Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ~Wind~, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. ~Wind~

    ~Wind~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2011
    So we had a few losses last night. Our first unexplained losses actually.

    First, an almost 6 week old white leghorn pullet.

    Second, two of our five, 3 week old ducklings are missing.

    Now we found the pullet she was half eaten just outside the barn door. But we havent seen the ducklings. So they may be hiding in the treeline or maybe dead. Our older birds sleep in the rafters of the barn at night and the little guys get locked up.

    Now on to the Raccoon, this guy has decided to take up residence on our property somewhere. We see him at night in the barn about once a week but I know that he is in their everynight because the lid of one of our feed bins is always unhooked. And during the day its not uncommon to see him sleeping under the bushes with the chickens and ducks. He has been around for 6 months but hasnt killed anything or stollen any eggs. In fact he likes to sleep with our free range chickens and chicks and even lets them preene him. We have tried to get rid of him to no success. We have a trap in the barn that he just steals the food out of somehow but never gets trapped even though the door is snapped. We cant put poison down because of the other animals we have. He only runs when we try to catch him. So I dont know if it was actually him who did the killing or if an owl or other raccoon visited. Until this point we joked that he was becoming another of our pets, but if it was him that did the killing we may need to shoot him.

    Anyways just venting cause its frustrating and I hate the thought of killing a raccoon who may not have done anything wrong.
  2. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    A raccoon in a hunting, climbing, killing machine and chickens are most helpless in the dark when coons are most active. Put it down or resign yourself to loosing your flock especially since it's discovered how tasty bird is. As for the empty trap, it sounds like the critter is reaching thru the side of the trap to steal bait so you may need to cover it with hardware cloth.
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Are you 100% sure it's a raccoon and not something like a cat that looks like one? Everything you stated goes totally opposite to raccoon nature.

    Maine Coon cat, long haired Siamese?
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    A raccoon that just hangs around chickens without trying to kill them? Or chickens whose natural fear of coons doesn't kick in? Something is not right here. I have a wild rabbit that eats and free ranges with my chickens, even goes in the coop with them from time to time; but rabbits and chickens are not natural enemies.

    If it is indeed a coon, it needs to go. Then if you still have problems with losses, you'll have to figure out what other critter is making meals of your chickens.
  5. ~Wind~

    ~Wind~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2011
    Its a raccoon for sure. The problem is we havent been able to cage it, and I'm worried about trying to shoot it because when we do see it the most its smack next to a chicken or duck or cat and I wouldnt want to miss. I may try covering the cage in hardware cloth though incase it is reaching in for the food. Once caught my dad is more than willing to come over and shoot it. It will growl at the dogs and us when we try to approach but not the chicken and ducks, and it hasnt made any moves towards our rabbits either and our one buck free ranges with the chickens during the day. It was very young when it showed up in the fall so we were wondering if maybe it is hitting maturity and changed? I donno, we do have alot of hawks and owls around so we are wondering if that might be what happened since the pullet was outside the barn door. But seems to be a hawk or owl would take them away. I will try to get a picture of it with the ducks and chickens if he shows up today! But like most animals once it taste blood we might be in for a world of trouble.
  6. ~Wind~

    ~Wind~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2011
    Also to add, our chickens are not really scared of anything, they grew up with cats and dogs and rabbits, and they treat the cats dogs and rabbits the same as the raccoon.
  7. CatDaddyAlbert

    CatDaddyAlbert NoFeathersRuffled

    Apr 22, 2011
    Gumboro, Delaware
    I have trapped many of these here in Delaware and I can give you some hints.

    Take the trap outside and wash it down with a hose.

    I am assuming you are using something like a wire Hav-A-Heart.

    You are going to have to do something about keeping the cats away from it because of the last thing on my list of bait.

    FIRST: After you wash it down with the hose DO NOT touch it unless you have rubber gloves on. You DO NOT want your scent on the trap.

    SECOND: Use a cooked or raw chicken legt and zip tie it to the bottom of the trap about center between the trigger plate and the end of the trap. If you tie the item down you make SURE it has to go inside.

    ALSO: Something you can add to the trap either next to or between the chicken and the back is a open can with tuna in it. You can use a cat food tin and just put a inch or so in the bottom. That particular smell travels for miles.

    I am at 23 coons and counting and they are getting boulder. They are, at this time of the year as is the Fox, hunting during the day.

    Best Of Luck

    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  8. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    Quote:Molasses is a bait that both has a strong scent and usually does not attract dogs or cats ,any tame cats I catch in a cage trap get hosed down they are fairly smart most do not go back in the cage
  9. brigittej

    brigittej Out Of The Brooder

    May 4, 2012
    I agree with the can of tuna trick....caught 7 raccoons in the last 2 weeks with cans of tuna.....just popped the lid off and put it in there.....every single morning we had 1-3 of them in the trap. Caught a cat one time, but just let him out, and he took off running and never found him in the trap again.
  10. jeepguy982001

    jeepguy982001 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2011
    athens, wv
    the best bait I've tried was marshmallows works good and u don't end up with cats or possums.

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