1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Raccoon Pack Casing Our Yard

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Enchanted Sunrise Farms, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

    4,256
    31
    274
    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Couple nights ago i woke to sounds in the backyard. Got my teeny flashlight and shown it into the backyard and saw a masked bandit. *yikes* So next day i aimed our Scarecrow (motion activated sprinkler) in the direction of where i had seen him. Next few nights i kept hearing it go off, and upon shining a light outside, only saw a possum.

    Talked to our neighbor yesterday and he mentioned a guy across the street from him had to call a trapper as he was having problems with raccoons coming up through the storm drains. i was hoping this one lone raccoon i saw was maybe the last of that group.

    Nope. Tonight i woke to the sound of the Scarecrow and a lot of rustling in the bushes. Got up and shown my light out. There was something there, but hard to see. Finally turned on our floodlights and saw a very large raccoon looking back at me. i made pssssssss sounds at it through the window screen, which only served to wake up my poor husband. It finally clumsily made it's way back through the bushes. THEN i saw a large raccoon walking across the back of our property, then another, then another(!). It was like a raccoon parade.

    i think i need to call a trapping service tomorrow before they get more bold and find our chicken coops.
     
  2. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    I know it sounds crazy but we had a raccoon problem as well as opossum Someone told me to put dog hair around our coop area. it worked I have not seen anything in the yard. We live adjacent to the wildlife management area so we have alot of little critters running around. this worked for my garden as well. If you don't have a dog cat hair will do as well.
     
  3. bluey

    bluey thootp veteran

    Apr 10, 2008
    Washington, PA
    I've tried (dog/human) hair, urine etc... and those things don't work when any predator is hungry and there's food to be had, especially raccoons (they are crafty)...

    My cat's favorite pastime is watching the raccoons pass within 8 feet of her and doing nothing. I can only theorize that cat hair that is still attached to the cat doesn't work.

    My solution is simple: "The more lead, the less said..." [​IMG]
     
  4. coachhaze60

    coachhaze60 Out Of The Brooder

    71
    1
    41
    Sep 12, 2008
    Morganton,NC
    I agree with the last statement. I have numerous problems with wild critters making midnight snack runs in my chicken pens. I keep a .22 handy and have had to resort to making nightly patrols. Since I started doing that there are 3 less possums and 2 less raccoons to worry about. I have tired traps with many different baits and nothing has worked but the .22 rifle.
     
  5. Birch Run Farm

    Birch Run Farm Biddy up!

    Sep 5, 2008
    VERMONT
    Shoot first, don't bother asking any questions later! Seriously, there will be many more than one. They will kill your birds.
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    42
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    A good solid coop, whatever the size, is your best defense against raccoons prowling at night. We use solid wood, sturdy hardware, hardware cloth over all openings and wood screws when building. You might want to take a look at your coop and see if anything on it needs to be fortified, especially any openings and the type of latches you use.

    If you live in an area with raccoons, there's one thing you can always count on. No matter how many you remove, there will always be more. We don't even bother and have never had a loss to them. It's a personal choice.
     
  7. gotchooks?

    gotchooks? Out Of The Brooder

    86
    3
    41
    Jul 17, 2008
    Southeast Michigan
    Watch out for your kitty too. Animal Planet ran a show featuring a band of raccoons terrorizing a community. They were attacking and killing neighborhood cats and small dogs. :eek:
     
  8. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

    4,256
    31
    274
    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Well, SSS is out of the question, as i have nothing to S with. Plus, i don't think we're allowed to discharge a firearm where i live. My husband has a bb-gun, but i can't imagine that will do anything. i have been online looking for local trappers. Found one who charges $75 just to come out, then $50/day to check traps, $100 to come out and pick up an animal in a trap, then another $20 for an animal disposal fee. To trap all four of those raccoons (if there are only four) would run over $500. [​IMG]

    i did find that Sacramento County has one Federal trapper assigned to the area. Looks like they charge $20 for trap placement, then an unknown animal removal charge. They can only be reached between 7:30-8:30am weekdays. Too late to call today, so i guess i will spend the day securing my coops.

    i actually prefer not to kill anything. But what are the chances they will just leave our coops and pens alone? Most of our pens are right outside our back porch, but we are just completing one for our big girls further out in the yard. i think the coop is secure, with cement all around the perimeter and hardware cloth over every opening, plus three latches - one slide bolt and two spring latches. The pen is not, as it is built for daytime preds only, and has aviary netting over the top.

    Wondering, if i put cat food out for them at the far back of the property, would they eat that and leave my chickens alone, or would it only attract more raccoons to my yard?

    One thing i know for sure, my husband is not going to be a happy camper if i'm throwing the floodlights on every time our Scarecrow goes off at 3am.
     
  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    4,511
    177
    291
    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO
    Call around see if your county will provide a live trap. If not, a havahart or similiar live trap can be had for 30-40 dollars. Do not feed them (if food is not in a trap), this will definitely result in proliferation of the vermin.

    Even if you have FT. CHOOK, it is a good idea to also review your own digs (remember a member of EZBYC who posted shots of raccoon pack that tore through their soffit vents and took up residence in their attic).

    We don't have a problem with S here. However, if we didn't have three havaharts out and set at all times we'd no longer be spending quiet nights with our doors and windows open (will take out screens like they aren't there).

    You can never keep them from coming, but preemptive trapping decreases the overall frequency of predation.

    Good Luck!
     
  10. MagsC

    MagsC Queen Of Clueless

    Jul 27, 2008
    Minnesota
    I would imagine feeding them cat food would just encourage them to be on your property more...sooner or later they would "discover" the chickens.[​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by