Raccoon got us last night....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CandleMom, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. CandleMom

    CandleMom New Egg

    Nov 16, 2008
    Yep, it did. I think we are going to try to save Lizzie. She is in a box in the house right now, and her head is really bloodies and cut up. I think the raccoon was about to give the final bite on her neck but was stopped.

    I have to share the irony. All of us who have dogs and chickens know we need to keep the dogs away from the chickens. In the middle of the night, my hubbie let the dog, Clementine, go in the backyard to do her thing. From the comforts of my warm bed, I heard the door open, her bolting through the backyard and suddenly barking like a mad dog.

    Clementine is probably the reason Lizzie is alive.

    I am doing all the things prescribed in other posts. She is in the house now, quiet and warm. I'll get her some neosporin soon once she settles down some more.

    I am also making a trip to Home Depot. Thought we had our coop battoned down like Fort Knox, but not so.

    Any suggestions would be helpful. I know this topic has been covered quite a bit and I have read much of that. I do have a picture. Most of her injuries are to her head. They look like bites. Her eyes are fine, but the coon was definitely going for her neck. I think it was about to give the final blow before our dog intervened. No broken legs or bones, her wings seem fine. I am trying to handle her as little as possible so that if she is in shock, I am not traumatizing her anymore. The bleeding has stopped. I do have a picture if anyone can give some more specifics.

    I feel like I have been burglarized! We all make such great efforts to keep our coops safe and our homes safe, but it can happen anyway. Ugh!
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Sorry to hear about poor Lizzie. I bet your dog saved her! How did the coon get into the coop?
  3. iajewel

    iajewel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2008
    Corning IA
    Over the years I have been visited by the coon fairy too. Some easy things you can so is hot wire the top of your chicken pen and hot wire the bottom about 6"-8" off the ground.
    Get a dog that won't kill chickens and hates coons.. ie.. a coon dog. They will also clear your place of cats, so be careful.
    Tie bells to the top of the coop where they would crawl over, and run a trip wire with bells.. the coon won't care but you will at least hear it.
    Once a coon eats.. he will be back untill he wipes you out. He also has freinds. Coons are more active from 8-11PM and 2-4AM if you are going to sit out with a gun, thats when to do it.

    I like the dog as I can sleep, they can work. Hot wire is what I moved to when the dog died. Works almost but not quite as well. coons learn to dig under it.
  4. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I'm so sorry!

    I've been thinking about post I saw on here a long time back about how someone had a baby monitor set up in their coop.

    I'm thinking I'm going to try it. My dogs would definitely raise the alarm if they heard something, but the coop's 125 feet back in the yard, and the dogs are on the bed and next to the bed, snoring as loudly as DH...so I can't be in any way confident that they'd sound off!

    I would appreciate knowing how they got into your coop- we can all learn from each other how these horribly craft beasties keep getting our dearest friends.

    Best of luck with your sweet Lizzie!
  5. CandleMom

    CandleMom New Egg

    Nov 16, 2008
    Thanks for all the support. All the suggestions are helpful too. I am thinking the hot fence might be a good idea too.

    Yes, I know that now that Mr. Coon has the taste of my chickens blood, he will come back with friends. I am also thinking a pellet gun could be helpful for immediate needs, like we had in the middle of the night when it was my husband, the coon, the dog and Lizzie. Husband didn't know what to do intervene without incurring more injuries, luckily the barking scared off the coon.

    At this point, I am really not sure how the coon got in there. We live in the city, and keep the entire coop covered because of raccoons. There are spots around the base that might get a squirrel through, but not a 50 lb coon. I know that is how he did it, so that is where I will start. There is no way he could have come down through the top.

    I have seen on other posts like this, that coons can rip through chicken wire. I didn't know that, and that is not how he got in, but you can be assured, the chicken wire will be gone and galvanized wire will be installed.

    Luckily our enclosure where the ladies hunker down at night has a door on it we can close. Honestly, I think the coon went in there and grabbed her out. So, that door will now be closed at night, and yes, I might be looking out our windows just to see how they are doing it.

    Update on Lizzie. She is a Black Astralorp so when this all transpired in the dark of the night, it was really hard to just see her let alone figure out how badly she was hurt. Her head is swelling quite a bit, but she is just sitting quietly in a cardboard box in my bedroom where it's quiet and the dog won't get her.

    My kids have been great. My youngest now refers to my bedroom as the chicken hospital. My oldest plans to help me renovate the coop tomorrow.

    Again, any first aid suggestions would be helpful. And any other security suggestion. I can take a pic of the coop too if that would help!

    I need to find an Advil...
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Coons are witty and smart... if a coon can get their arm though, they will get a bird out. I had a bird pulled out of a rat sized hole by a coon. I knew it was the coon because I caught it in the act. He had pulled off a leg, wing, and half the body of the bird though the hole in pieces. That was a painful death for the bird for sure if it did not have an instant heart attack. I sent the coon away with a single quick shot to the forehead.

    A pic of the coop may help too since some might be able to see potential weaknesses in it. Oh... one thing, if door latches are the gate latch type, coons can open those. I had a coon one year open a latch and get into the coop to wipe out the entire flock.
  7. iajewel

    iajewel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2008
    Corning IA
    A coon can fold thier body up. If they can get thier head in something, they can get thier body in it too. Thier heads aren't that big. any little hole will do.
    I love hotwire.. I use 125 volts and it either kills them or they will remember it forever.
    9 times out of 10 the coon came OVER not under into the coop. Possums, skunks and wessels go under. Fox go under. Coons go over. I would check the tops of things before looking at the ground. Can you leave your dog on the pen over night? Would it hurt the birds?
    My Standard Poodle will jump out but my Toy poodle can't. So if she wants a nice soft bed, she is forced to degrade herself and sleep with the chickens. She will bark, and isn't afraid to chase a coon. Most coons won't hurt a dog unless they are cornered so I don't worry about my show dog getting malled or killed.
    Just something to think about.
    ya the little yappers are our pets.. but they are here to help us, protect us and have a job as well.. your dog may after getting over being kicked out of bed, find pride in the job they now have. (mine never did..) but its a thought.
  8. KristaChickenWhisperer

    KristaChickenWhisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2008
    Lake Stevens, WA
    Quote:Something similar happened to my white Pekin duck. He was sitting next to the fence and the coon grabbed him and pulled him through the fence. It was so gruesome and heartbreaking.

    Darn coons.

    Also, what did you use to shoot? My brother has a 22 that he has been sitting out with. That would do the trick right? (I am so not knowledgeable on guns lol)
  9. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2008
    Yes, a .22 will kill a coon, if the shot is properly placed. Aim for the middle of the head or just behind the front shoulder, where the heart and lungs are. A good head shot will usually kill them instantly, but a heart/lung shot will take a minute of so. Be sure to use "hollowpoint" bullets. Good hunting!
  10. mamaKate

    mamaKate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    SE MO
    Quote:I wouldn't advise exposing a small dog to a coon. The little guys usually think very highly of themselves, and if he attacked the coon, the dog wouldn't have a chance. If the coon didn't actually kill the dog , it might maul or blind him. My dad told stories of raccons leading full-sized inexperienced hunting dogs into water, then pouncing on their heads and drowning them. I've seen what they can do to a coonhound's head. That kind of wound would kill a poodle.

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