I'm so mad!!/Upset

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Glenbogel06, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. Glenbogel06

    Glenbogel06 In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2008
    Berkeley Springs, WV
    I have to vent! I few weeks ago, a &*#( Raccoon got into our coop/run and killed 5 of our 9 chickens while we were at work. I knew it was a Raccoon because of my brother's description of the kills (thank GOD he found them and I didn't!). The run was 2x4 wielded wire with deer netting on it plus a wielded wire roof over the entire run. That little bugger squeezed into a "gap" in the wielded wire that wasn't more than 4 x 4 inches!!

    So we re-did the whole run with chicken wire around the bottom 2 feet and into an "L" out two feet onto the ground. I also put up the hardware wire around as much of the sides as I possibly could (before I ran out of the wire) and re-inforced the "roof" with more chicken wire and the deer netting that I pulled off of the sides of the run.

    A week went by with no problems. Then last weekend my brother bought two silkies. (I even bought more hardware cloth to reinfoce the spots I had missed the week before) We had to go away for a few days, and yesterday (tuesday) we got a call from our neighbor who checks in on the chickens, that our white silkie was missing and all he could find was a bunch of feathers. All the other birds were just fine.

    My brother went rushing back home, and took a look at the film from the night camera and there plain as day there was the Raccoon culprit. Apparently that &*#(*#& had found the one little place that I had missed reinforcing, a place that the silkie just happened to be hanging out, and pulled her right through!!!! (there was no indication that the raccoon had gotten into the run)

    I can't believe it. It was a million to one chance that the predator would find the small gap and that a chicken would happen to be standing at that gap, but it happened!! And I am just sick about it. I had spend two days putting up additional hardware cloth, and knew that I had missed a spot here and there (because I ran out of the hardware cloth), but I never imagined that the million to one chance would happen!! I am a bad chicken momma!!!

    So I have bought MORE wire, my brother has a trap set up and our neighbor is going to patrol our property while we are at work. I hate the thought of killing any animal, but I never imagined just how vicious a raccoon can be, so I want that critter dead and away from my girls!

    If it happens again, I've told my brother that I am done with chickens. I just hurts too much to have them keep getting killed!
  2. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    Gervais OR
    I'm so sorry. Have you considered buying a trap for the coon and ending the problem (hopefully). Many people here have trapped them and either released them far away or killed them so they can't cause any more harm.
  3. LuannKeller

    LuannKeller Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Greer, SC USA
    I am so sorry. I had a red-tail hawk killing my birds through their fencing - he couldn't even eat them but he loved killing them. I was so mad. People would say it wasn't a red tail but I caught him in the act several times.

    I know you feel awful, but raccoons are really nasty and clever - once you get him you should have peace again. Don't give up on the chickens...but keep up the watch for the raccoons.
  4. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    Sorry for you loss. I was working on my aviary last week thinking, coops are only as strong as their weakest point!

    Keep reinforcing. Maybe leave them in their coop for a few weeks. The racoon will keep visiting. Or maybe you can run electric fence around it, if you have elctricity that can be fairly cost effective...and they do have solar units that work well. No one will bother them then!
  5. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    So sorry to hear of your battle.... I surely hope that you get that coon! They are industrious and wiley. Hopefully once he is caught and the last of your weak spots reinforced, you will find yourself safe from predators [​IMG] Hang in there!
  6. RoyalHillsLLC

    RoyalHillsLLC Songster

    Mar 5, 2007
    NW Louisiana-Vivian
    That was a great point about coops only being as strong as their weakest point. When I first built my big coop, I lost several to coons. My solution was to make sure I put up plywood around their sleeping area and also built roosts up in the air to make sure they couldn't reach under the wood. They can reach thru chicken wire and kill them even if they can't pull them back thru to eat them.
    I ran a short dogwire (2 " x 4") fence buried around the bottom with chicken wire over the top of it, thinking the dog wire is tough enough they can't chew thru it and the chicken wire is small enough to prevent many hands reaching thru. Then I buried crossties, 4 x 4's, 2 x 6's, whatever I had , all the way around their sleeping end of the pen to prevent reaching thru in those areas with plywood nailed up above the boards.
    I use bird netting across the top and have never had a critter crawl thru it. The only thing I have now get birds is snakes and then while freeranging in the afternoons occasionally coyotes get one.
  7. Glenbogel06

    Glenbogel06 In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2008
    Berkeley Springs, WV
    We have bought a trap, which will hopefully catch the critter. I just never knew before what helpless creatures chickens were. Everything wants to kill them! The laughable thing is that my brother and dad and neighbors were giving me a hard time (half teasingly) about all the reinforcing I have been doing, and now they all realize that even what I had done has not been enough to keep out a determined raccoon.

    My brother patched the holes that he could see, but still I will be spending my 3rd weekend in a row putting up even more wire.

    I now know that even a small gap is potentially a death trap for my girls.
  8. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I'm so sorry for your losses.
  9. I'm so sorry about what happened and glad that you're reinforcing. We were cautioned that any opening over 1/2" was a problem here, so we used hardware cloth, which was $70 Cdn for each roll of 50' x 3' and we needed two. I certainly hope you are able to continue with the birds, I'd be heartbroken too.
  10. lovemychicks9

    lovemychicks9 Songster

    Apr 29, 2008
    South Carolina
    I am so sorry for your loss. I know how frustrating coons can be as we wage a battle almost every night with them and so far I am winning. I don't like to hurt animals either but he is bringing out the killer instinct in me and I sure would not miss him.

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