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Racoon in the coop!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bethann33, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. bethann33

    bethann33 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2012
    I mistakenly left the chicken coop door open this evening. Meant to shut it, but got sidetracked with dinner, and kids, etc. All of a sudden I hear chickens squawking like crazy. I go out there and out runs something along with my leghorn- who is wild and fast- and brand new to the coop and yard, so doesn't know her way around. My husband and I take a flashlight around the yard and try to find the chicken- but as soon as we spot her, she runs. and runs and runs. impossible to catch. And runs into the thicket and briars. And then the racoon is back- right up in the tree above our heads, right above where the chicken is crouching- just beyond the barbed fence in the thicket where we cant reach her. ugh. We can't leave her there, the racoon would for sure get her. can't leave the coop open so she could make her way back- the coon would get back in there. So we have a stare off. We move in closer to her and she threatens to fly off further beyond the rock wall and into the worse part of the pricker bushes. Just as she was about to move, my husband puts his flashlight on strobe- and she freezes- enough so that my husband could crawl his way to her and snatch her by a leg! She is hanging by her leg squawking so loudly I'm sure it woke every neighbor. By that time, i make my way to her and grab her tightly and we all have a nice walk back to her coop. phew. I'll never leave the door open again.

    And since I'm new with chickens- was the racoon looking to kill a chicken or just steal eggs??
     
  2. KrisH

    KrisH Chillin' With My Peeps

    They will take what they can get. eggs or birds. Too bad someone couldn't get a video of all that.

    RobertH
     
  3. Azriel

    Azriel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2010
    Montana
    Coons will eat chickens any chance they get. The worst part of it is they will rip them through the fence and eat them alive piece by piece.
     
  4. bethann33

    bethann33 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2012
    Rip through the fence? Seriously? that's awful. The racoon's been around my yard for a couple of years- I've had the chickens since last summer. I've never noticed any digging around the cage or any broken areas of fencing. (he mainly just rips apart the garbage). I think he was just waiting for an open door to walk right on in.

    Now I'm paranoid. If he knows exactly what is in there will he stop at nothing to get at them again? I also have chicks out there too- in a separate full enclosure.

    I tried to get a video- but it was too shaky and the camera couldn't focus in the dark. It was pretty ridiculous though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  5. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 13, 2011
    Fox Valley, IL
    My Coop
    One raccoon can kill your whole flock; plenty of sad stories here about it. That raccoon now knows where the chickens live, it will be back. Read the suggestions here on hardening the coop; raccoons can pick latches, open doors, and tear through chicken wire.
     
  6. bethann33

    bethann33 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2012
    Yikes. I guess I'll be enforcing the caging this week. Any specific tips?

    What about skunks? I've got those around too- even seen one in the coop once....
     
  7. bethann33

    bethann33 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2012
    Are there any special predator deterents that you all know of? What is hot wire? I've read through a few threads, but have more questions than i do answers. [​IMG]
     
  8. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 13, 2011
    Fox Valley, IL
    My Coop
    first line of defense is hardware cloth (welded wire mesh, 1/2" square), you can nail it down with poultry staples.seal every gap bigger than 2" x 2".
    Look up and down- they will climb over or dig under, so you have to think in three dimensions when looking for weaknesses. Consider raccoons like a nasty persistent patient 5 year old- if the 5 year old could open a latch or tear off a board, the raccoon definitely will be able to.
     

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