Raccoons!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tailfluff, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. tailfluff

    tailfluff Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would love any advice on how to raccoon-proof my chicken house. [​IMG] A lot of my neighbors sure think that raccoons are cute and they feed them, but I do not want any casualties in my flock. I won't chance it right now, so I bring my chickens inside at night, but eventually it would be nice to not have to wake up at 4:30 a.m. from my lil roo crowing in my house. Has anyone had a major problem with raccoons? Thank you for your time!
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Can you just put a pop door cover on your current coop, so you can shut them up at night and not have to bring them in the house???
    I've had raccoons around, but my run/coop has never been breached (or even attempted as far as I can tell). But I know the lady at the end of my road lost her entire flock to a raccoon (her run was chicken wire and she didn't shut her birds inside at night).

    eta: raccoon proof = sturdy wire on your run, sturdy wire covering run, hardware cloth over vents/windows in the housing, a closeable pop door cover, for a start...
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
  3. tailfluff

    tailfluff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Oh! Yes, their coop locks up and everything, I'm just afraid that racoons might be clever enough to somehow get the door open and I've seen them pull chicken wire and climb trees to get into coops - they're resourceful! But I've never had any personal encounters with them yet (thankfully). I just want to really make sure I'm prepared for the just-in-case. Can they open latched doors? [​IMG] Their run is completely covered too 'cause we have lots of eagles.
     
  4. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    I would consider putting a strip of hardwire cloth at least on the bottom half of the fence of the run, from the ground up to about 18 to 24" high. That should deter most small varmits from trying to get through the fence. Maybe higher for coons? The stronger the fencing material, the better.
    You might also want to lay some chicken wire on the ground on the outside of the run's fence to prevent critters from burrowing under the fence into the run. Critters will go right up to a fence and start digging. They won't even think about backing up before they start digging, so lay some fence on the ground and bring it out at least 12" or more.
    Raccoons are very clever & resourceful, and yes, they can unlatch & unlock doors. They have little fingers that can do all sorts of sassy, unwanted things.
    I hope you never find out just how they can be. [​IMG]
     
  5. CopperCT

    CopperCT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Oh! Yes, their coop locks up and everything, I'm just afraid that racoons might be clever enough to somehow get the door open and I've seen them pull chicken wire and climb trees to get into coops - they're resourceful! But I've never had any personal encounters with them yet (thankfully). I just want to really make sure I'm prepared for the just-in-case. Can they open latched doors? [​IMG] Their run is completely covered too 'cause we have lots of eagles.

    I have a family of raccoons on my property who I see often. Just saw their muddy prints on our trampoline today but I have never had them get at the chickens. Like teach1rusl, they are closed in the coop every night and there is hardware cloth over every window, eave and vent. Never had problem. The run also has hardware cloth on the lower thrid of the run and as an apron covered with mulch outside the run. The top part of the walls is welded wire and deer net is on top. I have seen signs of them trying to dig in but they do not even make a dent. Raccoons can open some latches. All of mine are secured with a snap hook that only human fingers to operate.

    It sounds to me like your set up is very secure.......you might want to give it a try. Raccoons are clever but they aren't as smart as you are.....and it sounds like you have all the tools to keep them out of your coop. Good luck.
     
  6. tailfluff

    tailfluff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Wow, thank you! My husband was thinking about burying chain link. That's a great idea. I didn't know raccoons would dig under - they're wiley things! We have lots of rodents around here too, but I didn't think they would be as much of a threat as a raccoon. I have a very lazy barn cat who likes to get rodents occassionally. [​IMG] I still don't want rodents to be able to get in there. My friend had some baby old english who had their legs eaten by what she thought might be rats - Blah! But yeah, it's definitely better to be safe than to be sorry. Thank you again!
     
  7. tailfluff

    tailfluff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Oh! Yes, their coop locks up and everything, I'm just afraid that racoons might be clever enough to somehow get the door open and I've seen them pull chicken wire and climb trees to get into coops - they're resourceful! But I've never had any personal encounters with them yet (thankfully). I just want to really make sure I'm prepared for the just-in-case. Can they open latched doors? [​IMG] Their run is completely covered too 'cause we have lots of eagles.

    I have a family of raccoons on my property who I see often. Just saw their muddy prints on our trampoline today but I have never had them get at the chickens. Like teach1rusl, they are closed in the coop every night and there is hardware cloth over every window, eave and vent. Never had problem. The run also has hardware cloth on the lower thrid of the run and as an apron covered with mulch outside the run. The top part of the walls is welded wire and deer net is on top. I have seen signs of them trying to dig in but they do not even make a dent. Raccoons can open some latches. All of mine are secured with a snap hook that only human fingers to operate.

    It sounds to me like your set up is very secure.......you might want to give it a try. Raccoons are clever but they aren't as smart as you are.....and it sounds like you have all the tools to keep them out of your coop. Good luck.

    Snaphooks! What a great idea! I didn't even think of those! I was thinking about finishing it off with the latching door, but the snap hooks would be much better. Or maybe I'll do both. We'll see! [​IMG] Thank you for the replies, everyone!
     
  8. WillieBoy

    WillieBoy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As long as you have a good strong coop, not using chicken wire, and locking you girls up at night, you'll likely be okay.Coons roam and hunt 95% of the time at night.Lock your hens up in a secured coop at dusk, they will almost always be safe from coons/opussoms..Secure means a predator cannpot get its paw/foot/hand/whatever through any wire.Small mesh hardware wire will not allow a raccoon to reach in the coop and grab a hen.I use multiple latches, just in case Mr.Coon figures out how to open one or two of them...In nearly 5 yrs of keeping hens, never lost one yet to a coon.I see their track all over and around my coop, but they can't get in...I would never leave my hens out , unprotected at night, thats asking for trouble..I've lost two full grow N.H Reds to a feral cat, but never a coon or oppusson.Build a strong secure coop, get the girls in at dusk, and you'll do okay...
     

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