How do raccoons get in coops and pens to kill?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Lobzi, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. Lobzi

    Lobzi Crowing

    I just read a thread about raccoons killing birds. Could those who have had a problem with this please share how the vermin got into the coop/pen area, if you know, so the rest of us can make preemptive measures, as much as possible?

    Thank you all in advance for sharing this information with me and others who read this thread.
  2. Lobzi

    Lobzi Crowing

    I have to conclude, due to the lack of responses, that know one knows how they do it.
  3. Rick_R

    Rick_R Hatching

    Jul 13, 2008
    Of course, it could be that some folks are at work right now and haven't read it. [​IMG]

    Rick (on vacation today but no chickens, so no idea)
  4. Amethyste

    Amethyste For Love of Boo...

    We didnt think about putting hardware cloth around the bottom part of the run, since our birdies only come out in the daytime. And coons really only come out at night...but we were sadly wrong.

    Well, this time...after over 3 years of no problems... we had a coon attack. Apparently he walked up thru the bushes in the daylight </boggle> and he snagged our head hen Boon <barred rock> and grabbed her right thru the fence <we have a dog kennel that we made into a run> and yanked her thru the panels we think . She napped in that spot a lot...and for a chickie she slept hard. We think it was an opportunistic thing since it was also garbage day, so he was probably on his way to scrounge and saw her there ...couldn't pass it up. If that wasnt it, then she probably thought it was a cat again...she was a very good leader and always investigated anything new. The cats in the neighbourhood loved to sit next to the pens and take great joy in watching Boo walk up and try to get them thru the fence. So she may have thought it was a cat and did her usual "I'm gonna get you!!" and she got got instead .

    This was about 8:30 am or so iirc.

    He just grabbed her and dragged her thru the bars, ripped her head off and went to town...we were in the bathrooms getting ready to run to do some errands and didnt hear her till my DH turned off the shower and we heard the alarm calls. We had just looked at them like 10 mins before too....He had already eaten the head and was going to town on the rest of her thru the fence. Mercedes, <EEgger> her 2nd in command had already herded everyone in the house and was standing guard, calling the alarm.

    So yes, coons will come out in broad daylight and they WILL sneak up on sleeping chickies [​IMG] Opportunies knock I suppose for coons too...

    Needless to say we had hardware wire all around the bottom 18 inches or so of the run by the end of the day, and the next day little coon came back WITH his momma we assume cos she was freakin huge. DH turned the sprinklers on and scared them then loaded the paintball gun and shot the daylights out of them the next they came back for almost a week straight to try to get another chicken dinner. They have been trying to get into the top of the coop... we have seen evidence that they have been trying to figure out how to undo the locks we have, and they have shown evidence of trying to get into the top of the room thru the Suntuff roofing we have. However, DH loves his Ladies and made sure that they cant get in the coop he made them....there is hardware wire under the Suntuff and the whole roof so if they get in that way they will be stopped at the pass, and we should be able to get there when the alarm goes off from Mercedes and her flock.

    They are tenacious little buggers, coons are...I know they are only doing what they do. The one that grabbed my Boo was only a little one...and he came back with reinforcements... we saw him, a HUGE one and another slightly larger than him...<perhaps a sibling> that came back every day for about a week straight...and then stopped in at night a few times to test the defences as it were. They have tried digging under, climbing, and tried to figure out how to open the doors on the side that we keep padlocked and slide locked. They have been trying to get in thru the top on the roof, and thru the vents on the side. You need to remember chickens arent the brightest at times and can fall prey easily [​IMG]
  5. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    friend had caught 1 in her coop (they are able to open may locks) but hers was twisted wire!

    I can't say with mine cause they were free ranging!
  6. ...adding that if a coon does get in, don't assume it has left. Check platforms ladder, rafters and lofts in case it spends the rest of the day sleeping only to return, from cautious confronting one, and remember that in some places they carry rabies...
  7. Lobzi

    Lobzi Crowing

    Thank you all for your contributions to this thread. I put a motion sensor light in my pen so that it will click on if anything gets in. I sure hope that dissuade any vermits during the night time. I also use a large brick in front of the gate to the pen. I hope they arent strong enough to move it aside as it is the only thing holding the gate closed. I have heard a lot about a coons ability to figure out locks so I tried instead to used weight as the advantage. Any thoughts????
  8. Knight Hawk Ranch

    Knight Hawk Ranch Songster

    Oct 19, 2007
    Labelle, Florida
    U have to assume that coons can and will break into FORT KNOX if they think there is a chicken in there.

    So do what you can to prevent it and then some more.

    They are very intelligent and opportunisick (sp?) animals. There is a reason God painted a mask on them.LOL
  9. buc

    buc Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    Quote:Sometimes they don't get into the pen at all, sometimes the chickens stick thier heads out and the coon get them then, that is when you see bloody heads or worse, headless chickens.
  10. dixygirl

    dixygirl Songster

    May 14, 2008
    There are so many ways coons can get in pens.

    I have seen people with hog panel wire with huge spaces a coon could just walk through. I have see pens made out of chicken wire or plastic netting that they can just scratch open and walk right on in. Sometimes they come through the bottom by digging under. Sometimes people leave gaps under the fence so they can crawl under the fence. Sometimes they climb over the fence because some people don't put anything on top of their pens. And sometimes they don't even go in, they just reach in and grab a few and pull them out piece by piece.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2008

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