Anyone use a decoy owl for Racoons and hawks?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Haunted Chicken, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. Haunted Chicken

    Haunted Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After 4 years with no problems our neighborhood seems to be over run with aggressive racoons and hawks. Groups of 3-5 racoons are killing chickens and attacking cats and dogs.

    We free range our girls during the day and lock them up in what we call "Chicken Fort Knox" early evening. Our neighbors haven't locked up their hens in 7 years and have never had a problem until last week. I've lost 4 hens in 2 weeks. The first attack, we arrived home a little later than expected and found my 2 favorite hens dead. Yesterday I left the Superbowl party early to get home before dark only to find 2 more gone. It was still day light.

    A friend of mine recently purchased a solar powered owl decoy and swears it has stopped the hawks 100% and thinks it may even have helped with the racoons. Anyone else use a decoy? Thanks

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005J24R26...UTF8&colid=HCVZSPY1P0EE&coliid=I1Y03PPZ2MX2VP




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  2. Haunted Chicken

    Haunted Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I meant to add that we managed to trap one racoon last week. But they do not seem too interested in the trap. Any good bate suggestions other than cat kibble?
     
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    I won't be employing any owl decoys to protect my chickens. There are already more than enough hawks and raccoons present without me attracting more.

    [​IMG]

    In my humble and vast experience with these things, the only thing that will be decoyed is the cash in your bank account that will be lured into the pockets of another.

    Here is a raccoon mentally savoring not an owl entrĂ©e, but instead a tender young eagle appetizer. How much further down the raccoon food chain is it until we get to the hawk/coon interaction?[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Decoys might work initially...but not for long, even one that moves its head.

    Best bait trap for coon is sugar, marshmallows tightly packed in a tuna can that is wired to the bottom of the live trap...but coons can become trap savvy.

    Best coon trap I've read about is the Dukes Dog Proof coon trap stuffed with marshmallow.....
    ........but you must be ready to dispatch coon, gun works best for that.
     
  5. Haunted Chicken

    Haunted Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the responses. OK so it's a no on the decoy. The photo of the hawk sitting on it says it all, lol.

    Marshmallows huh? Interesting, I never would have thought of that. I just happen to have a few left over from the holidays [​IMG] I'll be baiting with them tonight! We happened to be 5 feet away (on the other side of the door) when we trapped the last one so luckily it's companions ran off before they saw it get trapped or see us dispose of it. Hopefully they will fall for it.

    Thanks again for the help.
     
  6. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    When you catch your coon be prepared to trap another, and another, and another.....

    Chances are good that some pain in the you know what neighbor is feeding the chicken killers because they think they are cute, or something.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I would set out at least two traps at a time, and get the larger sized trap for really big coons. Try different baits, as suggested above, and attach the bait so it can't be pulled out. Weigh the traps with a concrete block or something too. And shoot! Mary
     
  8. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have one of those owl decoys in our chicken yard and it does nothing to deter the hawks.

    That said, we have not yet lost a hen to a hawk but have had some close calls. Vigilance on our part and on the hens' has so far been successful.

    But something jumped our fence a few weeks ago in the middle of the afternoon and took my sweet Buff Orpington. Whatever it was dragged her through our property, leaving a long trail of feathers, so I don't think it was a hawk. Coyote or maybe a bobcat?
     
  9. Haunted Chicken

    Haunted Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We managed to catch one more Racoon with marshmallows. I do like the idea of a second trap since they have been traveling in packs. We learned right away we needed to weight the traps down. They're smart critters and just tipped the traps over to shake the food out.

    Sorry about the loss of your Buff. Breaks my heart that these sweet ladies are attached in their own space.
     
  10. norcalbirds

    norcalbirds Out Of The Brooder

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    When I use my traps I take a black garbage bag and put the trap in that so it's all black they can't see out of it and if your like me every once in a while you'll get a skunk lol the bag works great
     

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