatever they can get. If your coop and run is secure then your chickens shouldn't be at risk. But they will be back.

    My sister in law has many cats that she feeds. The raccoons developed a taste for cat food and started using her cat doors to come into her house at all hours of the day to get food. I believe that she ended up trapping 13 to 17 of them and relocating them.

    Yes they're tiny and cute but they will grow and they will be back. In all likelihood they will probably become a nuisance.
     
  8. monita

    monita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Hmm, Might have to try the ammonia here as the skunks love the horse pasture.. I keep finding my horse skunked cause he's curious about the 'funny critter'. [​IMG]

    LOL!!! I know it's not funny but it is....lol. oh I didn't tell you before.... dont buy the scented ammonia (scented seems to dilute the smell) and don't water it down. Just pour it straight into a spray bottle and spray liberally . Let me know how everything works out for you.
     
  9. Mervin

    Mervin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I second the electric fence idea. I hate having to kill critters just b/c I chose to raise chickens at the edge of the wilderness. So, I'm hoping an electric fence keeps my flock pretty safe and the critters searching out other food. That said, possums, skunks, coons, and assorted other vermin take the easy route to food. I'd stop leaving food out too. I know when I stopped putting cat dishes on the porch and got trash cans they could break into, my coon problems eased up a lot. I've got a lot more chipmunks, squirrels, moles and mice though.
     
  10. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    when I live in southern ontario I had a raccoon family under my porch. They will keep comign back if they know there is food they can try to get too. the thing is you haven't seen their Momma. And Mommy raccoons do not stray far from their babies so they may be motherless and completely on their own. They are still too young to know everything their mom would have taught them. the family I had under my porch were super docile, but I think it was thanks to all my siblings freinds and my own aswell always feeding them and my dad too, he liked to give them apple pie :-S I will agree with you they are super cute. I hope you find a solution. but if you don't see momma int he next few days relocating them would be a good idea.
     
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