I have always kind of liked raccoons. They are smart, they are cute, but ever since I got chickens I've learned that most of all... they are destructive. When I first got my chickens(April 12th, 2011) I had a pair of raccoons that I would see often, they were distinct looking with one of them being very brown for a raccoon but they were always together. Long story short I moved my chickens to the coop and one of my young roosters was killed. He was sleeping on the edge of the coop before he had learned to roost and was grabbed through the wire. My dad and I were able to kill one of the raccoons the next night during a disrupted attack, the other died about two weeks later when it set off a motion detector by my deck, I was able to pop him in the head with my .22. I'll get to the point. About 5 weeks ago I saw 3 raccoons passing through my yard, my girls were not free ranging that day and by the time I had my rifle they were in a neighbors yard and I didn't want to freak my neighbors out by shooting things towards their house. Skip ahead 2 more weeks and 5 raccoons (mama and 4 babies) attacked my flock, they had them cornered when I disrupted it and killed all of them before any chickens were harmed. Now, just last night, I saw another raccoon rooting around my chicken coop, again, by the time I had my rifle the raccoon was gone. Between my first 2 raccoon kills in late May/early June and the others was several months. But within the past month I've seen more raccoons than I have seen in forever. I think I may notice them more now because I have chickens to protect but I was just wondering what could be behind the surge in raccoon numbers. Could it be the passing of the seasons into winter? I know one of my neighbors feeds the dang things, feeds everything, then leaves a nasty note on my door about chaining my dog up so it doesn't chase the deer. Well whatever that's an entirely different issue. So sorry to be long winded and if you've made it this far... any guesses why the sudden numbers increase?