Do racoons hunt in the day?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dehave, May 3, 2008.

  1. dehave

    dehave In the Brooder

    Apr 27, 2008
    What daytime predators do we have to watch out for? We lost our rooster during the day, I think to a hawk, but other than that what will hunt during the day? We lost 2 of our girls to racoons, but it was because we didn't get home in time to close the coop before dusk.

    I want to free range and then close up the coop at night. My "free ranging" will be in a fenced area 40 X 50 roughly. I don't want to close them up in something smaller than this, but I don't want to let them have full access to our 3 acres and be out in the open.
  2. fullhouse

    fullhouse Songster

    Apr 14, 2008
    I have never seen one during the day myself.
  3. Buckguy20

    Buckguy20 OKIE MOSES

    Apr 13, 2007
    Choctaw Oklahoma
    They are mostly nocturnal but I have seen many out during the day. Depends on how hungry they are I guess.
  4. CathyB

    CathyB Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    The only coon I ever saw out in the day had something "off" about it if you know what I mean.....
  5. McGoo

    McGoo Songster

    I had a raccoon prowling around in the daytime (now history) and I researched it and found out that they sometimes do come out in the daytime in the springtime.

    Other daytime predators are hawks, coyotes, and dogs.

    ps, unless the fenced in area can prevent the predators from coming in, all you're really doing is preventing your chickens from leaving. (not that that is a bad thing :)

    Mine 'free range' 1/2 acre and so far over the last year I've lost 2 hens - one to a hawk (saw it) and the other I suspect a barn owl... no signs of a fight, so probably scooped up.

    ps. regarding 'out in the open'. The woman I got my chicks from had a picnic table in the middle of her field so they could run and hide when the hawks came overhead. I got an old one and they do use it sometimes.
  6. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Songster

    May 26, 2007
    I have seen coons out in the day although it is not their "usual" practice.......Just as I have seen a red tail fox during the daylight hours.

    If it is at the time the sun is setting...(which is still technically daylight) I definately say yes, without wondering if there is something wrong with them....growing up we use to have a whole family of coons come to eat at that time in our backyard, and it continued for years.....nice pictures of them too!! [​IMG]

    But one wondering around in the middle of the day...... [​IMG] I'd be thinking he is definately disoriented or lost?? [​IMG]
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    That's a good question. I know that raccoons can & do move about & forage for food during the day, especially if that is a prime time for them to find good sources of food. A raccoon out in the daytime is not necessarily a rabid animal, that's a myth.

    You will often find 'coons out in parks & picnic areas during the day if people there are leaving behind food &/or tossing scraps directly to them.

    I imagine they could steal eggs from nests during the day, perhaps even snatch chicks. But I don't think they could sneak up & kill a grown chicken while it is awake during the daytime. Maybe someone else on this forum has had a different experience.

    In my area of South Fla the folks at the nature centers tell us that development has actually INcreased the habitat of raccoons. Their predators have been scared off or killed, and they find more food easily available out of garbage cans & pet food dishes. This makes them healthier & able to raise larger litters.

    Therefore I don't feel so bad when I catch & dispatch 'coons around my chicken coops.
  8. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing 11 Years

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Raccons usually not but they don't wait til total darkness, either. Weasels hunt during the day, so do skunks, and foxes.
  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    One of the first things to consider in assessing potential for daytime raccoon foraging (healthy/fat/not rabid) activity is the density of human habitation in your area. The further `out' in the boonies you are, the fewer `off schedule' sources/locations will be provided, so the raccoons follow a more `natural' schedule.

    Several years ago there was a string of unsolved `break-ins' in the older off-campus houses rented by students at MU. One of the cops finally recognized raccoon prints in some dumped laundry powder (were chewing through screens/exploiting already cracked older windows to gain entry. The break-ins/vandalism and munching of the Captain Crunch occurred to coincide with afternoon classes (few folks around).

    Winter before last (Jan) I heard the turks and chooks hollering. I grabbed the rifle and ran out back. I followed the roo's cue and looked up: Big coon was up the hickory outside the chicken run trying, without a hope, to reach a branch on the hickory inside the run. This one was fat, but out looking for lunch (1pm). Our Royal turk hen was mortally attacked last June at ~2pm. The coon entered the live trap (placed at the location of her nest) the following afternoon between 3pm-4pm. And, yes, it was the same raccoon (I check all predator's stomach contents - can never know enough). Both of those raccoons were healthy. However, these were the only two daytrippers of over three hundred harvested over the past eleven years.

    Other preds that I've seen off-schedule: opossums after sun-up (but early ~8am), three coyotes standing as a group outside a neighbor's pen of goats at 9am. Foxes `round the clock'.
    Last edited: May 4, 2008
  10. spatcher

    spatcher Songster

    Apr 13, 2008
    Virginia - Southside
    As a retired Police Dispatcher we were instructed to give out a "rabies warning" to any racoon calls in the daytime. You were probably right in assuming it was a hawk. A racoon in the daytime probably wasnt looking for food. Probably too screwed up to know day and night! Just my opinion for what its worth.

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