Raccoons during the day?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by meredithfp, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. meredithfp

    meredithfp In the Brooder

    May 22, 2011
    While I was away on vacation last week my house sitter called and said that there was a raccoon in the tree that sits in my chickens' run in the evening just before dusk while the chickens were still out.

    My dog went absolutely crazy and the raccoon ran off to the back of the yard away from the coop. There the coon got fiercely squawked at by a bunch of crows who must've been protecting a nest. The raccoon has not been seen again.

    The run is enclosed and dog-proof but it is not covered on top and with a tree in the run it would be tricky to do. The coop is built like Fort Knox and the chickens are locked in at night but during the day they're out in the run. I told the house sitter to keep them in the coop until I could figure something out. Now I'm home and I'm wondering if I need to figure out some way to enclose this run or if my dog and the crows taught the coon a lesson. I'd love to be able to let the chickens have free range over the whole yard during the day. I figure if I could let the dog and chickens out at the same time they'd be protected but I don't quite trust the dog yet, but that's a different post.

    Anyway, I guess my question is -- Do I need daytime predator protection too?
  2. chicktwins

    chicktwins Chirping

    May 5, 2011
    Eastern Shore
    In my area it is a must!! I don't know where you are or what preds you have around during the day. We have foxes that run around during the day sometimes and hawks and eagles that fly over regularly. Skunks, raccoons and opossum will come out before dark. They aren't necessarily out in the middle of the day but if your birds are still out in their run before dark then I would consider getting some aviary netting or something or even better make a frame around the tree that is snug or even nailed into the tree to then attach some hardware cloth to. I think you would rather be safe than sorry. [​IMG]
  3. ChicKat

    ChicKat Crowing Premium Member

    Around here, when I see nocternal predators during the day, it is usually because they were disturbed or flushed out....for example an owl, or something worse. There have been times when I have seen a nocternal predator during the day---and known obviously that there was something very wrong with it, it was sick. If your chickens are not vulnerable at night, then your worries are lessened. It does sound like a predator could get access to your coop and run at any time that you don't have chickens locked up inside.

    Not sure what your options would be, but perhaps some shade cloth over the run with a panel of hardware cloth strip that surrounds the tree would block top access from something like a raccoon.

    You should check out the video: Instinct to insync for your dog.

    Good luck with this... I do know people who have lost chickens -- and in retrospect wish they had prevented it.
  4. meredithfp

    meredithfp In the Brooder

    May 22, 2011
    Thanks for the replies. I live in northern Idaho. We've got some pretty major animals in our area. Over the winter I had a moose in my yard. I figure there's nothing I could build that would keep out a moose. The gals will probably be staying in the coop then anyway. There is part of the run that I could enclose pretty easily but they wouldn't have access to the coop from there. Maybe they could stay in that section when I'm gone during the day. I live in the middle of town, so we're not overrun by animals, but I guess they're out there.
  5. eggcited2

    eggcited2 Songster

    Jul 8, 2010
    I know I lost about six of my chickens this year to raccoon coming out in the day time. I could go out at 10:00 in the morning and count hens, and that afternoon go out at 3:00 and have some killed by raccoons. (I know for sure it was raccoon).

    I have heard several other people talking about how they too are having raccoon trouble during the day. It is a really strange year for predators. I have been hearing from a lot of people about animals that normally do *not* come out in the day.
  6. Jerseycoop

    Jerseycoop Songster

    May 13, 2011
    New Jersey
    Quote:I have to agree with you on this. I witnessed my first fox a few weeks ago, which I've never seen not one in my area in the eight years I've live here. Also hawks never 1 usually in a group of 4-6. Last year we had a bobcat roaming in Manalapan/marlboro NJ???? Idk maybe I pay attention more because of my chicks. But it does seem strange [​IMG]
  7. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    many of these animals are not truly nocturnal, they are Crepuscular. And will be up anytime the light isn't too bright or too dim.
  8. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Raccoons will come out in the day, if it suits them. I lost one to a daytime raccoon about a month ago. It was out all day, everyday.
    I live in the city and have never had the raccoon problem like this year. Several people I know are also feeling overrun. Just this morning I was talking to a chicken owner I work with and he is having like 8 at a time overrunning his yard.
    This last couple weeks I've had one coming around at dawn to chase the outside cats off their food. It is not afraid of me. Even if I go out on the deck, it only backs off a couple feet. Yesterday I grabbed the hose turned it on him full force and it just backed up a couple feet.
    I usually like wildlife and have peacefully coexisted with the raccoons for many years. I wonder if the resident raccoons died and these new ones are moving in.

  9. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

    Jun 17, 2011
    Morristown, AZ
    They are opportunistic feeders....
  10. meredithfp

    meredithfp In the Brooder

    May 22, 2011
    So do those of you with wily raccoons not let your chickens free range during the day? This one was pretty freaked out and backed off pretty quickly, but I don't want to push my luck.

    This is my current set up. You can see the run is not at all protected from above and there are two trees inside the run. I'm just not sure what to do. To make matters worse, I'm not too handy.


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