Raccoons

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by KDOGG331, Dec 4, 2016.

  1. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    So Gator saved the chickens, yet again, last night.

    This time it was really **** close.

    He had started barking like crazy a little bit at around midnight so I came down but we couldn't see anything so all went back to bed.

    I wasn't asleep yet then but fell asleep shortly after going back upstairs.

    Well apparently at around 2 or 2:30 after I was asleep, Gator started going crazy again and this time he was really mad.

    My dad says that he turned the light on to see not one but TWO adult raccoons on top of the run!!! They were trying to get in and according to him, one was on top, and one was trying to get the gate open. The run is a chainlink dog kennel. But we don't have a roof, just bird netting and then plywood over half.

    We checked this morning and they had made a hole in the netting so he got to them just in time.

    But he says the **** things weren't phased at all by the deck light turning on or by Gator's barking. Not even by my dad going out on the deck. So finally he let Gator outside and he ran them off.

    Thinking back on it, at midnight they were probably in the woods or general area and he knew it.

    But it was close.

    But my dad says the stupid things wouldn't go inside the coop or back on the roof (I'm glad they didn't go back up there) or even under the coop but instead piled together on the ground I think in a corner.

    But I just went out and saw the hole for myself and it was really close! I'll try to get a picture.

    But SO.

    Besides putting a roof on the run, is there anything we can do to prevent further attacks? I know they need a roof but I was thinking of something temporary like another piece of plywood over the hole or a tarp or something.

    And maybe a lock in the gate or something?

    Or just locking them inside every night?

    We were thinking of buying a few pieces of wood and some of those clear corrugated plastic roof panels to put on top of the run and that would be able to be transferred to the new run too so not wasted. But my dad just had a hip replacement on Wednesday and I have a project due this coming Wednesday the 7th so we won't be able to do that for a little while.

    So I'm thinking something in the meantime.

    But we have never had a problem with raccoons so I was not expecting it. Foxes, yes. Hawks, yes. Raccoons, no. So we've been lucky I guess.

    I mean, I knew having a chainlink run (with the big openings) and bird netting for a roof was risky but we've been lucky.

    The new coop and run will be more secure with a roof and I'll lock them in.

    I guess I should lock them in here too?

    Thank God for Gator I guess is all I can say for now. He has saved them countless times.

    Of course, he didn't notice the actual hawk attack this spring when we almost lost one and they all went missing, but he has prevented other attacks. To be fair, hawks really give no warning and are silent, you see a 4 legged predator long before they attack.

    But yeah, he's saved them several times now. The fox has been back at least two or three times and now the raccoons.
     
  2. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    I forgot about this semi important bit but my dad says they were already here once before last night.

    I forget exactly when but I had made a post about it then too, maybe a month or so ago?

    But we weren't sure it was raccoons then though, just that they were on the ground, off the roof, awake at 4am. We had initially thought it was a fox but if so I would have thought they would be up high.

    So I think they actually have been here before.

    But either way, they're gone for now
     
  3. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Overrun With Chickens

    All chickens should be locked in their coop at night. If they weren't in the coop that would explain why the coons were trying to get in. Most predators won't attack during the day (most), so coop saftey is (in my opinion) a bit more important than run safety. If they keep coming back, just shoot em and make a couple coon-skin caps out of them [​IMG]
     
  4. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    They've been sleeping on the roof since about May unless it's really cold or bad weather because I wasn't wanting to wake up really early to let them out but I think I might start locking them in at night. Right now even when I put them in, the front door is left open and that's when they realized their freedom and started sleeping on the roof. But once I put them inside after dark, they stay inside. But I think I'll lock them in. The roof is dangerous because the run is 6 feet high and the coop is maybe 3 or 4 feet high at the highest so they're really close to the top and an easy target so I guess it is even more dumb.

    The new coop is a lot more secure and they won't be able to sleep on top.

    Unfortunately I don't think we can shoot them in town but we could always get a BB gun or something
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
  5. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hard to see with the netting squares and chain link, easy to see in person, but I think this is the hole.

    From below

    [​IMG]

    Basically they had just sort of separated the netting where it connected which as you can see is really close to the roof and an extremely close call. I think what saved them is A. Gator noticed immediately but also, B. Coons are smart and probably knew they would get tangled in the netting and had no escape route. So in the time spent trying to find an escape route rather than attacking, Gator noticed and the birds meanwhile flew out of reach.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Put this on top for now. (Second ladder, more wood near gate, fence thingy).

    I know it's only temporary but I figure it will at least help a little bit or delay them some for now until we can come up with something more permanent.

    But I think the girls put themselves inside the coop already, must be scared
     
  6. PeepersMama

    PeepersMama Overrun With Chickens

    If you are going to cover it, get some hardware cloth. It's better than chicken wire and waaay better than bird netting. Anything can tear through bird netting.
     
  7. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Thanks, I think I'll do that but we were also thinking of possibly getting some of those corrugated plastic panels to put up on the new run or this one. For now we just put this welded wire gate thing

    [​IMG]

    Another piece of plywood and another ladder and locked them inside with both doors shut.

    But I know that it's temporary and they could still get in if they wanted to.

    I'm actually surprised they didn't just jump in last night but I guess they knew they had no escape route/way to get out once they got in? Or they heard the dog and just didn't have time?

    The bird netting we put up last fall just to keep them in rather than keep predators out. We were having some work done on the house as well as landscapers a few times both of which scared them and we had a couple of the agile ones fly right out of the pen a couple times. So we put that up just because we had it and we have honestly been lucky with the predators.

    I know we for sure have foxes, coyotes, and hawks, and now raccoons. Coyotes have never tried to get in and I didn't think we had raccoons at the time so I kinda thought nothing would get in the top. And nothing has tried till the last month or so.

    Maybe they are hungry and/or desperate with winter approaching?
     
  8. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, they are hungry. Coons are opportunistic killers, they're ALWAYS hungry ;) They found foid that might be pretty easy to get and its known to be tasty.

    Order some "dog proof coon traps". They're cool, and totally harmless except for an owie paw.

    Then, take trapped coons out of city limits and dispatch it, or call wildlife control. Coons do not belong in towns and are usually considered nuisance wildlife and will be appropriately disposed of.


    Whatever you do, please please please do not relocate them. It's most likely illegal in your area anyway.


    Oh, and PS, don't put tuna in the coon traps or you will catch cats lol ;) marshmallows work great, or some cooked chicken :D
     
  9. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Thanks, I'll have to try that!!

    Either that or buy a live trap, a bit of a soft heart to kill it LOL but we'll see
     
  10. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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