Today was the first time that my husband and I have seen a raccoon on our property. It was around 6am this morning, and once the raccoon saw our chickens out (we have 6 sex link hens), the raccoon started gradually getting closer. I put the chickens up at 6:30 to get ready for work, but went back outside when I heard my dog barking. The raccoon was chasing our 3-legged pit bull mix out of the barn! Thankfully the chickens were in their stall, but the dog was terrified. My husband got an ax and went to scare it, but it attacked the dog and ultimately we had to kill the raccoon in order to get it away from our dog and chickens. My questions for you guys are: does hardware cloth keep them out? We have the chickens in a barn stall but it could be dug in from the side. Also, are there any dogs or livestock guardians that you would recommend keeping in the barn and pasture areas to help prevent predators getting in? Thanks for you help, I look forward to seeing your responses!