Raccoon problem!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Leah S, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Leah S

    Leah S Chirping

    Jun 13, 2011
    I have had chickens now a little over a year, no problems. I let my ladies out of the fenced in run to forage around 6 and bring them in a little before 8, dusk here. They will not go in with out me (maybe they think I am the rooster?). Three days ago I went out in the AM to let my ladies out of their coop and found a crime scene. Feathers everywhere, in the coop, in their caged in area and in the fenced in pen. Doors torn off, and two chickens gone. Found them a ways off, one mostly eaten the other missing it's head. Sorry, I know it's gross.
    My husband and I beefed up security and set a live trap to catch the evil critter that did this. Last night I went out to bring the ladies in. They were waiting on top of the coop, as always. Picked up one lady and was going to put her in the caged area (there is a fully caged area attached to the coop, inside a fence run) and there was a raccoon inside the caged area, under the coop!! I put lady back on top of the coop, locked the critter inside and got my husband, who "took care of it".
    My question is: How do I keep raccoons out of the coop while the chickens are out? they are much smarter that I thought and wondering what some more experienced owners think.

  2. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Songster

    You need to consider electric fence or a run with a wire roof all with hareware cloth. The coons have found you and your place is a meal stop. How about a chainlink dog kennel then you can buy a additional panel for the roof and skirt it and you have a chicken Ft Knox. Set the coop up inside and the birds are safe. If you go this route, you may want to overlay the lower 2 ft with hardware cloth to keep the fuzzybutts in till they grow too big to fit and it also stops a coon from reaching thru.
  3. SentryFE

    SentryFE In the Brooder

    May 30, 2011
    If a coon cant eat it he will destroy it, if he can not destroy it he will poop on it. Keep the live trap out 24/7 and you can thin them out to where they are no longer a problem. Electric fence works until they figure it out. Which they can and will. But maybe you can trap it before they do.
  4. Leah S

    Leah S Chirping

    Jun 13, 2011
    do you have have an electric fence all the time, or only have it on at night?
    We are moving the whole coop inside the garage (right now it's behind it) with a small door for the ladies. hopefully we will be able to defend a single opening better than a whole coop and enclosed run. There is a window that we want to put a screen over so we can open it at night. Any thoughts about what we should use? They can get through chicken wire, we found out. is there also a way to attach it so a raccoon can not tear it off?
    It seems that there is no way to keep out a raccoon if it really wants in.
    thankfully there is one less because of my husband
  5. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I have possums and racoons here among other critters. There is no way to kill them all and I cannot be out there with them at all times so I built them a run/pen that is 1/2 inch hardware cloth on all sides and the top with an apron around the bottom on the ground.

  6. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Songster

    Quote:Chicken wire will not stop a coon. No matter how hard you try. Just switch everything over th 1/2" hardware cloth and and sleep well.

    Screen wire is even weaker than chicken wire so either leave the window closed or lock it open a little for some air but don't

    You can run electric 24/7, it doesn't cost much and they make a insulated handle to disconnect when passing thru. Having in on most of the time handles night critters as well as dogs, fox, troublesome neighbor kids, etc.
  7. Jerseycoop

    Jerseycoop Songster

    May 13, 2011
    New Jersey
    Wow... That gave me chills. The masked bandit is more clever than I've ever thought it could be. Seriously, waiting inside for dinner to come to him...sheesh that's one sly animal [​IMG]
  8. Java_chicken_man

    Java_chicken_man In the Brooder

    Jun 10, 2011
    I agree with electric wire. the garden and coop on my property is electrified and not one single incident has happend.........ever
  9. ZoeS95423

    ZoeS95423 Songster

    Apr 17, 2011
    Im having coon problems right now too, I noticed the first signs, scratches on the side of the coop , a few weeks later, they ate all my chicken food (and dumped it out of the tote it was in ) So after that, I stayed up, and turns out it isnt one, its an entire family like 5 or six. The bf shot at them a few times, got one, but the others managed to escape. The next night, only one came back, but he wouldnt come into the light... For now I leave the back light on, because they wont come around if its on. But that will only last for so long until they dont find it as a threat anymore.. We also have a live trap out with chicken and shrimp in it, but they havent touched it.

  10. colebarnhart

    colebarnhart Songster

    Quote:Wow, here lately I've been preaching to stop trapping and killing or relocating, just because it'll be a never ending battle and just secure the coop/run better. However, in your case dealing with a large family of them, then you probably should try and knock down the population a bit. If you read a lot of posts on here, you'll find that raccoons are harder to catch and way smarter than others. You might try and camoflauge your trap better with leaves, branches, etc. I caught 2 using half opened cans of tuna fish, but I've read where some people tried everything and the only thing that worked were marshmallows.

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