Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Chickenberry, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. Chickenberry

    Chickenberry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Raccoons! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This fall we will have had our chickens for a year. We never once had a problem with predictors. We usually have the dog in the back yard (on two sides of their pen in the yard) and the odd side of their pen is attached to the horse pasture.

    Well, a week ago we came out to a terrible massacre where "something" had literally tried to pull one of my Delaware's through a chainlink fence by the head. The chicken's head was through up to the chest. (This is going to be graphic)... Throat eaten out.. and then when we pulled the hen away we realized her insides were completely gone too.

    I was so mad and hurt! That's putting it loosely!!

    So, we started completely bolting them in the chicken house at night, and shame on us, we left the tiniest (it seemed) of holes open and the "thing" was able to squish through (not sure how!) and it killed TWO more!! It didn't even eat these, just killed them and left!!!!!

    My husband set a live trap and last night we caught a huge raccoon. I never in all my life wanted to do to an animal what I wanted to do to that one!! Ugh!

    Do raccoons run in packs? Will others come along? I think they may be eating the chicken feed too.. either that or they are just spreading it everywhere.

    We are setting more live traps tonight and we will continue until we have the whole clan.
  2. Whitewinterwolf

    Whitewinterwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    Quote:It is possible for them to run in pairs, or groups. I think though if there was more then one though, you would have lost more hens.
  3. 2621peep keeper

    2621peep keeper Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 30, 2011
    Marrrero La.
    I regret to report on the recent demise of Ricky Raccoon. Ricky came to "visit" my pet chickens Wend. night. However, he was distracted by the wonderful aroma of a Friskes Tuna pate in a trap. Thursday morning Ricky seemed to be highly embarressed to be cought in the trap. So to stop his distrestful state I introduced him to Mr Colt. Ricky became very standoffish and stiff. We are still waiting Pauly Poosum to show his face at the next Party, Mr Remington wants to greet him.
  4. The BackYarder

    The BackYarder Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 21, 2011
    Left Coast
    I have had 4-5 raccoons at once. I had a coop made of OSB and 1 inch chicken wire. Well now it is ply and 1/4 inch garden mesh. Where I live if you catch a racoon you have to dispose of it. My neighbor did it for me. If I had lost any of my chickens I would probably been able to do it. Luckily I got to the coop before too much could be done. They were pulling the chicken wire from the wood and pulling apart the OSB at the edges.

    Good luck,

  5. Noymira

    Noymira Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2011
    Chittenden County, VT
    We had a raccoon attack our quarantine pen and try that trick with one of my Black Copper Marans hens, luckily we were outside when the attack started and chased the coon off. My hen has a broken wing and a limp to show for it now, and a few other birds lost some feathers. We've added metal siding and smaller wire to our pen now to hopefully prevent a repeat.

    We've placed traps out as well and haven't got anything. Maybe set up a game camera and see if you can catch something on film? That's the next thing I want to try.
  6. RoosterRidge

    RoosterRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2011
    Dry Fork, Va.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Do raccoons run in packs?

    They are often in family groups, especially where Mama is teaching them to hunt. Plus their territory will often overlap, especially not in mating season. Packs are probably family groups, but yes there can be several eating at your cafeteria.

    Will others come along?

    Raccoons are somewhat territorial. Not so much that they keep others out of their hunting territory, but that one frequents the same palces to find food. If you eliminate one, you definitely eliminate one that is hunting your territory. Another one will almost certainly eventually come along. Whether that is tonight, a week, a month, or a year, who knows.

    I think they may be eating the chicken feed too.. either that or they are just spreading it everywhere.

    They are eating it. That is what is drawing them. Store it in a secure metal container, say a garbage can with the lid secured. Don't leave food out where they can get to it.

    We are setting more live traps tonight and we will continue until we have the whole clan.
    Good luck!!!
  8. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    Would you explain the " tearing it a apart at the edges". It you're saying what I think, I could have a potential problem.
  9. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2010
    Greene County, PA
    They will feed in packs. One night we had 4 of them in the backyard playing on a swing set. Shot all of them before they could get away!
  10. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

    Oct 6, 2009
    S.W Pennsylvania
    Quote:Raccoons are persistent & love to use their hands, so much that if they have time they'll work a door or wire back & forth for a while to try to loosen it, and sometimes it works for them.
    I've had my 1/2" hardware cloth frayed at the edges around the perimeter of the run (roof & wall) at night, and over time I've had to overlap or replace portions. Luckily the chickens are in a b -n-b coop and they're okay.
    Any hardware cloth in a coop should be 1/2" welded wire o and should be sandwiched in between two boards & nailed, screwed, stapled, or all three, in place, to dissuade the racoons efforts.
    I used the 1/4" welded wire cloth in a coop early on and put some eggs inside it for bait, for a few days. The 'coon managed to get a few strands of the cloth unwelded and got at the eggs.

    Whatever size wire you're using right now, if you can't easily change it, at least make sure it's tight.
    Raccoons are obsessive as well as sometimes evil [​IMG]

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