Newbie lives in raccoon village. Needs suggestions.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by msjones, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. msjones

    msjones In the Brooder

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    Aug 1, 2009
    Seattle
    Our city neighborhood is full of raccoons. One morning a few weeks ago my boys and I actually saw 5 raccoons together on our deck in broad daylight. When it snows, we see prints. Sometimes we see them in the trees.

    We plan to get our coop and 3 hens in a few weeks. We're buying the coop already built. It has a run attached. The coop part looks very sturdy, but the run is small chicken wire.

    My question: Knowing about all these raccoons, will it be safe to have the chickens out in the run during the day? Will it just be a massacre? What would we need to do to make this work?

    I realize there are no guarantees with a smart predator like a raccoon, so I'm not sure how to proceed. We are completely new to this, and welcome your advice.
     
  2. fordmommy

    fordmommy Dancing With My Chickens

    Jul 16, 2009
    Wisconsin
    Make sure that your coop is predator proof. Chicken wire is stapled on good. No holes. That kind of thing.

    You could put different wire over the excisting wire that has smaller holes. That you can get at your local hardware store for pretty cheap. I'm thinking something that has a small gauge that the coons can't put their paws through. It's real small squares. I put it on the windows in my coop.

    Then you could dig up the ground about 2 feet where the run will go and put regular chicken wire down and staple it to the run and burry it back in and then plat sand on top. That way they can't dig them out, but the chickens still can dig themselves. I've got the picture in my mind. I hope it helps you.



    Ohhh! And [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2009
  3. SC_Hugh

    SC_Hugh Songster

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    May 23, 2009
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Day time hits from raccoons don't occur like night time attacks.

    The neighbor directly behind me is raising 3 young raccoons after their mother came up missing a week ago [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I know that I have predators of every kind, so I built accordingly. Chicken wire went on first (stretched tight), 1/2" hardware cloth went over that. My hardware cloth extends below ground 12-18".

    Nightly, I lock down my coop: windows closed and pop door locked. Double locks on the person door.

    Build it strong and lock it up at night, then you and your chickens can sleep tight,

    --Hugh
     
  4. jqs birds

    jqs birds Songster

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    May 10, 2009
    Western Colorado
    I would put two strands of electric wire around your pen the first 6" off the ground and the second a foot off the ground that will keep coons and neighborhood dogs away.
     
  5. Bizzybirdy

    Bizzybirdy Songster

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    Apr 14, 2008
    North of Nashville
    Replace ALL chicken wire with hardware cloth. Racoons can bite through and rip off chicken wire in zippo time or pull parts of chickens through the wire...it is totally useless against any predators.

    Consider running a hot wire around the perimeter of your chicken run also. Doesn't cost much and works well as back up protection.

    Keep all your chickens put up in a secure house at night when attacks rom racoons occur. They are vicious, clever predators and better to be safe than sorry.

    Good luck with your new chicks. [​IMG]
     
  6. Brindlebtch

    Brindlebtch Songster

    Apr 15, 2009
    Texas
    Coons will go through chicken wire like it is not even there. Put hardware cloth over it and staple it on then wire the edges of it to the run frame. Coons are so incredibly strong.

    Then a hotwire.

    If you don't make your chicken coop super secure with such a large coon population then yes, I expect it will be chicken dinner time for the coons.
     
  7. chookchick

    chookchick Songster

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    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Can you post a picture of your coop so that we could take a look at how coon-proof it is? So many of the small coops and runs I have seen here do not look very secure. I am so glad that you are thinking about this now BEFORE you get chickens, rather than after a tragedy. There are many things you need to have, such as secure fasteners, strong wire, small holes, aprons, etc... that it is almost impossible to advise you without more information. I also live in raccoon-land...
     

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