Raccoon problem

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by hotmessJess, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. hotmessJess

    hotmessJess Chillin' With My Peeps

    146
    3
    51
    May 16, 2015
    Western NC
    So last night at about 2, I heard my one chicken kick up a fuss. She lives by her lonesome under a tarp. I'm not sure why, but after her sister died last month, she doesn't sleep in the coop with the others (she's a meaty mutant and the only one). But anyhow, I flip the light on to see her waddle her heart out and a stripy tail duck under the tarp.

    Only with half my wits, I grab a swiffer mop (like I said, it was 2 am) to try and chase the bugger off. I couldn't get to him, but checked that all my chickens were okay and secured the doors (they're free rangers so I tend to leave the door open in fair weather).

    So my question is, how do I deter this fellow from hanging around? I've worked catch and relocate jobs, so I know that A.) Only gives the pest to someone else B.) Encourages newcomers, as does killing him.

    Anyone have any better solutions? I've kicked around the idea of feeding him on the other side of my property so he'll act as a guard dog. But I know how silly that sounds, and I can't get a definitive answer on whether or not they kill for sport.

    I've done my best to secure the coop, but I really think the best bet is to make him not want to come back. Is there any merit to other animal urine? Or those silly glowing eyes?
     
  2. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

    637
    101
    108
    Oct 21, 2015
    NWA
    The best thing you can do is to make sure that your birds are secured in their coop each and every night.. Raccoons are also great at breaking into buildings, picking many types of clasps, and of course great climbers. They can even unravel chicken wire and grasp and do damage to chickens through the chicken wire. The are smart, strong, and have very adept fingers. Once they enter a coop full of chickens they are capable of wiping out the entire flock in a single night.

    The best offense is truly the best defense with raccoons. Bottom line - Chickens should be locked up tight.

    There really isn't much of a deterrent. If you ship them off or kill them another will come in and take it's place. We have them in our yard all the time and just live with them. My chickens are locked in their house each night with two different type clasps on the door, my waterfowl are shut into a large hoop house and also surrounded by electric net fencing.

    When I had turkeys, they were also in a hoop house covered in 1/2" hardware cloth. I was watching the coons one night. A family of three where literally inches away from the turkeys that were sleeping silently against the wire and the coons never noticed. They couldn't have gotten them anyway but was surprised they didn't even try.

    Simply lock up your chickens, a semi-complicated clasp on the door, make sure there are no loose boards or any entry points into the coop that they can break into and you should be fine to live with the bandit.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,241
    818
    291
    Dec 25, 2012
    If a coon kills for sport, I doubt that it'll make much difference to your dead chickens why the coon killed them. At any rate your chickens are still just as dead.

    If killing an animal only resulted in a new one eminently filling the dead ones place in the environment, then today why is not the Easter 3/4s of the USA not neck deep in buffalo?

    But reducing the population will result in more natural food being available to the remaining predators, this takes some of the prey pressure off of your chickens' backs.
     
  4. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    You might be interested to know that if a three year old can open the lock, so can a coon. It almost takes a lock that requires a key to out smart those little bandits.
     
  5. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    As has been mentioned, coons are quite clever and relentless. If hot wire or electric fencing is not an option for you, some of my chicken keeping friends have had success with a motion detecting strobe light with audible alarm. Best of luck to you and I'm so glad you saved your hen.
     
  6. hotmessJess

    hotmessJess Chillin' With My Peeps

    146
    3
    51
    May 16, 2015
    Western NC
    That is my biggest concern, that as prepared as I may think I am, as fortified as I believe my coop to be, I don't want to wait and find that I missed some tiny spot for them to exploit!
     
  7. hotmessJess

    hotmessJess Chillin' With My Peeps

    146
    3
    51
    May 16, 2015
    Western NC

    I want to know if they kill for sport because if I feed him on the far side of my property where there are no chickens, he'll have no interest in them.

    And to answer your question about bison, it is strictly numbers. It takes 2 years for bison to reach sexual maturity, year three they give birth to ONE calf. In the 19th century, hide was high dollar and the government issued a free-for-all to thin the heards to near nothing. And a new animal DID, in fact take its place: man.

    A raccoon reaches sexual maturity in the first year and can have between 2-6 kits a year. They are much harder to hunt than bison, given they are cagey and clever. So removing one leaves a yard unattended, like a welcome mat for another.
     
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,228
    2,229
    421
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I would not feed a raccoon on my property. It will only attract more, and they will eat you out of house and home. And there is no guarantee they will be happy with just dry catfood or whatever you plan on feeding them. Someone will discover your chickens. Your best bet is to lock them up at night.
     
  9. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,241
    818
    291
    Dec 25, 2012
    That would all be well and good but I fear that you are overlooking an important part of Raccoon behavior.

    Like the bison, Raccoons live in large groups. Coons are more like Icebergs than an iceberg, 90% of the coons in your location (or in anyone else's location for that matter) is out of sight. In wild life management there is a term called "Carrying Capacity."

    An animal species will reproduce or colonize an area until the available food is consumed and all the good nesting locations are occupied. Removing an individual coon makes room in the environment for another coon but it also lessens completion from the remaining coons for natural raccoon food. Besides coons are a serious danger of harboring dangerous parasites and serious diseases.

    Here is a small example of the type of coon population that a little food will bring to your chicken coop.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    They like Cheetos too.
     
  10. Tumbling K

    Tumbling K Overrun With Chickens

    10,573
    1,558
    346
    Oct 5, 2015
    Texas
    wow!!!!

    could you imagine the hole you could put in the raccoon population?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by