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Raccoon attack- kills 7!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Lifetime chicken lover, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. Lifetime chicken lover

    Lifetime chicken lover Songster

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    Jun 26, 2009
    Rogers, MN
    So, like many a chicken owner, I am using an old (VERY OLD metal) shed as a chicken coop for our 10 Black Australorps. Last year we lost all of our chickens to raccoons, who climbed over the run fence somehow. This year, I covered the whole run with chicken wire tightly bound together.
    Two days ago, the raccoons found a new way in- they ripped open the metal shed!!! Took 7 of the chickens in one night! Originally I thought they killed 8 (found only 5 bodies), but one of the chickens returned miraculously to the coop later that day!!!
    I worked all day yesterday creating a loft in the shed, where I don't think the raccoons can get in- but, unfortunately, neither can the chickens!!!! How do I teach them to use the walking plank/ladder? What is the maximum ramp angle the chickens can climb? Is 40 degrees too steep with "steps" every 3 inches or so?
    I've been lying awake the last few nights trying to come up with a solution...and worrying that the raccoons will still get in and I will find another pile of chicken bodies:(
    Anyone have any ideas?
     
  2. Lifetime chicken lover

    Lifetime chicken lover Songster

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    Jun 26, 2009
    Rogers, MN
    I'm just wondering if this is the kind of forum in which you have to make friends with people before you get any advice? I posted in two different sections and am having a very hard time getting any response. Am I doing something wrong? Do I need to post pictures or be more specific?
     
  3. bakerjw

    bakerjw Songster

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    Apr 14, 2010
    Johnson City, Tn
    I am a firm believer in electric fences for deterring predators. A good zap will keep most predators away. Last month I bought some chicks from a good ole boy who had electric fence wires running all around the bases of his buildings and coops. He said that he never had raccoon or fox problems since putting them in. Hence my new chicken run and tractor both have electric fences strung around them.
     
  4. jla0499

    jla0499 Songster

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    Jun 11, 2010
    East TN
    Use a live trap to catch them. Take them far, far away or they will return Once they have a food source, they will keep coming back, until the food source is gone or they are caught. .
     
  5. scarter

    scarter Songster

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    Aug 22, 2008
    Roberts, WI
    Quote:I think you just need to be patient. The right person will come along and answer. I'd trap and dispose of the critters or they will keep coming back.
     
  6. So sorry about the loss of your chickens. I live on an acreage that is surrounded by woods and a deep ravine with flowing water on three sides of my land. Needless to say...I struggle with racoons. I've been know to shoot them out of trees in the wee hours of the morning before going to work - wearing heels and pearls. You not only have to secure your pens/buldings, etc. You have to trap & shoot the critters. They are very smart, very diligent & very destructive overall -as you already know.

    As far as the loft within the shed - I think they'll find a way to get up to the loft. The height will not make a difference and they can really climb. And the height is causing complications for your chicken's access. I guess if it were me, I would purchase a large dog house that has a floor, roof & lockable door within your shed. It'll help keep em warm in cold weather too...I'm not sure where you're posting from though - do you even have cold winters? You can add ventilation holes if needed by drilling holes in the side of the dog house with a drill and a large drill bit. I've used dog houses for the last several years and I like them. I have them made to otder using the measurements I supply - according the my needs and what will be living in each house. Is there any way you can encorporate a wire "run" into the shed that leads to the dog house?

    Welcome to BYC!

    Joni
     
  7. Lifetime chicken lover

    Lifetime chicken lover Songster

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    Jun 26, 2009
    Rogers, MN
    Thanks Joni!
    I have a hard time shooting anything...I'm kind of a pacifist, but the raccoons are making me think about at least some live traps. And yes, it does get cold here in MN so I like your idea of the dog house. We have an insulated shed that we've been using for storage, but I think I might turn that into the new chicken coop- I was going to make that their winter home, but I think I might have to do it earlier than I wanted. We just had the brush around it removed and it's a little closer to the house where we can keep a closer eye on things- and we can install a motion light to at least scare them a bit. I was trying to avoid starting all over, but it seems that might be the only solution.
     
  8. aprophet

    aprophet Songster

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    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    Quote:I think you just need to be patient. The right person will come along and answer. I'd trap and dispose of the critters or they will keep coming back.

    X2
     
  9. aprophet

    aprophet Songster

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    chesapeake Va.
    Quote:they will get used to the light it may take them a week or so if you are not willing to dispose of them your best bet is a fort knox coop. I have never seen a good way to keep out weasels rat or snakes good luck
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
  10. smith2

    smith2 Songster

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    Jan 5, 2008
    Paris, TN
    I like the shed within a shed idea, too. I also have to lock up my house every night tight as a drum. I have not had raccoon problems yet, but a friend of mine lost all of hers to coons last year. I have cats that roam and until recently a dog, so that might be what is keep coons away from my henhouse for now. I can usually pick up dead coons on the roads in the morning on my way to work just about every day and my drive to work is only about 8-10 miles. So, they are everywhere around here!!
     

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