Happy Sad Raccoon Story

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by bobicus880, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. bobicus880

    bobicus880 New Egg

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    Sep 17, 2010
    Well my friends gave my 17 year old son some farm "fresh" eggs because he was interested in how they tasted. However, once my son found out they had roosters he whipped up an incubator in an aquarium. Despite what our friends said my son managed to hatch 6 out of 12 eggs. We live in an urban area so we soon got rid of 3 roosters as soon as they started crowing.

    My son is all about doing things the old way so he spent 5 months building a coop with a hand saw (that my son plays as an instrument) a hammer and some scrap wood he found at a friends house. Then we bought the wire at a large store that is basically a depot for the home. The coop turned out to be pretty.........rustic.

    For two weeks the chickens (Brenda Starr, Francis McKee, and Buckwheat...names my son chose) lived happily in the coop. Then this morning I woke up to extremely loud crowing. I woke up my son and told him I thought something was happening in the coop. After a minute of persuading (he never heard the noise) I got him to get up and go out to the coop. When we got there there was a raccoon around back of the coop, and as soon as he saw us he limped/ran away. We immediately thought the worse since there were no chickens in sight and we could not hear anything. Then my son started swearing and the voice activated chicken Brenda Starr ran out of the coop door through the run, and out a hole that the raccoon tore in the wire. Then the chicken ran up to my son and started making odd noises almost like it was talking. My son picked it up and told me to get a Rubbermaid tub.

    Once I got back my son had all three chickens surrounding him. He was relieved, and immediately started putting the chickens in the Rubbermaid tub.

    Upon inspecting the crime scene and chickens we noticed the following strange things:
    There was blood on the ground of the coop
    Even though there was a hole in the wire the raccoon was on the outside of the coop when we arrived
    The raccoon appeared to be hurt and in pain
    The chickens had a lot of blood on their beaks, but were not hurt in any way (no visible wounds)

    My son kind of made a theory as to what happened:
    He thinks the raccoon hurt himself trying to get in the coop, and then was unable to get up to the chicken loft (my son did not build a ramp). Then my son said that maybe the chickens got nose bleeds crying out so loud because that is the only way he could explain the blood on their beaks. He does joke saying that the chickens pecked out the raccoon's eyes and got the coon blood on their beaks.

    We think that we got really really lucky so now the chickens are in his room with a makeshift diaper set up that he made using some old underwear. We are currently making the coop stronger, and my son bought a slingshot.............
    So anyone have any ideas why the chickens might of had blood on their beaks?
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    First, glad the chickens are all ok!

    The coon probably was inside but heard people so went out the way he went in. They can get through TINY holes. If they can get their head in as far as their eyes, the rest of their big fat fluffy bodies will go though the hole. It may have bloodied itself tearing at wire, or was injured previously and thus was going after "easy" food.

    The chickens might have bloody beaks from freaking out from the ruckus and scraping the tip of the beaks on wire or each other. The beak is covered in cuticle like your nail, which if cracked can bleed a lot for the size of the wound. Maybe if you take a close peek at the beak, maybe you can see a split along the "seams". Else, check hard under feathers for scratches. They can hide wounds pretty well under feathers and chickens are great at hiding pain. There are numerous cases of wounds on birds that are only found after someone smells rotting or sees maggots.

    WELCOME!
     
  3. bobicus880

    bobicus880 New Egg

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    Sep 17, 2010
    There is no crack on the beaks, and I searched through the feathers, and I can see no visible wounds except for one with a small scab on the top of his head. You said the chickens scrape beaks on each other so maybe that one got beaked, and the blood on the other chicken beaks was his. It is still is unlikely though as the blood was resting on the middle of their beaks not the tip. The blood on the chicken beaks is really the mysterious part about what happened. I'm pretty sure the raccoon hurt himself trying to get in.

    Thanks for the insight.
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    By blood on their beaks, did the blood wipe off? If not, and if the bird beaks are alight color, it could be a bruising from bumping into things that will eventually grow out. If not, we'll stick to the story that they went after the coon and picked his eyes out. :p
     
  5. danischi24

    danischi24 Loves naked pets

    Aug 17, 2008
    Australia
    Please make sure you use wire that coons can't get through to avoid heartbreak. They can even get their fingers through small wire holes & pull birds out piece by piece as the birds seem to get too close in their panic. Do a search on the forum & find out the best wire to keep them out. I think it's hardwire/cloth or something like that. Sorry, I'm foreign so I can't recall the name.
     
  6. bobicus880

    bobicus880 New Egg

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    Sep 17, 2010
    The blood on the chicken beaks completely wiped off, and my son completely redid the coop. Now he added a sort of barbed wire/tangle wire on the outside of the chicken wire. Plus he buried stakes all around the perimeter. As a final security measure he added a locked door to the coop (already inside the locked run) and he planted a series of aloe vera plants all around the perimeter just before the tangle wire. The coop now looks like a WWI trench, but that is alright as long as it is safe.

    Originally we planned on just adding a locked coop door, but last night another raccoon was trying to break in (the chickens alerted us with their calling again). We came out and saw the coon trying to mess with the wire in a corner. Although we stopped him, and no damage was done to the wire, we still figured we should try and reinforce the perimeter.

    We also set up a trap in the woods, and my son is working on plans for a pvc pipe pressure mine that shoots BBs as a deterrent............he made a trip mine before but he does not think a raccoon is stupid enough to trip on a wire.

    Right now we are hoping for the best because this will be their first night in the redesigned coop. I don't think my son will be able to sleep.

    Oh and I forgot to mention last night when my son scared away the coon all the chickens came down from the coop and kind of just sat on the ground. My son took the flashlight off the chickens for a minute to scan the woods. When he put it back on them we saw the head of an adult bobcat inches behind the chickens peering through the wire. I don't think I have ever been so scared in my life. My son screamed, and it ran away, but come on raccoons and bobcats working together is a little scary. I think at this point we are extremely lucky unlucky people.
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Trench, barbed wire, spiny plants might not be enough if the primary wire is only chicken wire. Hardware cloth, even the 2x2 inch stuff with the chicken wire will be the safest.
     
  8. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    HARDWARE CLOTH WIRE NEEDS TO BE EVERYWHERE around that coop or you will very soon not have any chickens.

    barbed wire and aloe vera won't really do anything for you
     
  9. Turkeyrangler

    Turkeyrangler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    By Lake Superior
    I agree, 2"x 4" welded wire and hardware clothe is what you need. I have hoards of coons with entire families all around my place and have had no break in's. Since I'm dealing with raccoons I think I'm almost 100% proof on the coop and 90% sure on the run. You really need to use welded wire and hardware clothe to keep them out. I'll be stepping up to electric fencing in the spring as one more deterrent.
     
  10. patman75

    patman75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hardware cloth or welded wire at a minimum. Electric fence if you want to go the extra mile. Put out a live trap and start removing those raccons.
     

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