5 Years
Mar 28, 2014
My Husband modified our coop by adding an extra door to block off the coop from the run, and securing the openings with heavy duty, steel bolt locks. We moved the coop up near the house, under our bright security light too. I thought our chickens were as safe as Fort Knox.

This morning though, I saw scratch marks and a chunk taken out of the top layer (1 of 3) of plywood on our brooder box. I never imagined an animal would tear a hole in the middle of the box! Since it is off the ground, I'm thinking this must be the work of a raccoon. I put rocks over top the brooder box tonight.

What can I do to scare raccoons and other potential predators away?

Coon are the worst. I've had fox and coyote take a chicken at a time but coon will kill the whole flock just apparently for the fun of it. Twice I have lost up to 40 birds in one night. I have had a influx of 'critters' since a large area by me was strip mined pushing wildlife onto my property in large numbers. Some have shifted out enough for me to try the smaller animals again. In total I lost over 100 birds (chickens ducks guineas) 2 rabbits, a couple goat kids and several barn cats.

I have dog kennel panels all around my hen house, and after 2 years of no chickens I have a new flock in my brooder tank. I'm going to install electric fence wires above chicken height on the outside of the panels in a way that when they have to pass over them they can't avoid touching. It will cause me to have to duck under but not something I can avoid if I want 360* protection. I may run a bottom wire also (still thinking about it) but I'll have to ensure the chickens can't put their heads through and get zapped.

Before I always did all day free range but work schedule changed so they will only be let out into the pen in the mornings and free after I get home from work.

I like to use live traps as the first defense when it comes to my chickens. I simply trap and release a few miles away. I've also had some great luck with motion activated lights on my chicken coop. I installed some basic solar--motion lights ($29.99 at HomeDepot) and videotaped my coop for a couple of nights. I noticed that when the raccoon's tripped the light it scared them away.

If you are looking for something a little more advanced you can purchase electric fencing. I purchased a small solar unit and the fencing for roughly $125.00 for the entire system. This has worked great for me in conjunction with the solar light. I believe the solar light might remind them of the shock they will get if they touch my coop.

I hope this helps...
Raccoons love marshmallows. Put one in a cage trap next to your coop.Tractor supply has a 2 for 1 price box trap. Mix 2 tbs of baking soda to a quart of water over the stove to dissolve. Allow to cool and place in a spray bottle. Set up your trap then spray it down to remove the human scent. Having chickens draws in every predator in the area so it's a never ending battle. Over time you get better at diagnosing what the offender is and trapping it. I just keep box traps out all the time. It's a rare event to catch anything, but eventually something will wander up looking for a meal so it's better to be proactive than reactive. I like to keep them in plain view of my vehicle when I pull up and paint the doors bright orange. This way it's a daily routine to look at them and ensure there are no stray cats or bunny rabbits in them. Rabbits will wander in them from time to time for apparently no reason, just to be in something safe I suppose. I've caught them many times with no bait in them. Of course cats will show up if you bait with sardines or tuna for possums.
Good luck.
Hello, yes coons will chew through wood. They once chewed thread a rabbit hutch. It had chickens in it. Like the other people say box traps work well. I use dry cat food, peanut butter, any type of meat, and marshmallows. Also coons are tricky they use their paws like people. They will reach in and grab the bait. I have one trap that they can't do that on though. It had extra wire on the back of the cage so they can't reach on. There is also a another trap that I have. It is called a Dog proof trap. It works very well.
I have 4 box traps and one of these I will bee buying another one soon though. They are like $18 dollars.
A few miles isn't far enough, they routinely travel that far on their own each night. Besides that it is illegal to transport many live animals for release in a different area. Found that out when someone trespassed and trapped the beaver in my pond, I tried to find someone to catch some elsewhere and bring them in. I was told by fish and game that it was a blanket law in my county, any problem animal live trapped must be released where it was caught or put down.

Still looking to take contraband beaver here though, I no longer have a pond, I'm the proud owner of some prime swampland.

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