Raccoons

Studio2770

Songster
6 Years
Apr 29, 2013
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Raccoons paid a visit to the coop last night for the first time since we've had chickens(around 3 years). My mother heard the hens screaming like cats and woke me up and we chased off the raccoons. Thankfully, no one suffered injuries. Feathers were ruffled and the 3 or 4 hens had a little blood on their beaks, combs, and chest. They were walking around in shock while the others remained on the roosts relatively untouched. I didn't really see any wounds and I began to wonder if the blood was their blood. I think some of it was. We found where the coons came in from and it was a part of the coop I've been planning to reinforce because I knew it wasn't secure enough but school kept me occupied. We actually moved the coop to paint the house and then moved it back. That side originally had bricks stacked up and has held ever since we've had chickens. When we moved the coop back we had yet to stack the bricks back, leaving only chicken wire as a barrier, yes I know that isn't sufficient when it comes to coons so I feel terrible about that. The vulnerable side is more secure than before. The hens are still a bit shaken today but they went about an foraged as usual. I put ammonia soaked towels out and replaced the bulbs on our motion sensor flood lights. I also just set live traps. I consider this as a first line of defense. I'm sure they'll come back but perhaps not as soon since they were scared off. I do wonder if they would come back in the same night?

Here's the side they came through now reinforced now with the new flood light bulbs(I know coons tend to be bold and ignore lights).
Ammonia soaked towels.





It is a bit haphazardly put together since we put it together right after the incident and it was at midnight.
 

hayley3

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 16, 2007
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I was reading all that in suspense....and What a happy ending! So glad your mom has good hearing and your hens were saved.

What's the ammonia soaked rags for? They can squeeze right in behind that board it looks like to me.
I'm sure they will be back...an interruption won't scare them from returning.
Be extra vigilant...cause chicken wire is nothing to a raccoon.
 

Studio2770

Songster
6 Years
Apr 29, 2013
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I was reading all that in suspense....and What a happy ending! So glad your mom has good hearing and your hens were saved.

What's the ammonia soaked rags for? They can squeeze right in behind that board it looks like to me.
I'm sure they will be back...an interruption won't scare them from returning.
Be extra vigilant...cause chicken wire is nothing to a raccoon.
Yeah I wasn't planning for a full fledged story but oh well. After the hens calmed down I looked up some raccoon deterrents and ammonia was one of them. Yeah the picture of the board fails to show the stack of bricks that would make it hard to dig. I may remove the board since it is a bit pointless. We do have dogs which might, just a bit, help. That's the only side that has chicken wire, the rest is wire mesh. I set out cat food in a nice cage in case they do come back.
smile.png
 

hayley3

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,061
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Southern Indiana
It was a great read!

The thing is, they don't just dig. They have hands and can open things. That's why they are so dangerous. I saw a metal window that they pried open by bending it.
They also love tuna in oil. And marshmallows I think but marshmallows don't have that smell to attract them. I've not heard of the ammonia before..it would sure keep me away. lol

I house my chickens in stalls (bottom half wood and the top was covered with wire) and the raccoons would climb to the loft and then somehow tear the wire off. It was horrible, the frustration over me fixing it and them getting in anyway. I then went to hardware cloth and furring strips to give it more strength.
 
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Studio2770

Songster
6 Years
Apr 29, 2013
1,064
63
191
It was a great read!

The thing is, they don't just dig. They have hands and can open things. That's why they are so dangerous. I saw a metal window that they pried open by bending it.
They also love tuna in oil. And marshmallows I think but marshmallows don't have that smell to attract them. I've not heard of the ammonia before..it would sure keep me away. lol

I house my chickens in stalls (bottom half wood and the top was covered with wire) and the raccoons would climb to the loft and then somehow tear the wire off. It was horrible, the frustration over me fixing it and them getting in anyway. I then went to hardware cloth and furring strips to give it more strength.
Yeah unlike pawed predators they have thumbs. I am thinking of adding more wide head screws to the chicken wire or adding another layer OR a wooden panel. I added more bricks behind that board and poured some ammonia in that nook along with an ammonia soaked towel. I got some cat food with tuna in two live traps right now. I also have an airsoft gun to not kill put to pelt them. We also got a BB gun with two types of BBs for more lethal defense. I kinda wonder if the hens fought back?
 

hayley3

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,061
1,941
426
Southern Indiana
yeah I forgot about their thumbs.
No I bet they didn't fight back. They were scared to death.

You can't always have electric wire. I know I can't.
 

Trefoil

Songster
8 Years
Dec 7, 2011
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The thing about coons is that they are also smart. A million screws isn't going to make chicken wire safe, its too weak. Cover the chicken wire with hardware cloth or 1 x1 wire fencing. Either bury wire or do something else so nothing can dig under and then you won't need the live trap. Even if you catch the coon, another one or worse, weasel will just show up.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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The thing about coons is that they are also smart. A million screws isn't going to make chicken wire safe, its too weak. Cover the chicken wire with hardware cloth or 1 x1 wire fencing. Either bury wire or do something else so nothing can dig under and then you won't need the live trap. Even if you catch the coon, another one or worse, weasel will just show up.
Ditto Dat^^^...they'll just chew thru it.
 

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