Do Racoons come during the day? PLEASE HELP ME!!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by new2green, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. new2green

    new2green Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't know what else to do!!! I am a newby and had 21 chickens, just for fun, they are smart, cute and funny. My goal was to free range them during the day and coop them up at night.
    We have 5 acres and they were happy scratching around when I started finding feathers, a beak here and there. This is happening during the day!!! So I limited their space to a fenced in 1/5 of acre, but sure enough one week has passed and every other day there is a dead chicken. Then my husband and I made Fort Knox! A chain link box 40x40 with wire on top, so there is no way in.
    Last night something dug a hole under the coop and killed 3 chickens...
    I am so devastated. Now there is no safety for them. The creature digs under and goes in no matter where, it goes at night as well as during the day.
    I didn't even go to work today, I stayed fixing the mess the animal did at night (closing the hole, adding wire etc.)
    Does anybody have any suggestions?
    I saw another thread and will get strobe light tomorrow, so that might work for nights, but what about during the day?
    I leave on a paved road, have neighbors on all sides, but they have seen bobcats, coyotes and racoons....
    Thanks,
     
  2. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    I have buried wire that goes out toward the predator, I also had good success with electric poultry net for the last half of last summer (took it down for the winter) cost was to high but I love the hobby.
     
  3. Shan30

    Shan30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ouch! Sorry that's no fun. Could be a number of things, even animals that normally only hunt at night will come out in the day if they are hungry or sick.

    If you have any friends who are hunters, borrow a game/trail camera or buy one to find out what your dealing with. Alternatively running a strand of electric fencing a couple inches off the ground just out from the base of your fence should deter diggers. Oooor stand vigil with a rifle and a flashlight. There are a number of other deferent options, dogs do a great job. Even having DH "mark" your territory around the run can help.

    Good luck! I know how discouraging this can be.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    That’s rotten. It could be many things. Foxes, bobcat, and coyote especially hunt during the day as well as night. There is no telling what it is.

    My thought is to use and apron. Lay some wire maybe 18” flat on the ground outside your run, then firmly fix it to the bottom of your run. You don’t have to bury it, just lay something on top of it to hold it down. The idea is that a predator goes up to the fence, starts digging, hits the wire, and does not know to back up. A lot of people bury it about 2”, just take up the sod and put it back on top.

    Electric wire is a good idea too.

    Can you see tracks or maybe poop to help identify it? That would help a lot in knowing how to deal with it.

    Good luck!
     
  5. new2green

    new2green Out Of The Brooder

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    I have spent thousands of dollars on these chickens, between housing, and super expensive fencing... My dogs have marked the territory, but they sleep inside and don't stay outside all day, I am afraid of them escaping or something, they are pitbulls and here people don't like them.
     
  6. johnderosa1

    johnderosa1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would recommend predator rated electric wire fencing.... In the meantime I would set a box trap along side the run. I always left an unbaited trap set outside my run before I got my electric fence. Caught a lot of raccoons this way... before they graduated from chicken food to chickens. I wish you luck, it is heartbreaking to see all your efforts (and money) go to feeding the local critters. The worst part is that they always seem to get your favorite or most expensive birds.
     
  7. Shan30

    Shan30 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry about the breed bias, most people wouldn't believe that they don't evens make the top three most common dogs to bite. Never owned one myself but have always found them to be super snugly.

    Maybe combine the electric strand and a wire skirt? And a trap?

    Trapping and shooting have seemed to work best for us. The trap is always set. Still we have lost 11 this year to two bears, two raccoons, a mink and a hawk. Only one loss since the trap so maybe that was key.
     
  8. johnderosa1

    johnderosa1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have bears here too and the electric strands were added primarily to deter both raccoons and bears. My coops are critter proof for anything other than a bear so I felt it critical to add that extra level of protection. So far so good. No signs of any raccoons, bears or other predators in the area covered by the fence (1/2 acre). In fact I've only see one squirrel in my yard since I added the electric. He only got in once and was turned back on his next attempt.... he hit one of the strands and went flying about 10 ft in the opposite direction. He didn't seem interested in trying it again. I hate to admit that I get great satisfaction hearing the reaction from the local critters when they "discover" the fence. I had a coyote hit the fence at about 4 am shortly after installing the charger and it yelped so loud it woke me out of a dead sleep [​IMG]. Next up was a raccoon snooping around the perimeter while I was out enjoying the fire pit with a glass of wine... I didn't know they could make sounds like that.... BTW, I "tested" the fence myself after fully charging it and although I didn't realize it, I yelled out so loudly that my wife heard me from inside the house even with all the doors and windows closed and came running outside to see if I was ok.... she didn't know I could make sounds like that. All I can say is that I don't want to try that again.
     
  9. chiknhurder

    chiknhurder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used to work for a rodeo stock contractor and remember being out checking fences on a trip back to the ranch to pick up fresh stock. One of the guys working for us was a little slow and was joking about urinating on the fence. Our boss grabbed a hold of the fence and told him it wasn't working and wouldn't do anything to him but the slow one didn't think about the fact that the owner was wearing rubber boots so he decided to test it out and on that day, he learned all about 'grounding'. I won't repeat the words that followed. ;)

    As a younger kid, we had a neighbor that use to hook up a fence charger to his metal storm door and when we'd ring the bell on Halloween night, he'd come to the door and tell us through the glass that we had to come in to get our candy. I laugh about it now but in todays world, he'd probably being going to jail and it'd be all over the news. He was a good man but an ornery cuss, especially with us boys in the neighborhood. We thought he was pretty cool.
     

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