How do I keep raccoons away

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Watermelon123, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. Watermelon123

    Watermelon123 Songster

    Jan 31, 2015
    Northern Ohio,
    In October I am getting some chickens. But the only thing holding me back is the fact I have raccoons. There is a mom and one or two pups. Daddy is dead and another one broke its leg and died shortly after. But how can I get them to stay away? I have not tried trapping them because I don't know what to put in there as bait. I want to know if the "nite guard" thing really works. And I'll take any other sugestions. Thank you in advance for any comments.
  2. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Aside from trapping and destroying them, or killing them outright, I don't think there is a certain way to keep them away. If you have a whole family there, then there is likely some reason why they have stayed around. That means that even if those visitors "disappear", whatever is so attractive around your place will most certainly attract replacements.

    The best thing you can do for your flock is to make it as predator proof as possible around their coop and run. Don't rely on chicken wire - it's nowhere near substantial enough to protect your chickens. It would take those pesky raccoons less time to help themselves to a chicken dinner than it took you to unroll the wire. You didn't say whether you plan to have an outdoor run with your coop, but a solid welde wire fence or cyclone fencing reinforced with hardware cloth both running up the sides and then either buried in a 12 inch trench all the way around or formed into a protective apron would be a good start. You'll need solid, substantial walls for your coop, no entry points, and secure latches, preferably that lock with twisting caribiners (and I'm sure I spelled that incorrectly) or something similar. They are quite nimble with those strong claws and will work as hard to get in as you'll need to work to keep them out.

    Some folks say that those nite eyes work fine. But raccoons are smart - I would think that with a couple of nights of observation they will figure out quickly that it's just another man-made gizmo. End of deterrence. You will need strong, physical barriers, and that takes some work. I don't believe there is ever such a thing as a 100% predator proof set-up. The minute I become arrogant enough to think that I've defeated all predators with my clever little mind and my precautions, something is going to find a weak spot. I lose. So in addition to building as securely as possible, I add a good dose of common sense and diligence in checking for new weak spots or signs that something has been snooping around.

    You are so wise to begin planning your housing now instead of either waiting until the last minute or waiting until your raccoons have already enjoyed a nice meal. Good luck!
    5 people like this.
  3. Coons killed almost all my chickens a few years back. I had to predator proof everything and I also got a dog to patrol the chicken area at night.
  4. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Songster

    Oct 29, 2012
    Tyro-Lexington, NC
    This is how you get rid of them! [​IMG]

    4-5 dressed young raccoons (no old Ridge-Runners)
    5 lb. potatoes
    4 lb. carrots
    6 lg. onions
    6 whole celery stalks
    2 pkg. brown gravy mix
    2 beef bouillon cubes
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Soak raccoon in salt water overnight. Drain and quarter the meat the following morning. Place meat in the bottom of a 16-20 quart kettle, cover with water, adding brown gravy mix, bouillon cubes, salt, pepper, celery, carrots, onion and potatoes in that order. Cover and cook 2-3 hours or until potatoes are done. This will serve 6-8 with enough usually left for raccoon sandwiches the next day.
    4 people like this.
  5. Blooie has a lot of good suggestions for you.

    A piece of fruit, a peanut butter cracker - anything can get a racoon into the trap. IMO then you have to kill the raccoon.

    A good dog can keep them away from your chickens - and you will hear the dog going off at all hours of the night.

    If your coop and run are secure enough -- the raccoons can climb over and never gain access. That may be the best approach. As Blooie said, when you get rid of one family of them - after time - another family of them will move into the vacated territory.

    I think solar nite-eyes are somewhat helpful -- but it would probably require moving them to a new spot daily -- and yes, eventually the predators will become used to them and they will no longer work, IMO.....
  6. Watermelon123

    Watermelon123 Songster

    Jan 31, 2015
    Northern Ohio,
    Thank you very much! I have been planing my coop out seince last year! I am doing as much reseaserch as I can to make sure they stay happy and healthy for a long time. I was planing to do a set up like that anyhow but an article I read said that I cant just rely on that. So I just wanted to make sure. once again, thank you.[​IMG]
  7. FlemmieAnn

    FlemmieAnn In the Brooder

    Oct 14, 2014
    I had a raccoon problem two years back at my home in Toronto. I lost few of my hens to them, and tried placing traps and using repellents but none of them worked. I spoke to a few neighbors who said that they have had raccoon in their attic and garden sheds. They got rid of the raccoon by calling in a raccoon removal service ( ) who removed them from their home once and for all. So I called the same people who get rid of them for me too. So I think you should also look if there are any such raccoon removal services in your area. Since they are professional they will have the best knowledge about how to remove them.
  8. jhm47

    jhm47 Songster

    Sep 7, 2008
    The "dog proof" coon traps worked very well for me. You don't need to worry about catching non-target animals, and they work very well on coons. I use cat food as bait. I caught 6 coons in a week after we started using ours. The coons had killed all of my chickens and most of our peafowl. I had tried everything, including live traps, leghold traps, poison, and leaving the dogs out all night to no avail. The traps were the only thing that worked for me.

    These traps cost around $20. Be sure to stake them down extremely well, as coons are unbelievably strong and will run off with your trap. I add a piece of cable with loops on both ends. Then I drive a steel fence post into the ground and loop the cable around that. Be sure that there is nothing that the coon can climb and work the cable over the top of the post. Good luck!

    I just found a website where you can order them at Fleming traps. I would not order the "push pull" ones, only the pull ones. A sturdy screwdriver works well to set these traps. I just put cat food in them till it's about 1/2 inch over the trigger. The coon gets busy pulling out the pieces of cat food, and finally pulls the trigger up. BINGO! You just caught a coon.

    And another thing---Have any of you heard of "Raccoon worms"? These are nasty parasites that coons carry, and spread in their feces. The worms invade the brains of infected mammals and cause death. Try googling Raccoon worms. NOT something I'd like to contract.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
  9. Coons live in loosely organized colonies. If you see one coon then you certainly have others. Besides building a Fort Knox style coop, the only other even semi-permanent solution is to make every raccoon that crosses your property.... "An offer that they can't refuse."
  10. It is illegal to trap and then liberate any and all raccoons back into the wild unless the release is in the same location as that in which the coon was captured. That should help you & your birds sleep better at night. Sarcasm intended.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015

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