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Raccoon attack last night. Need advice.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by nightcap, May 17, 2010.

  1. nightcap

    nightcap In the Brooder

    May 13, 2009
    I woke up at 2:30 am to the family yelling that something was in with the chickens. I grabbed my pellet rifle with the flashlight attached and ran to the window in time to see a raccoon carrying one of my chickens over the fence. I shot at it but think I missed. I ran around to the front of the house and saw the raccoon sitting there looking like it was debating to come after me. I aimed between it's glowing eyes and popped off another round. It let out a horrible sound and slowly ran off down the block. Then I had the fun task of looking for my chicken. The neighbors came home from their night out at just the right time to let me rummage through their bushes. I found the chicken ALIVE but scared crapless under a bush. It was missing a ton of feathers but was still feisty. Which brings me to my question.... Do I have to worry about rabies? I'm sure the coon got it's teeth into her. I just have never heard if chicken can get rabies. What should look for or do?


  2. happyhensny

    happyhensny Brown Barns Farm

    Not sure about disease but, also last night something ate 9 out of 12 Cockoo Maran chicks out of our mini coop. Sad day here. I will keep an eye on this post though concerning the remaining 3 we have left.
  3. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    I don't think they can get rabies, infection is probably the bigger worry. I would quarantine her and keep her warm in case of shock.
  4. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Crowing

    Apr 19, 2009
    No you don't have to worry about rabies. Infection and internal injury are both another story.

    Lock your coop up at night so raccoons can't make off with your birds -- or, at the very least, put a top on the run.

    ETA: Raccoons are incredibly stoic and resilient. Unless you're an excellent marksman and have plenty of experience shooting raccoons you're highly unlikely to kill one, even if you hit it, with a pellet gun. Can you get lucky (or really good at it) and drop one now and again? Sure, but it's much more humane to get yourself a .22 and some hollow tip bullets for it so they shatter on contact and do more internal damage. Otherwise you're just sending raccoons off into the night with a few little metal implants and some pain. And they can still come back later for more chicken dinner.
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  5. nightcap

    nightcap In the Brooder

    May 13, 2009
    Thanks for the input all. It does help my worrying about my chicken. I'm going to keep a close eye on my poor chicken for any signs of problems.

    I'm going to re-design the coop. I have been seeing a lot of Opossums and now Raccoons.

    I used a pellet gun because I'm smack dab in the city. I have much better guns to use but the noise is a big issue. I bought some subsonic rounds for my .22 but they still make my ears ring. At 2:00am it would get the police around pretty quick. The gammo rifle I use does 1200 fps with the alloy rounds.
  6. Coop d'etat

    Coop d'etat In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2009
    Medford, Oregon
    I believe it's easier to make sure you have a secure coop than to go out shooting in the night, which usually means you have already lost at least one chicken. And I would discourage shooting a racoon even if it was quick, as that means you now have a racoon body with topical blood that has to be handled and disposed of, racoons are currently the wild animal most likely to carry rabies, and it's suspected that they can carry the rabies virus indefinitely without coming down with the illness and exhibiting symptoms. So forensically let's say you shoot a racoon and blood droplets land on the ground, and the racoon applies more blood to the ground and/or plants, fence, etc. it touches. See my point - it's safer for you and your chickens to have a secure coop than to have to dispose of a wild animal. Plus, you shoot one and there are ten more not far away, and a secure coop will protect against all predators. Good luck!!
  7. nightcap

    nightcap In the Brooder

    May 13, 2009
    You're right of course. I like seeing wildlife around the area. Makes me feel we haven't ruined everything yet. My coop isn't too small 5x9 I think, for 4 chickens. They have gotten spoiled running around the yard.
  8. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    If I lived in town I'd put all of my time and money into passive instead of active defense. That said, it never hurts to keep a live trap set and baited 24/7. Just drown them after you catch them. Both raccoons and opossums alter their schedules when living in areas with high concentrations of humans (have seen both raccoons and opossums sauntering around Columbia, Mo. in the middle of the day). If raccoons aren't after your chickens they might well go through your screen doors and into your cupboards (they've busted out windows in Columbia to get to the Captain Crunch... between 2-4pm). You can't keep more from coming, but you can get the one that is trying to decide if it should expend energy worrying the latches on your coop, or getting an easy meal in a trap.

    See if your local Animal control might not loan or rent you a havahart live trap while you see to upgrading your coop and run.
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  9. a good shock from a hot wire is very effective and you wont need to figure out how to liberate a triger happy skunk from a live trap
  10. homeinspectorman

    homeinspectorman In the Brooder

    Mar 24, 2010
    SE Oklahoma, Durant
    With the price of small electric fence chargers and no more wire than it sounds like you need, I would definitely run two strands of electrified wire. I live on several acres with a creek close by and just about every kind of chicken eater you can name. So far no problems. When the granddaughter is around I put it on a timer.

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