Raccoon trouble brewing!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by thercman, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. thercman

    thercman Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 24, 2012
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    Hi everyone!

    This morning my dog was along side my bed winning at me to get up and follow her. So as I started to wake up she barked from the bedroom at something. I thought oh crap that's not good and grabbed my gun. I went to the sliding glass door and Momo my dog was growling. I slowly opened the shades to see what it was. There were two raccoons on my porch and two more in the yard. So I opened the door and made a hissing noise and the two farther away climbed up and over the 6 foot wood fence and high tailed it out of there. The two on the porch were really brave as they stood their ground. At this point Momo (half shitzu and bischon) finally got up the nerve to stand out side the dog door barking. At this point the barking was enough for the coons to scatter up the near by tree and I went to get my pellet gun to scare them off. When I came back they had run off but it left me concerned about the security of my chickens. Living in a residential area I had seen deer that come in from the fields and smell a skunk regularly but this is the first time I had seen a raccoon let alone 4. Which leads me to conclude they were trying to make a meal of my birds. First I need to latch the nest box door. Second I need to buy some carabiners to keep the coons from opening the latches. My concern lies with the chicken wire on the run. The raccoons can reach through and grab a hold of the chickens right? Should I put up 1/2" square mesh around the lower half to prevent this? Or are they safe in there? Below is a pic of the coop. The chicken wire extends outward from the bottom about 10" to deter diggers...


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  2. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, attach 2' of 1/2 x 1/2 " hardware cloth around the bottom and don"t have to worry about coons. Make sure you attach it securely and that they can't reach in & pull your door in at the bottom enough to allow them access. Once the coons you have try & fail your chickens are safe until they are replaced by the next set ( of coons).
     
  3. thercman

    thercman Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 24, 2012
    Spokane WA
    Thanks for the help! Since I have two college exams this week and a research paper due it will have to wait until next weekend. In the mean time I will go out in the evening and lock the chickens in the hen house and let them out in the morning. That should keep them safe....
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Well I don't know about just doing the lower half. Raccoon's are excellent climbers and if they can't get in down lower there's nothing to stop them trying higher up and they'll go right through that chicken wire. If it were me I'd have 1/2" hardwire cloth all the way up. I also really like a strand or two of hot wire around the bottom of the pen to really discourage them. They stick their hands or nose on that and they don't want to do it again!
     
  5. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    The observation above is very much correct with respect to raccoons climbing above the reinforcment. I have seen raccoons defeat hotwire but that is likely becuase placement was not ideal. Reinforce the entire run.

    Also raccoons often visit initially not for birds but also sweet smell of uneaten feed. Avoid having lots of uneaten feed in feeders, especially wet feed. Make certain the bird's roosting location does not allow close inspection by raccoons working perimeter. Raccoons are more apt to invest getting past coop if they feel they are close to a potential meal.

    In my situation dog is simply loosed on raccoons so they can get a proper butt chewing but your dog is probably not properly sized for that since raccoons do fight back a bit and tough dog needed when that happens. If you are in an urban setting then you might be able to get help from pest control but realize it will not likely be a single event since raccoon population is likely dense in your area.
     
  7. thercman

    thercman Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 24, 2012
    Spokane WA
    Thanks guys! I will get the mesh up this weekend. I did put a clasp on the nesting box and put those carabiners with the threaded closures on them. I already chased off two raccoons tonight. Bold little suckers too. I hit them with my weak pellet gun to get them to move on. They looked at me like I was in for a fight. :-O So I busted out the .22 caliber pellet gun. They don't want to get shot with that one. Good placement and they will be food for the chickens. lol

    My poor little dog is smaller than the coons. She is a big chicken herself. She actually came to get me to say something is out there. But she wasn't going out without me... lol

    Here is a shot of my wife with the "attack" dog....


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  8. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    havahart 1089 set 24/7. Coons are SO mean.Could just be when they are caged,but they try REAL hard to bite me. I would not let the dog near them.
     
  9. thercman

    thercman Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 24, 2012
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    Well, after getting shot with the little pellet gun they have stayed away. I go outside periodically looking for them. Saw one in the neighbors yard and he saw me and stayed away. This weekend tho I will get the carpenters cloth up... Thanks for the help guys!
     
  10. thercman

    thercman Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 24, 2012
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    Well, I figured its time to update this thread. Due to the high cost of the carpenters cloth it has yet to be installed and I shouldn't have waited. This spring I purchased 3 new baby chicks. Last Saturday I gave one away since it turned out to be a rooster. Sunday morning the chickens were out free ranging in the yard about 8am and a raccoon ate my barred rock. After that I have been getting up every 2hrs to check for raccoons. Then Tuesday morning at 4:45 I saw one outside the coop. I ran and grabbed my bathrobe then loaded my .22cal pellet gun. When I slid open the sliding glass door the raccoon ran up to the top of the fence and looked right at me. His mistake! I put the crosshairs on his head and dropped him with one shot. The downside was my chicken was already dead. He grabbed it through the fence. :-( So now I am going to get the cloth with a credit card and also looking at electrifying the top edge of my wood fence to keep them out of the yard. This has been frustrating since I am new to keeping chickens. It's a lot of work to raise them inside the house during the winter because they make a mess. Currently I only have two of the 6 I have raised. From now on I am just going to buy pullets. Oh, and make my a new hat with a ringed tail. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013

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