Raccoons are this strong? Really? Pic

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by whiteybird, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. whiteybird

    whiteybird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2013
    Sarasota, FL
    Apparently the privacy lattice enclosing the bottom of our coop isn't strong enough to deter raccoons...

    i went to let the birds out this morning, and noticed a bunch of small feathers littered around the bars of the coop (3.5' off the ground) that they walk on. A couple were bloody but my immediate reaction was that they were kept cooped up (pun intended) for too long and got aggressive with each other because they wanted out.

    Then my focus slipped through the bars to the ground under the coop...and the carcass of Eagle, my only EE mix. headless. Upon closer inspection I noticed a decent hole in the privacy lattice beside her body. While on the phone with the bf telling him about Eagle, I walked around to the other side of the coop and found the similarly hollowed out carcass of our RIR mix, Butters. Her head was held on by only her neck bones. She was lying on the ground on the opposite side of the coop from where the entry hole was.

    I'm ******. We lost our third and last Pekin duck on Friday night, I'm guessing because of these same raccoons. That, however, was partially my fault, because I got too comfortable with the environment and thought that only partially locking up the duck's coop would be sufficient protection. But if that was a raccoon too, they got Sydney, a 4 month old Pekin, out of a 4" wide opening and, after helping her spew feathers all over the run, hauled her off.

    Clearly they got a taste of water fowl and wanted more. and settled for chicken.

    not sure why I'm posting this really, since I'm pretty sure I know what did it, and I know of ways to fix it, but I guess it's more of a lesson to other newbies out there who don't think raccoons can do something like this.

    We're getting the live trap out tonight and ill throw in some fish bodies from fishing yesterday and see what I get. but I may jump the gun and try to shoot anything before it even gets close to the trap.[​IMG]

  2. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2013
    [​IMG] Holy s-word, yeah that will be a good lesson for newbies. It's hard to comprehend how powerful some of these predators are. I'm so sorry for your loss!
  3. quigley257

    quigley257 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 13, 2013
    Sorry for your loss. Wood lattice is no match for a coon. Neither is any of the "chicken wire" that they try to sell you at the big box stores. To be truly coon proof you need to use 1/2" hardware cloth which is securely fastened to the structure. It is more expensive but worth it. A rather small coon could have been the culprit based on your pictures. A really big coon would go through lattice with no problems whatsoever.
  4. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    Sorry for your losses. Coons are very strong. They can rip through chicken wire like tissue paper. Check out this video of a coon trapped in a garage, until it lifts up the garage door and escapes!

  5. whiteybird

    whiteybird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2013
    Sarasota, FL
    thanks, to all of you. i really didnt think that they could get through the lattice. after the fact my bf said he thought he remembered seeing a piece of lattice sticking away from the coop, broken, in the past couple days, but didn't think anything of it.

    i had no idea they were strong enough to lift up a garage door...thats crazy.

    I know that chicken wire is completely useless...we've never used it because of that. We've only used welded wire fencing to keep the chickens out of the rest of our yard, so the entire proerty doesn't look like WW2, just half of it ;-)

    What about hardware cloth on the back of the lattice? attached to both the lattice and the support posts that hold up the coop? that way it looks like lattice but when the coons get through that they say, 'ugh'...

    There are 4" sq pavers under the coop so they cant dig through, and now that we've removed the ladder that lets the chickens go below their rack floor, and covered the hole in the rack with giant stone pavers (i dont think a bobcat could move them) i think theyll be ok for tonight.

    the trap is set with delicious squid bait...ill let you know what happens.

    p.s. it may be that raccoons are on my mind, but ChirpyChicks I saw the pic of your cat and thought it was a raccoon. lol.
  6. whiteybird

    whiteybird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2013
    Sarasota, FL
    By 10pm last night we caught a baby raccoon in our trap...not the target, but they're probably old enough now to be just as damaging soon enough.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by