How many raccoons are too many?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by catdaddio42, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. catdaddio42

    catdaddio42 New Egg

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    Sep 23, 2013
    I got started on a raccoon "purge" two years ago when I saw a "family" of six marauding on our 2nd story deck. We had put up with their usual hijinks - torn up screens, dumped garbage cans, destroyed bird feeders, lots of broken small stuff - but when they started in on the second floor and the roof I thought I better take some action before they caused a more serious problem. The animal control folks said they would need to do some research and then they might do something. The pest control companies wanted a hefty set-up fee (~$200) and would charge $85 to dispose of each animal they catch. City boy that I am, I had the same notion a lot of folks do - us a "Have-a-Heart" trap to capture them and release them back to nature far away from our sub-division. The state DNR and the city both say that strategy is illegal - "you have to hire a pro." Rather than the "shooting fish in a barrel" techniques (or drowning - UGH!), I decided my strategy would be to cover the trap with the captured animal with a plastic tarp then use a dryer hose hooked up to a car exhaust. This seems "humane" - they depart from this mortal coil in about 10 minutes without so much as a whimper. I dispose of each carcass in an unmarked shallow grave in the ravine behind the house, reciting a short prayed about my brother/sister raccoon. I just caught Rocky #53 last week. The "pest" issues have died down to some degree but I'm wondering if I have I done enough to reduce the raccoon population to "co-existence" levels.
     
  2. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Taylors, SC
    I would venture that a co-existence level would approach zero raccoons. I am sure that there are raccoons in my area. I have seen the coyote. The opossum is a known quantity in this area. As long as they stay away and don't cause any problems, all will be well.

    My coop is at the Fort Knox level, so I am only concerned about daytime activities.

    Chris
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome to BYC! I feed the wild songbirds intermittently because of the racoons and possums that the bird seed attracts. Try no birdfeeding for six or eight weeks at a time; it helps. Live traps are set here about half the time next to the chicken coop. Any predators scoping out my chickens goes in the ground from the trap. That's a lot of racoons!!! Years ago some friends had many coons invade their barn, unafraid, when they had young children. They had a neighbor come and trap; he got over thirty coons that winter! Another neighbor was into 'wildlife rescue' and was releasing her juvenile handraised racoons there! After a friendly warning, no more racoons turned up....
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

    7,269
    1,578
    356
    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome to BYC! I feed the wild songbirds intermittently because of the racoons and possums that the bird seed attracts. Try no birdfeeding for six or eight weeks at a time; it helps. Live traps are set here about half the time next to the chicken coop. Any predators scoping out my chickens goes in the ground from the trap. That's a lot of racoons!!! Years ago some friends had many coons invade their barn, unafraid, when they had young children. They had a neighbor come and trap; he got over thirty coons that winter! Another neighbor was into 'wildlife rescue' and was releasing her juvenile handraised racoons there! After a friendly warning, no more racoons turned up....
     
  5. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
    Welcome. Zero is the prime number here. Racoons are pack creatures and breed like crazy. If they find a good food source they will let others know and then you end up with the same problem as before. They do know how to get into things really good (even a door if left unlocked) and are bad for your chickens because they kill for sport and not food. I know there are people that want to be nice, and I am not trying to offend anyone here, but the best thing to do is get rid of the entire population.
     

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