anticipating a raccoon problem

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Chicken and cat guy, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. Chicken and cat guy

    Chicken and cat guy New Egg

    Aug 6, 2011

    I am new to the whole chicken thing. I have a couple seasoned vets helping me through the process and have been reading a lot on the board. I have my coop built and I am pretty much ready to go, but I am concerned about predators, especially raccoons. I live in the city and there are raccoons that live in the sewers in front of my house. My yard is surrounded by chain link fence but I have watched them easily climb up and over it. My coop is pretty secure, an A frame design with square door in the front. I have concerns about two ways they might get in:

    1. One side of the roof is hinged, a 4'x4' sheet of 7/16" OSB with shingles. Can the raccoons lift it up enough to get inside? I'd say it weighs about 30lbs, and the bottom edge of the roof is about 8-10"off the ground.

    2. The door is a 12"x12" square, hinged at the top. I have eye screws on the door and the frame, connected by one of those things they use on dog leashes, the kind you slide the part with your thumb. Can a raccoon figure out a way to open this? If so, what's a good latch to use? The latch is all the way at the bottom to one side. I tried prying open the other corner and it only opens about an inch or so, not enough for a coon to squeeze through.

    I do have a humane trap, and I read that some people will just leave it out, baited, 24/7. I don't have a problem doing that... I was trying to catch a groundhog years ago and kept catching stray cats, coons, and squirrels, so I know it will work.

    The chickens will free range during the day. Not really sure how many hawks are around but we'll just have to see how that goes.

    I do get stray cats in the yard, but the person i'm getting my chickens from said they shouldn't be a problem.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011
  2. wendyrun

    wendyrun Out Of The Brooder

    May 25, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    What I don't hear you saying is what is underneath your coop? How will you keep them from digging in?

    I had my chickens just barely a year (not quite) and have lost both in a matter of days - hawk, and this morning it appears raccoon. So I'm in shock right now...

    What I had done and never set up, was bought fine gauge wire mesh to put underneath my little tractor to keep things from digging in. But I got complacent - my girls were free range during day and into the coop at night. Never saw any evidence of digging but it apparently only takes one night for them to find it, and not a very big hole for them to dig into to get in.

    So my suggestion - everything else sounds quite solid......but you need something to shore up underneath unless you're going to have it sitting on a slab.

    Good luck!
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Maybe a little electrified fencing to keep the coons at bay. I think it takes one jolt and they get the message. You could also trap them if legal but it sounds like others might just move in. I think given enough time coons are wily enough to figure out most anything. Bset of luck!
  4. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    Coons are strong.Put on locks and bury/bend that wire fencing. When a predator wants your chickens it will work hard to get them.Put out a trap 24/7.
  5. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
  6. Chicken and cat guy

    Chicken and cat guy New Egg

    Aug 6, 2011
    Thanks everyone for the responses! I'll definitely put the trap out 24/7, and keep an eye out for the raccoons during the day. I'll make sure to secure to roof door too.

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