Raccoon Issues!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by KHBaker, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. KHBaker

    KHBaker Chirping

    Mar 21, 2018
    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!
  2. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    Aug 22, 2017
    Los Angeles (Woodland Hills)
    Raccoons are cute but they are also relentless, devious and determined. I'm sorry your husband had to kill it but you had your animals to protect. I'm just glad he wasn't attacked!

    Yes, hardware cloth will keep a raccoon out if you dig it in -- I'd go 18" -- or splay it out as an apron around your enclosure so they can't dig past it. I've also seen a load of river stones as a barrier. VERY attractive and no doubt effective.

    Also, check whatever entry point you have and how it's secured. Raccoons are very smart and have very agile fingers. Whatever sort of latch you have, I'd add a secondary one. Perhaps a carabiner. I've never seen a raccoon be able to manipulate carabiners.

    Reminds me of when we lived among the woods in Vancouver. We had an open garage and keeping our trash and compostables from the bears and raccoons was a full time battle of wits! One night we saw a family of raccoons s-q-u-e-e-z-e their way onto the second story balcony where we were keeping it. Despite our training a very powerful light directly into their eyes, they sat on the containers and patiently worked multiple tight, heavy-duty bungee cords to get to the goodies.

    I respect them! I even think they're cute. But I HATE them!!!!

    PS The bears had a different approach. They just picked up heavy full trash containers and threw them around the driveway until they popped the latches and bungee cords.
    Aceoky and PigeonLady like this.
  3. KHBaker

    KHBaker Chirping

    Mar 21, 2018
    I like the idea of splaying the hardware cloth and covering it with river rock, I'll have to try that!
    I had no idea that raccoons were such troublemakers- I can't believe they scaled your balcony to get to the trash, that's crazy! I'm definitely going to put a carabiner on the lock as well.

    Thank youfor all of the suggestions, and that's funny that bears will just throw trash around!
  4. Susan12

    Susan12 Songster

    Jun 23, 2018
    Washington pa
    Racoons will climb, dig and get into things you think are safe.they will open latches.they are smart.
  5. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    Aug 22, 2017
    Los Angeles (Woodland Hills)
    And their bodies look big so you think you don't have an opening they can get through. But under all that fur and big bottoms is a lean skeleton that only needs 4"-6" to get through.

    There are some amazing YouTube videos of mama raccoons climbing upside down with babies on their backs and getting through mouse-size holes. Don't ever underestimate them!

    PS I should have been specific that you want football size river rocks that the wildlife can't lift.
    hayley3 likes this.
  6. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

    Sep 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Part of the reason why I padlock my coops.
  7. hayley3

    hayley3 Songster

    Aug 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    I also have my chickens in a stall. I laid boards all around the outside edge and then put concrete blocks on top of those. Soon after laying them down, the boards sink downward so they are part of the dirt floor. I don't worry about them digging under at all. I just happened to have wood that was about 24 inches wide, otherwise you could get 1/4 inch thin pieces of plywood.
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    This raccoon was not behaving well! Chill it, bag it up, and insist that it be tested for rabies tomorrow! You need this done; your county Animal Control should take it to your state lab for testing, tomorrow. If your local Animal Control folks decline to do this, your veterinarian should be able to send it's head in for testing (that's how it's done!).
    Make sure your dog(s) are current on their K9 distemper vaccs, and get rabies booster vaccs right away too. And if anyone had contact with the raccoon, or it's saliva (as on the dog?) they may need to be vaccinated too, unless the raccoon is tested and is negative for rabies.
    Be safe!
    aart, mowin and centrarchid like this.
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I agree with this very much. I have dealt with many live raccoons. Even when cornered they try to get away even though a may bluff a lot to create an opening. Have carcass checked and make certain dog is up on shots.
  10. OlePainless

    OlePainless In the Brooder

    Mar 5, 2018
    Newnan, Ga
    I had a major raccoon problem - this fixed it -

    I leave a live trap out with marshmallows covered in peanut butter as bait. Since doing this -

    Caught 6 raccoons 2 possums and lost 0 chickens. That fence will drop me (260lbs) to the ground. Raccoon would need to dig completely under it or have a hell of a jump to clear it.

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