racoon protection- a few questions

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by nursemeh, May 5, 2009.

  1. nursemeh

    nursemeh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    Conroe, Texas
    I love this site. so much useful info!

    I plan to finish my first chicken cooop this week. We are very concerned about racoons in our area so we are being extra careful with hardware cloth and an apron around the run,etc.

    Here are my questions to you experienced, wise ones:

    1. Does barbed wire work to deter racoons at all?

    We were thinking of running along the outside top of our run to prevent them climbing up and jumping on top of our coop(as I keep reading about this happening to ppl on this site!)

    2. What is the best latch system for coop doors?

    I was planning to use slidelocks and then I just read on here that racoons can open locks!!!

    thanks for any help/advice.
  2. nursemeh

    nursemeh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    Conroe, Texas
    ANother question I forgot to ask.

    How high is high enough to prevent a racoon from scaling up and over the run wallls? Anyone know this from experience?

    Would running barbed wire around the top of a 7ft high wall prevent a racoon from scaling wire mesh fencing(hardware cloth is all around the bottom in an apron to prevent digging.

    I guess what I am doing is wanting the run as predator proof as possible and so that when they are in their coop(predator proof as well) my little ladies aren't scared every night by a racoon scratching at the outside of their home.

    I could cover the run completely- but that will simply add to cost and I will need to lower the height of my run overall and I'll be hunching over in there.
    just trying to work out these final details before finishing the walls of the run this week.
    painting the coop today- we are so excited!!!
  3. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Raccoons are soooo smart and agile that it is almost impossible to totally deter them. We have an electric wire running along the top of our fenced area and that seems to work pretty well. Have heard lots of coons scream in the middle of the night, but now they climb under.
    The coop has latches with the carabine (sp) latches on them. They don't seem to be able to figure that one out. I know at night my girls are all locked up safely but the boogers do seem to be able to get into the area.
    During the day, my big ole Tom turkey is an excellent deterrent for anything else that comes his way. Even my doberman won't go near him.
    Good luck!
  4. rachiegirl

    rachiegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2009
    Beaver Co. PA
    I don't think barbed wire will deter them much. There are big spaces between the barbs that leave plenty of room for their little "hands" to grab hold of. Unless you double or triple it up, but I don't think that would even deter them. They can scale just about anything they can get a hold of. You are probably best to cover the run. I'm not sure why you would need to lower it to cover it though. I sympathize with the cost thing, I am working on my coop now and oh boy! [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 5, 2009
  5. nursemeh

    nursemeh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    Conroe, Texas
    thanks for the replies- so quick!!

    Here's something I was planning to do. After my coop and predator proof run are complete, BEFORE I put my little darlings in, I was thinking of leaving some marshmellows dotted around inside the run to see if a raccoon can get inside. Does anybody here think that is a good idea/stupid idea?

    If its a stupid idea, please let me know- I am pretty thick skinned!!
  6. wanda047

    wanda047 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2009
    Hardy, Arkansas
    What is the best latch system for coop doors?

    My only concern with my coops as far as predator protection was the doors on my coops. Coons are smart critters and can open about anything. When camping we've had them open our coolers and even containers that had screw-on lids! To solve my door issue.. I bought the latches that you can put a lock on. Every night I LOCK my doors and hang the keys on a nail. Hubby thought I had really lost it when I did this, but I wanted to do everything possible to protect my flock. Hubby says it a hassle... oh well! [​IMG]
  7. Black Feather

    Black Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2007
    I've covered my run to help deter predators from climbing over and into the chicken area. Also is there a door between the coop and the run? I have chicken doors that close and latch from the inside, so they can't be manipulated from the outside.

    I also have electric fence around the runs to help keep critters from climbing over.

    I think with chickens it's a situation of pay now, or pay later. If you pay now for secure housing hopefully you won't pay later in dead chickens. After all the feed, electricity, bedding etc that it takes to raise a chicken, it can get expensive when/if they all get killed by a predator.

  8. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I've seen padlocks recommended many times here. They can open most anything else if determined enough. At least you can hang the key nearby. Evidently they haven't figured out how to use a key... yet. And yes, they will climb up any height of fencing.

    I'd put the marshmallows in a trap outside the run, myself....
  9. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    As far as coons and latches go - if a preschooler can open it, a coon can open it. And barbed wire will not deter a coon.
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I know you want to try out your predator-proofing before you put chickens in the run and coop. If you let the raccoons know there is food here, they will probably come back looking for more food, but if they are attracted to the marshmallows they are in the area anyway and will notice your chickens.

    I don't know that there is a right answer. If you use the marshmallows you may be attracting them to your run. But I think they will find your chickens anyway. If you do try it, I'd suggest also putting one in a trap in the run. Of course, removing one raccoon won't solve your problem. It will reduce the density thus the likelihood of an attack, but if there is one, there are more.

    And I only know one predator that may be slowed down by barbed wire, a human. If you don't cover it or use electric wire, a raccoon or possum will have no problem getting in. I would not even trust concertina wire.

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