Raccoons and Permanent Traps - Good Idea or Bad?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Millworker26, Jul 8, 2016.

  1. Millworker26

    Millworker26 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have been unfortunate to have raccoons get into my chickens, breaking into fully enclosed coop and run. My approach to solving has been reinforcing enclosure and removing the predators. Now, I know I removed a particular raccoon that was visiting the coop each night, as well as stealing the bait from the live trap. My question is this: by leaving a "permanent" trap I continue to catch raccoons (up to 6 now). Is this because the food is drawing the raccoons to the coop area, in which case I am undesirably drawing the raccoons to the coop, or are there many raccoons patrolling my coop each night and I should continue trapping forever?

    Would love to hear different opinions, but if anyone has credentialed knowledge of raccoon behavior please indicate this.

    Thanks!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    There are that many raccoons in the area and multitudes waiting to come as the territory opens up through the removal of others. Have you considered electric fencing around your run?
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    What it means is that you have a lot of raccoons hunting in your area. You are not attracting them to that area with your bait for the trap, they are already actively hunting there. New ones are being born and weaned all the time, looking for new territory. You will never totally get rid of them, they will always be a threat. You sometimes read that raccoons are territorial. That does not mean they keep other raccoons out of their territory, it means each raccoon has a territory they hunt. There is a picture on the net that shows about 50 raccoons in the same cornfield at the same time.

    Although you have removed six raccoons so far, you still don’t know that you got the one that attacked your chickens. A few years ago I shot 16 rabbits out of my garden before I got the one that was eating my beans just as they were sprouting. It was probably more than one eating my beans but not all of them were. This spring a skunk came through a doggie door into my garage and sprayed. Since then I’ve trapped 6 or 7 skunks. I don’t know if I got the right one. You just never know when you got the right one.

    I’m all in favor of permanently removing the critters actively hunting my area, that reduces predator pressure. But no amount of trapping or shooting will take care of the problem long term. There will always be more at some point. A strong barrier is your best defense.
     
  4. Millworker26

    Millworker26 Out Of The Brooder

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    Maybe I need to set 50 traps rather than 1.
     
  5. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep at it. Once you go a week without catching one, then maybe stop.
    Maybe.
    Might even wait until November, get a trappers license and then sell the dang things, good prime northern coons fetch $10-15 these days. And that is the time of year momma coons run off their young of the year, so they will be dispersing.

    Are you in a rural or urban/suburban area?
    May sound strange, but suburbs/Urban areas have way more raccoons than rural one. Between garbage cans, pet food left out, people feeding them and a lack of predators, suburbs/urban areas are a raccoon paradise.

    Two traps is always better than one, more than three is probably overkill.
    Just put them out of site of each other.
     
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't feed treats or anything to my flock outside of their coop or run; it does help to keep the varmit numbers down around the coop area. Mary
     
  7. Millworker26

    Millworker26 Out Of The Brooder

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    I like the suggestion of going a week or two without trapping any raccoons then pulling the traps. No telling how long it will take to get to that point, but I am willing to find out. There could be substantial raccoon numbers in my suburban/rural location where there are large pockets of woodland.

    I am grateful for marshmallows.
     
  8. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Best dang coon bait around. And you can make s'mores with the leftovers
     
  9. Millworker26

    Millworker26 Out Of The Brooder

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    Back before I got smart I was using live capture cages baited with marshmallows. The raccoons were smart enough to steal the bait without getting trapped. I went through a whole bag of marshmallows this way, and all I could do was hope they would get diabetes and die.
     
  10. RKG1

    RKG1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Try digging a small hole in the ground for your bait, and putting the cage on top of the hole. Be sure to stake down the cage, or the coon will probably move it aside to access the marshmallows
     

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