my first raccoon attack, and totally my fault

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by OrpingtonManor, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    Don't make my mistake. I know you won't, but just in case, here's the sad tale...

    12:30 last night. Lola had been in the chicken tractor for the day, since she had been ruthlessly pecking the young birds I was introducing to the flock. After everyone was settled in the main coop, I was ready to transfer her to a cage for the night, but got sidetracked by surprise late-night (human) visitors. The predator opened the door to the chicken tractor, and also closed it. It left no feathers or blood, and carried my bird up the street without a trace. I know what it was because I heard her squawk, ran outside, saw nothing, and started running up and down the street with a flashlight. I saw the raccoon's eyes in the light several houses up, and ran after it. I chased it until it ran under a neighbor's car, then menaced it until it dropped my bird and ran away. The raccoon killed by breaking her neck and puncturing her windpipe. It was planning to do the messy work far away from my property.

    Then, I went home with my dying bird, dealt with her, and double-checked the main coop. Closed and locked everything, even the high windows. Good thing, because when I shined my flashlight at the big tree that overhangs the coop, there was a mother and youngster climbing the trunk. They left once I spotted them. Still, I stayed out at the coop for hours until I was too tired to be useful, and pretty sure they were gone.

    RIP Lola. She died because I didn't do my job. I feel terrible.

    Chicken tractors aren't any protection at all from nighttime predators. But, we all knew that. Make sure you transfer your birds to safer quarters as soon as it gets dark.
     
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Thanks for the timely advice. Sorry it came at such a high price.

    Imp- Have to admit that sometimes I'm late locking up the chickens.
     
  3. pride&joy

    pride&joy Chillin' With My Peeps

    So sorry for your loss, I would have relocated those coons to the next world bang bang.
     
  4. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    thanks. the price was way too high.
     
  5. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    pride&joy :

    So sorry for your loss, I would have relocated those coons to the next world bang bang.

    I don't have a gun, and live in a suburban neighborhood. Yes, I asked myself what I could get away with shooting tonight, but think I'd better stick to securing the coop really well, and maybe shooting them with the hose.

    At least their bellies didn't get filled at my house.​
     
  6. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Oh hell, Steff, I am so sorry to hear that. [​IMG] and a whole lot more. Call me if you want.
     
  7. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Strasburg Ohio
    So sorry to hear that, Steffanie. Don't be too hard on yourself, though. You didn't mean for that to happen and remember, nobody's perfect. DARN VARMITS!
     
  8. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    Thanks for all the support. [​IMG] I am being pretty hard on myself because I want this lesson learned. May I not do this twice. [​IMG]
     
  9. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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  10. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so sorry. You're human, like all of us. We all make mistakes.

    One thing you could do to help to avoid this in the future is beef up the security of the door on your chicken tractor. I don't leave my chickens in the tractor after dark, but just in case I'm late putting them back into their coop one night, I use a spring operated clip lock on the tractor door, just like the ones I use on my coop and run doors. My tractor also has a hardware cloth apron that extends on the ground, also "just in case."
     

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