phickle's pickle

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by phickle, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. phickle

    phickle Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 27, 2014
    near Tyler, TX
    Well, in 6 days I've lost 3 birds. The first vanished without a trace. The second involved some blood, and a trail of feathers. The third had several blood spots, multiple feather piles, and something resembling a carcass. Thanks to the recent snow and ice, I also have raccoon tracks. I have to get this thing gone before I move our brooder batch outside to the pen. A new pen is also being built, taking predators into account.

    Alright then, here's the setup on the war against raccoon terror. I went to Atwoods and bought a Havahart trap, which also came with a smaller free bonus trap. 2 cans of sardines, 2 zip ties, and a pair of dikes round out the arsenal.
    [​IMG]


    The sardines were zip tied to the traps behind the trigger. Excess tie was cut off.
    [​IMG]


    The small trap was placed next to the area where the tracks were. Once on the ground, the sardines were opened halfway, with the lid toward the rear of the trap. I figured this would prevent anything from reaching in through the wire and stealing sardines.
    [​IMG]


    The larger trap was set next to the burn barrel, a place where feathers and tracks were seen.
    [​IMG]


    The traps were placed at duskish, and left to catch a raccoon-qaeda. This morning both traps were still set, maybe a sardine and a half was missing, and the smaller trap was upside down. Well, fudge. This is what I have to show for night one.
    [​IMG]



    Tonight I'm gonna place one next to the chicken tractor and the other next to the fence where it apparently comes through. Hopefully, I'll wake up to a caught coon.
     
  2. Go get em. The smaller trap is not good for much but the bigger one is. Raccoons are easier to catch than a fox IMO.

    Wish ya the best.
     
  3. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    Yeah those small traps are no good for you. Suggestions I have for your trapping methods. Coons can get at the bait inside the trap without going inside. I put boards or cement blocks around the outside of my traps to keep them from reaching through the trap and getting at the bait. You also want some weight on top so they don't just turn it over to get the bait. Sardines, cat food, and tuna are all good, but may also get you a neighborhood cat. If that happens too much switch to sweet baits for coons. Marshmallow, maple syrup, glazed dounuts have all worked for me. Two odd baits that have also wroked was egg rolls and blood from the last coon. I once caught a coon, dispatched it and the cage got bloody. I did not have time to rinse it off so I just reset it and with no bait. The next day I had another coon. That has happened twice, so I now don't bother with a rinse off everytime, especially if I have no bait or am running low. I hope you dispatch them and don't let them go.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    [​IMG]


    I wired a piece of plywood to the bottom of my trap to stabilize it and prevent anything from accessing it from the bottom. Then I built this box to put around it so the only way in is through the trap door. Mine looks exactly like yours.

    I usually use peanut butter, just take a spoonful of peanut butter and wrap it in a paper towel and throw it behind the trigger. I’m not claiming peanut butter is any better than anything else. I’m sure it’s not. But I always have peanut butter handy and I have caught several raccoons with it.

    If you do catch one, set the trap again. You can easily have a few hunting your area.
     
  5. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    Yep, building a box would be the best way, but I am too lazy for that. I also second resetting that trapping, don't stop until you get the whole family.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas

    I don't believe that for a minute. Besides, you build one and don't leave it out in the weather a lot, it lasts for years.
     
  7. phickle

    phickle Out Of The Brooder

    31
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    Jan 27, 2014
    near Tyler, TX
    No raccoons yet. I did manage to catch my stray cat twice, though, in the smaller trap. It's not my cat, but rather it was here when we moved in. Anyway, I haven't seen any problem with this feline, it stays under the house, catches mice (tons around here), and would routinely get into the chicken pen despite my efforts. But, it never messed with anything. It would drink water, maybe steal some table scraps, but usually just lay around. I even glimpsed Little Bit (hen) standing on it once while it sunned itself. So I really don't think the cat is the culprit. Although, if I catch it again I'll have to do something, it's eating all my sardines, LOL.

    I have some of those giant marshmallows in the pantry, I'll stuff some of those in the zip-tied sardine can, smear peanut butter on the top and reset everything.

    I was told yesterday that my scent may be keeping the coon at bay. I don't know how much stock to put into that, my scent is all over everything out here, including the gate and fence that the coon went through to get the chickens. The burn barrel, yard, waterers, feeders, etc should all smell like me to a critter.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I find the concerns about human scent to be really exaggerated with raccoons. It's never kept them away from my garden or coop.
     
  9. phickle

    phickle Out Of The Brooder

    31
    1
    34
    Jan 27, 2014
    near Tyler, TX
    It's not what I expected, but I caught this guy (or girl).[​IMG]


    I placed the trap at the fence corner, where I had seen the tracks and feathers. I used the remaining sardines in this trap with a big marshmallow. It isn't dead in the above pic, it's playing possum. As I moved around, he followed me with eye movement but didn't move a muscle. Cool. Never been this close to a possum before. He stinks, and kinda ugly. Nasty teeth, I could see a chicken carcass being no problem.

    I know that possum starts with the letter O (opossum), but I'm in Texas, and if I spelled things correctly then people would make fun of me.

    The assumption that it was a raccoon was based on one very clear print in the snow showing five toes. I'm not really a woodsy type guy, most of my tracking experience comes from figuring out which wienerdog shredded the toilet paper. I snapped a pic of this guys toes, and he has five, too. And big claws. No playing in this pic, he's dead.

    [​IMG]

    I'm thinking now that this may have been the culprit the entire time. I'm gonna keep the trap down there for a while though, just in case.
     
  10. falconertomt

    falconertomt Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2014
    Utah
    So technically both raccoons and opossums have 5 toes [​IMG]

    Opossum[​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    Raccoon




    Keep the traps set. Its possible that the little bugger only comes around once in a while. Another option, is to head to your local hunting supply store and check to see if they have trapping scent. This can be really effective at pulling in what you want.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014

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