How can I sleep?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by GreenieMama, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. GreenieMama

    GreenieMama Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2008
    Shingle Springs, CA
    It is 1:31am here in California and I woke up to one of my hens clucking loudly about 2 hours ago. A raccoon had just eaten the head of her friend and she wouldn't leave it's side. I could see the raccoon, and I threw everything I could at it, but it wouldn't leave.

    Of course, I could see the raccoon from our deck, but we just moved the coop (to protect them from the 100 degree heat) and I had to get in the minivan and drive around the side of the house with the headlights to really see what was really going on.

    Raccoon had eaten her head off, and there was the body just sitting inside the coop. I had to get a shovel and remove the body from the coop in the hopes that maybe the other girl would get back away from the edge of the coop and be safe! (That was really really gross.) Something moved right when I picked the body up with the shovel and I threw it in the bushes and screamed and ran. Maybe the raccoon will finish it's meal and go away without eating any more heads?

    Anyway, I've been checking and those beady eyes are still gleaming from the bushes. I lay in bed and can't sleep. But what can I do tonight? Can't shoot the raccoon, might hit the propane tank. I can't stay out there with the flashlight, he isn't scared of that or of buckets of sand being thrown at him. So instead I've been reading posts here and am getting more freaked out that my last 6 girls will be gone in the morning.

    We lost one hen to a skunk last week and we wrapped half the coop in woven bamboo reed the next day. Skunk hasn't done any more damage, but now the raccoon has all night to do whatever he/she wants.

    By the way, the coop is made of a 7 x 13 foot dog run, chain link, with a chain link roof. The girls have an elevated rabbit hutch which they use for nesting, but they roost on top of it rather than on the poles we have. I can't put up electric line because I have two small children. I really don't want to kill the local wildlife either. We are working with our private community board to get permission to build a fence around the yard, but are there any kinds of fences that keep out raccoons?

    Also, has anyone tried those urine sprays to scare the raccoons away? Or the sound things that make noise that only animals can hear? Thanks for reading my rant, I'm just so worried but I don't know what else I can do before daylight...
     
  2. RayP

    RayP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2008
    Gainesville Florida
    The only thing to come to mind is another fence inside the chair link fence that he can't reach through, most of the time a racoon will work at a meal until he gets it or is killed.
     
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Well, if it were me, my dog and my shovel would be sending that raccoon to raccoon hades where he belongs.

    On the farm where I grew up in central Utah, my dog and I dispatched a number of coons away from this earthly existence.

    I'm sorry for your loss.

    M
     
  4. blue fire

    blue fire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2007
    Murfreesboro, TN
    sounds like you need a sword [​IMG] , did you try to get close to the racoon to see if you can scare it? or maybe trap it under something?
     
  5. GreenieMama

    GreenieMama Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2008
    Shingle Springs, CA
    Quote:Does that mean that this one will always check back here? Like, now we are on his mean route? Yuck. I hope I did the right thing by leaving the body out - wherever it landed. Maybe she/he will get full and go away until we can put up some more mesh or something.
     
  6. GreenieMama

    GreenieMama Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2008
    Shingle Springs, CA
    Quote:The only thing it ran from was the crazy lady in her pajamas driving a minivan right at it. I was wielding a plastic wiffle-ball bat. (Do raccoons laugh?)
     
  7. RayP

    RayP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2008
    Gainesville Florida
    yes you are on its route now and will keep coming back.
     
  8. GreenieMama

    GreenieMama Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2008
    Shingle Springs, CA
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOh!

    I just read a post about predators not coming near human voices!

    I'm excited about this, I'm going to go find a radio and put it outside!
     
  9. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Raccoons are so used to us that virtually nothing but a barrier will deter them. I had one cornered in our feed room years ago with a broom, trying to get her outdoors and she came at me. I found her nest in the loft and destoyed it, and though she was out of the barn she was still living nearby. When we built the coop in our barn (see link below) we used 1/2" hardware cloth, interior/exterior latches, porches, and so far, so good. We blocked all overhead openings, used extra battens and stapled the seams and married all openings more than 1/2" with the wire that came with the rolls. There is likely more than one, by the way- this is the season for teaching the young to hunt. Very sorry, but you'll have to be very agressive or you will not have a flock. A raccoon can reach through, dismember a bird on its way out through the chain link or bite off its head in frustration if the bird is too big.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2008
  10. Barnyard

    Barnyard Addicted to Quack

    Aug 5, 2007
    Southwest Georgia
    Quote:I believe this is what I would do. I would pitch me a tent and lay-in-wait!! He will come back and when he did he would never leave.....

    Goodluck. I hope you get that darn critter!!
     

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