Please Help Me Raccoon Proof

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by greenbeandreams, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. greenbeandreams

    greenbeandreams Chillin' With My Peeps

    So we moved the girls out into the coop last night and I realized that it is not raccoon proof. We live in the San Francisco suburbs so we definitely have coons here. There is not a major infestation but I've seen them a few times before.

    As far as the run goes, we used hardwire and it is either dug under by 6-12 inches or stapled to wood that is dug under by 12 inches.

    We have a couple of doors that swing out and I'm assuming that I can put a latch with a tighening carabiner there and we're probably okay.

    But HELP! What do we do with the back of the coop? Opens up for the nest box and the roost? Any ideas much appreciated for this newbie.



    Same question with the indoor hatch. Suggestions on what kind of lock I could put there?

    Thank you in advance!

    Michelle in the Bay Area
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'd lock that nest box and then check the entire panel to see if raccoons can reach in or get in. Add hardware as needed...
    I was also thinking that when you open the nests to get eggs that a bird could get out. Have you considered making a wire porch or something around the coop or that end of it?
    Do you use the lamp for heat? Surprised you would need it...[​IMG]

    Some thoughts on my run page, below...[​IMG]

    We have a lot of raccoons and other predators. We even have a raccoon named Mary living in our barn loft (long story). So she helped us to keep our chickens away from all things predator.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Yup, you can buy a hasp latch set at the hardware store that will accept a padlock, which is by far the safest arrangement -- make sure both halves of the latch set (and the hinges!) are screwed into a good thickness of wood, not just plywood. You can hang the padlock key right there on the coop near the lock -- raccoons may be smart but they're not *that* smart [​IMG]

    Screw carabiners are not guaranteed coon-proof, although they are better than some other arrangements. Neither are double-ended snaps, ditto.

    If you want to use less-safe arrangements, it is good to have several of them on a given door... the chances of a raccoon undoing two or three <whatevers> is somewhat less than the chance of it undoing just one.

    Good luck, have fun,

  4. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2008
    The way the top and bottom doors come togethe in the middle... the racoon can pull on the sides of the door and create a gap to get in through that. I would recommend you put 4 latches with padlocks, 2 on each of the doors at the sides where they open up together to eliminate that problem. Those critters wear a mask for a reason... they be sneaky.
  5. cowman910

    cowman910 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    Suffolk County,NY
    i think a racoon should get you!!! putting up pictures like that!! its not fair you have fruit on your trees and we're getting a blizzard!!! haha just kidding.

    i think it looks pretty good just be careful on the latch by the nest box a racoon can easily jump up and turn that.
    good luck
  6. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    Quote:lol I was thinking the same thing! beautiful coop though and beautiful orange trees [​IMG]
    think of coons this way, if a 5 year old can open it - so can a racoon.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  7. greenbeandreams

    greenbeandreams Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks all - for the advice . . . and for slobbering all over my orange trees. I'll be sure to save you some. [​IMG] The oranges that is.

    Off to the hardware store.
  8. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    I like your name! greenbeandreams....

    If you put a hasp on each side of each door you should be fine (four total). The folding part would go on the door, the loop part on the side, and put a carribeaner on each one. That way they would pull the doors in snug. Then also keep the flip latch you have now. Does this make sense?....

    Make sure you have ventilation in there also--I can't see any, but may be out of view. A good place would be at the peak of the roof. It is easy to overheat in a small coop, so keep an eye on the temps... Good luck!!
  9. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2009
    Has anyone suggested some electrical fencing wire? I grew up in San Jose CA and we had a ton of opossum and raccoons for the suburbs. Some electrical fencing wire and a timer would be useful to "train" them to stay away. Raccoons are pretty smart - they are not smart enough to open latches necessarily but they are strong and determined little buggers and I have seen them rip doors off and find a way or make a way to get to what they want. A nice little zap will teach them not to want what you protect and to move on to someone else's buffet like the nice neighbors trash cans! I had a raccoon wreck my cloth top on my old bug where I had left food and it was parked in the Kappa Delta Parking lot in San Jose! Rotten little Beast! I saw him do it and could not get out there fast enough! We always had raccoon prints on our cars and I had two loads to bring in so I was not thinking there was time for the beasty to attack! before I could go for the second load of treats! Woulda shoulda coulda - I wish we had electric fencing back in those days to deter raccoons and the bums! Creepy I know! I should be more charitable but the bums were horrible and it is creepy to find people sleeping in your car at 4 am when you are leaving for work! (I was a sailor at Moffett Field then)

    Jax FL
  10. greenbeandreams

    greenbeandreams Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you. We put some hasps or whatever you call them on the side - though maybe an electrical fence isn't a bad idea too after reading the car story! Uggg.

    As to ventilation, it is under the eaves (an inch gap between the roof and the wall) but I didn't realize that we would need more in winter. I figured that was a summer thing. Thank goodness for for BYC and pros who help us newbies out. I also had a lovely BYC-er pm me about this. I was going to put off looking into the ventilation thing until spring but will figure it out this weekend. We were planning on something in the gables but someone suggested a cupola and don't you think that would be just the thing for the cute little coop my husband built me. [​IMG]


    Oh, and the heat lamp is only temporary. I just moved the girls out two nights ago and figured a 75 watt lamp for a couple nights would help ease the transition.

    Thanks everyone!

    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009

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