Last night...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by sianara, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    ... I heard my ducks making lots of noise so I ran outside onto the deck to see what was going on. I could hear something in their run flapping around banging into things and the ducks were quacking for their lives (even the bantam ducks in the next yard over who couldn't SEE what was going on were quacking up a storm and running around in their run!). So I yelled at DH and said "something is in the duck run!". I could hear it crashing around inside and outside the run and then it run into the woods. I think the only reason it didn't get to them was because it hadn't had time to figure out how to cross the pool (which is inside the run) to get at them.

    We went out to make sure all the ducks were ok and they were quietly hiding in a dog kennel (inside the run) where I put their feed so I removed the food, gave them a waterer and locked them up for the night with my fingers crossed. This morning when I let them out, they were a little skittish and I walked around the outside of the run to see where whatever it was had got in. I found a hole in the wire that I hadn't fixed yet and it was much bigger than before and surprisingly 4.5' up off the ground. There were also two huge droppings on top of my water pump by their pool. When I got home from work I patched the hole with double wire and gave the entire run another inspection but it looked fine, no more holes. NOTE TO SELF: Fix any holes in wire IMMEDIATELY, do not procrastinate!!

    Tonight, I heard the ducks quacking again only not quite as loud as last night. Again I quickly went out onto the deck (which is only 10' from the duck house/run) and there was a huge raccoon - brave as can be - on top of the duck house pulling at the wire trying to find a way into the run again! He wasn't even scared when he saw me. DH got a shovel and I followed along with my phone flashlight (which doesn't quite do the trick in the big outdoors lol) to make sure it wasn't still trying to get in. We didn't see it but I'm sure it was sitting a little ways into the woods in a tree snickering at us thinking "ha amateurs!" [​IMG]

    Just for the girls sakes, I locked them in the kennel again.

    So tomorrow I'm going shopping for a paint ball gun or bb gun or some other type gun that I can shoot at it to make myself feel better and to hopefully scare the you-know-what off. I know it's only legal to trap/hunt if I have a hunting/trapping license but I'm not gonna kill it I just want to scare it [​IMG]

    I know ultimately the best defense is a good, strong pen.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  2. Nic&Chickies

    Nic&Chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know what it's like to find a 'coon in your run! [​IMG] Scary, and you realize only after the fact, that you were not properly set up to do battle. (Flashback to me, in the dark, with a garden cultivator, handle shorter than the distance to the bandit). I'm pretty much an anti-gun peacenik type, but between a certain neighborhood dog, possums and raccoons, I might be willing to change my opinions [​IMG].
    I must say, I do kinda like your paint-gun idea: a bit of force to startle it, plus it gets marked!
     
  3. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    how about a trap and instead of chasing it off until it kills any of your flock or neighbors birds trap it and relocate it 20 miles from your house in the woods where it belongs. I will tell you racoons travel in families and where there is 1 there is more. It will be worth trapping before shooting with a paint gun. Trade that out for a 20 gauge and now your talking. They killed all my birds but 1 and Blondie was lucky to make it.
     
  4. blazensasha

    blazensasha Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree trap it!!!!!And then dispose it or it will be back [​IMG]
     
  5. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do everyone a favor and tTrap and SHOOT the varmint!
     
  6. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Yes do, as relocating is illegal in many locales.
     
  7. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    Relocating is illegal in my state. Trapping/shooting requires a license in my state and it is strongly urged among state officials that only trained trappers do the job (probably with good reasons as us trapping ignoramuses might end up with rabies or some other horrible disease [​IMG] ). My land abuts over 20 acres of trust woodlands and the area of town I live in is very "woodsie". There is no way in h-e double L I would be able to eradicate the raccoon population within ONE mile of my house let alone 20 [​IMG] I could set & empty 100 full traps and never take care of the raccoon population around here or keep them from prowling around and that was never my intention. I'm going to borrow a paint ball gun from a friend and learn how to use it. I'm giggling to myself just thinking about how my back yard is going to be polka dotted soon. I suspect the paintball gun use won't do much to discourage the raccoons but I'll sure feel better about the whole thing and for every one I hit I'll give myself a few points [​IMG] Ohh, I just had a thought "will the paint be harmful to the fowl?" Jeez, now something else to find out about!!!

    In the spring I will probably rewire the entire 7'x14' run with a second layer of wire, maybe even hardware cloth since it's 8 years old now.

    eta: I haven't ruled out inviting my BIL over to trap it/them for me if he's interested in doing the job. He's hunted and trapped for years but he lives almost an hour away so I don't know how often he'd be willing to come take care of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011

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