Dispatched momma coon and three kits, but feeling bad about it.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Chick-N-Antics, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. Chick-N-Antics

    Chick-N-Antics In the Brooder

    Jul 31, 2008
    Olivet, MI USA
    I guess I am lucky compared to alot of folks on here. I have not lost a single hen in two years to any kind of predators but about a month ago I started noticing broken eggs and/or missing eggs in my coop. I was a little lax in getting the girls closed up when I should and when I went out to do it I actually came face to face with the explanation for my missing/broken eggs. It was not the girls getting clumsy but a medium sized racoon. She was a startled as I was and she quickly ran out of my coop. It also explained some other goings on with missing feed as well. My husband is an over the road truck driver and we had a long discussion about what I needed to so in order to protect my girls. I went to TSC as soon as I could and purchased a live-trap.

    The first night I put it out was a bust. I found the trap about twenty feet away from where I set it up. It had been tripped and the can of cat food I put in there was still there...but completely empty!!![​IMG] I though, great I am up against an experienced coon. I waited to set it up again, knowing that I had just fed her up on beef and gravey, plus my cat Moo Shu was really upset with me for using his food and had to get more.

    Yesterday after a very busy weekend, I had a hunch my unwanted visitor might be back so I set the trap close to my house; within view of my window where I could sit w/my .22 and watch her approach. (Incidently, I am a horrible shot with any kind of firearm) After about an hour she came but with with her brood. It was so surprised I didn't do anything. She was extremely cautious and didn't touch the trap and neither did her kits. Instead she scurried off into the dark the direction of my coop. I have to say I was pretty devestated because I thought I was only dealing with one adult raccon not a whole family...so I just sat there. The next thing I know another, much larger racoon walked up ,from the opposit direction, to the trap and started pulling at the garden cart that I had set it in. Again, I was so surprised that I didn't get myself centered enough when I took my shot that I winged it instead. It jumped and hissed and growled and then took off into the night. I tried to see where it went and see if I could find it but, alas no luck.

    Thinking I was done for the night, I went back inside to go to bed and discovered I had left the bedroom window open and my cat Moo Shu had decided to take an evening stoll! I went back out and started looking for him but he wasn't about to come in for me. With a sigh I went back in and went to bed. At 4am this morning I heard a noise outside. I thought it was my cat caught in the trap, it was the momma coon instead. She was trying to pull the can through the trap but was caught. I didn't wast time and I shot her three times before she knew what hit her. I immediately felt horrible and again I thought I was done for the night. As stood there in the dark on the cell phone with my husband trying to calm down and not cry, her little family came up to investigate. I had hoped that it was yet another racoon, that the momma sensing trouble had gone away but I was wrong. My husband being the logical, rational person that he is talked to me about what needed to be done, and in the end I did.

    In the early morning hours I took care of the family of racoons, minus the one that got away, and did my duty to protect my girls...or at least that's what I have been telling myself but I still feel crappy and ill at ease. I keep asking myself, did I do the right thing? I'm a city girl, who grew up without much male influence and no hunting experience. I'm just looking for something, some words to ease my mind. I am a total softie at heart and wouldn't hurt a fly really, but I have surprised myself because when it came to the task, I did it and without much ceremony...it wasn't until later that I became squeamish and felt that lump in my throat.

    Well, that's my tale and I was just wondering how others have dealt with the same situation and if they had the same issues (mainly guilt at having killed little coons) that I find I have several hours after the fact. [​IMG]

    Thanks for listening...C~N~A
  2. darkmatter

    darkmatter Songster

    Jul 10, 2009
    You did good
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello! You did the right thing, believe me.....Raccoons are very dangerous, sometimes they carry rabies. The raccoons would continue to multiply, and creat havoc....eating our hen's food, stealing eggs and most likely tearing the heads right off of your hens. Sorry to be so graphic, but if you can picture that in your mind--what a coon will do to a chicken--then you won't feel so bad.

    YOU GO GIRL! Don't feel bad, you did the right thing!

  4. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Yes. I hate to shoot any living creature. But - you must protect what's yours. Beef up your defenses..... and do a LOT of target shooting. Get to be good with that gun. Killing them in defense is something that you can work through, but wounding one and having it run away is the worst.

    I hate shooting anything but a tin can - but I am darn good at it now. And I will dispatch a predator who is a threat, if I haven't got a way to protect against it. Two pronged approach.
  5. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    I dispatched two raccoon kits yesterday and one today. While they are small and cute, they don't stay that way for very long. You are lucky that the coon had only eaten eggs. Many have lost their entire flock in a single night.

    Raccoon populations are way out of proportion and they are the leading carrier of rabies as well as distemper. Don't feel bad, when population get out of whack it leads to diseases.
  6. babyblue

    babyblue Songster

    Sep 23, 2009
    you did the right thing, mamma and the other big raccoon are already trap savvy, possible already relocated once. trap savvy is something she would pass onto every single baby she ever has. so not only did you solve your issue but many others peoples issues as well.
  7. crawfordmama

    crawfordmama Songster

    Jun 29, 2010
    The Lakes Region, NH
    Hey, girl - no worries. You did good. You just have to think of it as protecting your family. I'm not one for killing anything, but if it poses a threat, I'm willing to do it. Your girls will thank you with dozens of eggs![​IMG]
  8. Mamaperreca

    Mamaperreca Chirping

    May 16, 2010
    Well we had our first run in with a predator this weekend. A coon got in and killed 5 of our 10 meat chickens. Don't know why he didn't kill them all but I am glad he didn't. It was pretty graphic, the five he did kill. If we see him in person, we will kill him.

    I know what you mean about feeling bad about it though. However, I feel worse for the chickens that were killed. The coon did just like the PP said and went for their heads. [​IMG]
  9. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    I would feel bad too...
  10. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Yes their number need control. As far as thr kits go, mommy had aready started training they were the easy meals are.

    I only kill the ones that come up around the pens. Those that stay in my woods are ok, but when numbers get to high they will run out of food and start looking for a easy meal.......

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