Raccoon aerial assault?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tuskajones, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. tuskajones

    tuskajones In the Brooder

    Dec 18, 2007
    Sewickley, PA
    Hi--I am in the process of finishing my chicken tractor; I have built the frame and will now begin putting on the wire around the frame. It is basically a 10' x 10' square with 4' high sides and an arched roof. I will be placing metal hardware cloth 4' high around the perimeter with a 1' "skirt" of hardware cloth around the perimeter as well.

    My question is whether or not to enclosed the roof portion with metal hardware cloth or plastic hardware cloth material? The plastic cloth is easier to work with and cheaper.

    Of course I realize that raccoons and possums can climb and are capable of great feats of strength. But would they likely climb the 4' metal hardware cloth, get to the plastic cloth, chew through it and jump 4 ' down into the pen to get the chickens? I am thinking that if they see the chickens on the ground (no roosts, I have meat birds) their inclination is to dig or stick a paw through to get at the birds rather than an aerial assault.

    Thanks for any advice!

  2. SueNH

    SueNH Songster

    Feb 24, 2007
    Use the metal hardware cloth. Raccoons climb very well. Also remember they have thumbs and know how to use them. Get a good latch.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I've seen coons up in trees and coons savy enough to open doors and trash cans with simple latches. Granted, these were city coons, but best be safe rather than sorry.
  4. BradyMSU

    BradyMSU In the Brooder

    Apr 10, 2008
    Marshall, Michigan
    Absolutely use the metal hardware cloth. Having dealt with a raccoons problem on my property for several years, I have profound respect for their ability to go where they don't belong. The only thing I have found to outwit them with 95%+ effectiveness is an electric fence with strands at 4", 12" and 24". Fortunately, electric fences can be built for under $100 and be big enough to surround a coop and a medium size garden. Even then, inside the electric fence, I still have three different types of locks on the door to my coop and one requires a key.
  5. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    *One of the funniest things I ever saw was a half-grown racoon climb to the top of a 6 ft. Wooden fence and take a flying spread-eagled leap of at least 5 ft. into an apt. dumpster on the other side of that fence-- but, if it were my chicken run, it wouldn't be funny at all, would it?? [​IMG]
  6. chickenhawk

    chickenhawk Chirping

    I have a never ending war with raccoons I would use the metal and I would set a box trap right along side too. The coons will inspect every inch of your tractor looking for a weak spot. You might want to consider some roosts that are in some sort of box or roofed area so that the raccoons dont reach in for a drumstick or two.
    Better Safe Than Sorry

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