1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Hen sitting on grown chickens?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Gemleaf, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. Gemleaf

    Gemleaf Out Of The Brooder

    14
    1
    34
    Apr 13, 2016
    For several weeks now, my Orpington cross has weaned her babies and joined the rest of the flock on the roosts. She's been laying again for 3 weeks now and I get an egg almost every day. Most of the chicks have also Started roosting. They are about 12 weeks old. She still hangs out with them during the day.

    Tonight I went outside to lock the coop up and I checked the nest boxes and the mama hen had all five of her babies in there with her and she was trying to sit on them. Most of These "babies" are bigger than her now. Why would she do this? We have been having problems with a raccoon the last couple of days of that has anything to do with it.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

    18,193
    5,045
    496
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    That may be the issue. Is your coop secure against coon attack? Any possibility the coon could force the pop door???
     
  3. Gemleaf

    Gemleaf Out Of The Brooder

    14
    1
    34
    Apr 13, 2016
    Yes the coop is secure. The coop is about two feet off the ground, latches on every door. I remove the ramp that leads up into the coop at night. The raccoon has not been able to get into the coop. It was getting to the chickens when they went outside in the early morning through the wire of the run. I did not previously have a latch on the chicken door as I wanted them to be able to come and go and they pleased. I have not since allowed the chickens to go outside until I let them out when it's light out. I have a trap set to catch it.
     
  4. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

    526
    97
    128
    May 30, 2016
    Sonoma
    I read that it is not a good idea to trap racoons. If you trap this one, you will soon have a new one take over in the same territory. It is much better to have a frustrated racoon that has given up on trying to get your chickens and turned to different food sources. Every new racoon will again try all the ways he can come up with until he has learned it is not possible, but eventually one of them might succeed...
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

    18,193
    5,045
    496
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    I very strongly disagree with that sentiment. I understand the thought behind it, and could agree with that method IF your coop and run are surrounded by powerful electric fencing. But, a coon who shows up one night will continue coming back every night. All it takes is one momentary lapse in security... perhaps just a single evening of getting back from an evening on the town later than usual to shut up the coop. Coons start their rounds, rattling door knobs pretty early, and sometimes are seen out hunting in the middle of the day. After loosing 9 birds in a single night, any coon who shows up on my property will be invited to a healthy dose of lead.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,501
    2,439
    411
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Please allow me to school you on raccoon behavior, having had an abundance of experience working in state parks where these critters were quite capable of terrorizing humans in ways that you wouldn't believe. The bottom line is raccoons are thoroughly corrupted by contact with humans and will not revert to their previous innocence afterward. The only solution is to trap and exterminate.

    The campground where I worked was plagued by raccoons slashing screens to get inside trailers and tents, and they raided campsites for any food they could locate. Entire families of 'coons were running like little street gangs through the campground, and the final straw was getting a report from a picnicker describing a raccoon climbing up his back as he sat eating at a table. He was startled even more when the raccoon reached over his shoulder and snatched the sandwich out of his hand.

    I wasn't going to wait for a raccoon to injure a child snatching a cookie from her hand, so I convinced the higher-ups to allow me to trap the raccoons. I baited my "Have-a-Heart" traps with KFC (original recipe) and caught 16 raccoons over a three night period, adults as well as their juvenile offspring. The prisoners were then executed and fed to the coyotes several miles away from the campground.

    There were the expected objections from soft-hearted animal lovers, but the end result was more dramatic than anyone could have predicted. Even I was a bit concerned that I might have decimated the raccoon population, but there seemed to be just as many raccoons sighted by park patrons as before. But here's the truly remarkable thing. None of them were exhibiting problem behavior. They were all going about their own private raccoon bidniss without being a menace to humans. It seems only the corrupted ones had been caught in the traps as they were the ones corrupted by humans feeding them human food.

    This is as good a case as any for making certain that any raccoon that kills chickens is exterminated. The good raccoons aren't going to be hanging around humans, and no raccoon that has killed chickens once is going to voluntarily quit being a problem.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

    526
    97
    128
    May 30, 2016
    Sonoma
    Oh, I have zero experience with racoons personally, what I said was retold from somebody who knows alot about racoons though. Yes, of course it wouldn't work if the racoon has experienced success. Especially in a campground where so many clueless people are offering all kinds of chances for a reward to them. I bet the "new racoons" won't stay away for too long because slip ups are a given.
    The trick is in having a frustrated racoon who can not afford to waste his time anymore trying to get food he can't get at.
    Not a racoon that was successful.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by