Raccoon depradation! any ideas?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Farmerbetsy, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. Farmerbetsy

    Farmerbetsy Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2007
    In the last weeks we have lost nearly all our flock. We are down to 2 chickens from 8, and 1 duck from 2. One of our ancient banties and the runt of the litter we inherited from our son's school, dangit. The raccoon has just rampaged through, and we've had these random freakish die-offs for no apparent reason. We never got a chicken picked up to be evaluated for disease! we have GOT to build a new coop. We're very sad. and the fridge is filling up with duck eggs, which we don't like. Oh, the irony. Anyone dealt with raccoons? it's such a pain to have to be home at dusk to put them to bed every night. as in, "ok, 3 year old daughter, I need to leave you alone in the house while I go out in the dark and pouring rain to put the chickens in their coop... any other ideas?

    but it has helped them...
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Well, short of closing the door and securing them in every night in a solid coop.... not much you can do other than not let them out. They are food to the world.

    I had coons learning how to open my doors and digging under the cops... so I depredated the coons with a have a heart and a rifle. Not a problem since, however, it is a matter of time before a new one moves in.
     
  3. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    That's what you gotta do when you have birdies that everyone likes to eat.
    Sorry for your losses.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2008
  4. Chatychick

    Chatychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2007
    Blue Mound, Kansas
    Yep its either catch it and kill it or catch it and take it very very far off...me personally I do the first cause it seems they seem to tell their friends and once you catch a coon in a trap it wont happen again...theya re fast learners and you need a stronger coop for your birds. If you have a kennel type cage you could bring them in for a week at night and maybe the coon will give up and move on...Good luck.
     
  5. FarmGirl01

    FarmGirl01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    AR
    I locked a racoon in with my chickens once. The results were not good. Since then, I have had some goats in with my birds. I have not had any loses. I don't know if it is luck or the protective doe with kids. I have not put the chicken door down at night in years. They are real easy to trap with canned cat food.
     
  6. countryentertainment

    countryentertainment Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2007
    Mass.
    Chickens can die of shock if something frightens them really bad.
    Have you tried training them to go in the coop before dark so all you have to do is shut the door. I trained ours by going out several times a day and calling them so they came for cracked corn treats. I also trained them to all go in the coop when I called them while standing out side it, by tossing the cracked corn inside so they could hear it landing. Now they all go inside if I stand out side the coop, I don't need the cracked corn. I did that during the day so they got use to me getting them in. We've had several times that hawks have tried to attack them and they know if they stick with me they will be ok and I walk them back to the coop and in. We've also had a lot of coons around so we make sure ours are all in well before it starts getting dark, and there is no way into the coop for the coon. If you get them trained to go in early then hopefully, it would make things a little easier on you. Ours wouldn't go into the coop if it was to dark to see inside.
     
  7. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    I'm not sure if you're talking about something else when you're talking about freakish die-offs, but if they're dying after the coon was there, it might be from stress. We had the same problem last spring. We did NOT want to kill the coons, which we trapped; a mom and her baby. So, in the middle of the night 3:00AM, to be exact, we carted them off to the middle of nowhere. WE had hired a trapper and used his live trap, as well as one of ours. Well, when we got to where we were going to let them go, we could not open the trapper's trap. We could not figure it out. We let baby out, and he/she stayed right there, waiting for mom. WE finally had to give up on the trapper's trap, and decided to call him in the morning, stop him from coming over, and figure out a way to ask him how to open the trap, without letting him know we caught anything. Baby in the meantime went back in the cage, and we carted them home again. Next day we overslept. Next morning, there was the trapper bright and early, and when my son went out to talk to him, the trapper pulled out a gun and shot both coons right in front of him. It was heart breaking and I thought incredibly insensitive on the part of the trapper, even though we know the law states they have to kill them, he could've taken them away to do it. Anyway, point is, you really do have to get rid of the coons, one way or another, cause they'll just keep coming back and they are devastating; they killed at least 15 of ours. So I guess it was a blessing in disguise in our case. Next thing you have to do is make your chicken enclosure as predator-proof as possible; not as impossible as it might seem. Elevating the coop is one answer; or burying a fence three feet into the ground all the way around; you can also use electric fence, or dig a trench around the perimeter, and fill with cement. Good luck, and hope you get some more chickens once you fix up your coop. If you live trap anything, the trapper suggested tuna fish or catfood; both work well.
     
  8. Farmerbetsy

    Farmerbetsy Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2007
    Alls I can say is -- holy chickens**t! Thanks for your support, everyone, and I hope we can get some neighbors together for a chicken-coop-raising! Yowza... my brother has offered to lend my husband his air rifle, which of course it's illegal to discharge in the city. The coon got in last night and messed with the feeder but everyone was safe in their coop. It's only a matter of time, though. I LOVE the idea of the nanny goat! we've been thinking about a goat...

    thanks all.
    Betsy
     
  9. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    You can buy traps at an hunting or farm store but be sure you take them far away. Out here in the country we just shoot them. Its also handy if you have a dog outside chained to let you know when he stops by. But they are very good at being very sneaky, have you ever seen their hands, just like ours. We had one climb a tree right next to my son and either didnt see him or didnt care. Know anybody who shoots bow and arrow? No noise.
     
  10. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    PA
    Since you are within city limits, set a have a heart trap with cat food, marshmallows..well, pretty much anything for the coon. Then call the police or wildlife agency in your locale to dispose of it. They can decide it's fate, which is typically euthanasia. In the meantime, I would recommend keeping the chickens in or ensuring they are closed up before the coons come out for dinner. Good luck to you.

    Jody
     

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