raccoon-proof brooder questions


In the Brooder
12 Years
Oct 25, 2007
I'm getting a batch of 30 chickens in July and would like to put them in a brooder box in my barn. I have a "duck tractor" that is 4 x 10 wrapped in hardware cloth that will work for the brooder and an old animal stall in the barn to park it in. (I'd rather have them in the house to keep a closer eye on them but husband says NO WAY.)

Here's the problem: I'm worried about our many many raccoons wrecking the heat lamp and rushing the chicks to one end/corner where they were get squished. Any ideas on how to keep the chicks from getting spooked by the raccoons rushing the wire at night while still allowing ventilation / heat? They shouldn't be able to get through the hardware cloth but I've had chickens/ducks die by getting so stressed at having a predator so close.
Is your animal stall raccoon-proof? My thought on raccoons is that anything you can open they can open, PLUS they climb, dig and go into a frenzy over a free meal. I watched in horror one night as four of them cornered one of the feral cats, bit her several times before turning on me when I came out with my shovel and broom. Are you sure you can protect these birds? They're rats at heart, with 'cute factor' but be assured they are looking for a meal as much as a fox or coyote.
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>>Is your animal stall raccoon-proof? << No, that's the problem! And I agree with you about these animals -- they are my biggest predator issue, even worse than the foxes who watch the chickens from one hill over!

The brooder box would be predator proof but the 'coons would still be able to get on top of it etc. I think I need to have some areas of it wire vs. solid wood so that they have air and it doesn't get too hot in there.
I suggest a LGD's such as a Great Pyrenees.
This won't help right now if you get pups, but later you will wonder how you got along without them.

For right now, you may have to coon proof your stall in order to get the ventilation you want, and to keep them in the brooder you use now. You can do this and still use it as a stall.

You may need to set some traps.
Or you could get some cattle panels, make a box or sort of a cage out of them, cover them with hardware cloth and put your brooder in it.

Coon proofing the stall would be cheaper and easier in my opinion.

I'd have to agree, and solving the coon problem before getting chicks. You'll have a bigger problem if you bring the chicks in before you can solve this, sorry to be negative, but I've seen them in action and it could be a slaughter- They take adults too. Oh and poultry wire won;t work for coons- you need heavy-duty 1/2" mesh, framed in securely. Raccoons are strong and clever.
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I do have cattle panels so that might work, kind of a box within a box. I've had raccoons take adult guineas through a fence and slip adult ducks out of a two inch crack so I'm well aware of the damage they can do -- unfortunately! We have tried to trap over and over again with poor results and have only been able to kill a few of them. I would love to get a LGD but I'm doing this animal thing sort of on my own and the rest of the family would not go for it. So it looks like I'll be building a Ft. Knox within a Ft. Knox! I'll post pictures later!
I Hate Racoons!

2 years ago I had a family of them move into my area, they found my chickens in no time! I lost about 10 chickens to racoons in under 3 nights!

They dug under my cages, ripped wire, OPENED DOORS, pulled chickens through very small wholes....it was a disaster..

I had to spend nearly $500 modifying all my cages to this new found predator. I couldnt catch them either! I set 4 traps all with diffrent bates, still today cant catch them.

My advice is dispose of the coons, or make everything coon proof!
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