Drat - Daytime Raccoons - FYI

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jjthink, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Hi. A couple of days ago in broad daylight a raccoon sauntered straight through the middle of my lawn, BJ roo and hen Annie out free ranging only a few feet from him/her. I ran out and started to follow it but hen Annie followed right on my heels - not good! - so I backed off to grab her and put her in the run. Meanwhile, the raccoon sauntered away and I lost track of it. I called Animal Control, thinking it might be sick (possibly even rabid). As Murphy's Law would have it, it was President's Day and they were closed. Anyway, I received a return phone message today from the Animal Control officer this morning. What she said was interesting and I wanted to take a moment to share it.

    She said that 10 years ago, seeing a raccoon in broad daylight would have been rare (they would have probably been sick) but now it happens all the time, and they are not usually sick. She said they have adjusted their habits to dovetail with interesting finds during the day and that they generally could care less about humans being in their midst - they will just do what they want to do when they want to do it. She said she sees them all the time now in the daytime. Anyway, the reason I am writing this post is because I thought my feathered friends were only at risk from dogs and hawks during the daytime (they are always safely tucked in at night) - it's a residential setting, so not much else in the predator department - but apparently I can add raccoons to the list of daytime worries. Just thought you might want to know, in case you free range yours at times as well. Sigh....

  2. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Ah Jeeze, Judy...I woulda needed clean undies...

    But then again I treed the humungous raccoon that killed Tom by chasing it up a tree...He probably thought that *I* was rabid.

    Unfortunately, the more the population of people grows, the habitats of our "wild" friends gets smaller.

    And we're thrown into the mix together more and more.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Not good. And we've had several cases of rabid coons in my county in recent months, too. Drat.
  4. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    It's so true. As we delete their natural habitat, the species that are able to adapt to our world - our habitat - do so. If what the animal control officer said is true, appears we are creating daytime preds out of ones that used to be reliably only on the prowl at night when our feathered friends were (hopefully) safely tucked in.
    This also brings to mind the many posts about hawks getting more brazen, catching chickens only feet away from their watchful humans, who thought their feathered friends were safe with them so close by.
    Maybe a couple of years ago now, a neighbor who knows her wildlife told me a coyote strolled right through my yard (in a residential neighborhood) - never ever saw one stroll through a yard around here before that.
    Impressively improvising, all of these creatures. And we created the conditions that caused them to do it.

    So sorry to hear about the rabid coons - such a horrid thing.
  5. gila_dog

    gila_dog Songster

    Aug 15, 2007
    New Mexico
    In a lot of suburban areas there aren't many people around during the day because most people are off at work or school. And the people who are around are old folks and a few stay-at-home moms. These people aren't likely to grab a .22 rifle and shoot coyotes, racoons, etc. They tend to just watch them wander around the neighborhood doing their thing. The predators are finding that daytime is a safe time to operate, kinda like burglars. It's also illegal in a lot of more densely populated areas to shoot predators and since there are lots of cats, chickens, small dogs, etc. to eat, being a suburban predator is a pretty good life.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2008
  6. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Songster

    Feb 3, 2008
    Raymond, Mississippi
    I live in west central Mississippi in a rural area, and I've been watching foxes and raccoons out in broad daylight ever since 1977! Funny, though, I haven't seen but one fox since I acquired my first chicken several months ago....hmmm. I wonder if they're just waiting for them to fatten up? That's why my Brandy only free ranges when I can literally follow her around (unless she's following me around).
  7. chickenfeed

    chickenfeed In the Brooder

    Oct 22, 2007
    North Central Iowa
    As I don't have my chickens yet, this one likes to raid the bird feeders. Was calling it "Rocky" until she wandered thru with little with 3 little ones. We live in a wooded rural area.

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2008
  8. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    Racoons hibernate here during the winter. Sometimes when the weather warms up they think it's spring and don't have their days and night straight yet. In the Spring we see them before total darkness, however it is only for a short while til they figure things out and become nocturnal again.

  9. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    Raccoon here come out on cloudy and overcast days..not likely on sunny days tho. They are usually not too happy to see us though. [​IMG]

  10. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    As I don't have my chickens yet, this one likes to raid the bird feeders. Was calling it "Rocky" until she wandered thru with little with 3 little ones. We live in a wooded rural area.

    I had a "male" raccoon eating the cat's cat food but "he" showed up with 3 babes too!​

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