Racoons with attitude

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jdgrell, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. jdgrell

    jdgrell Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 26, 2009
    Just finished raising my new chickens in the garage. 7 wks old and fully feathered ready for the back yard. On their 1st night out I hear the neigbors dog barking. Look out the window and 4 HUGE racoons are on and around the coop. Now I built the coop well, but these guys looked like they could pick it up and walk away with it.

    I went out back with a baseball bat and a flash light..... Well I won't do that again. These guys had zero fear of me. They did move out of my way, but they were not running. After getting them to jump the fence to the neigbors yard they lined up on his shed and I swear they were laughing me. I went back in the house and they came back immediatly. They hung around the coop for about 2 hours. I guess they couldn't find a way in, but I am not confident that they won't in the future.

    So what to do?
    I live in a suburb in California. The community does not allow guns to be fired anywhere near the city. I have neighbors very close on 3 sides of the coop, so flying projectiles are probably a bad idea. I don't have a dog and with the size of these coons I would need a wolf hound to hold his own, so that is not going to happen in our small yard.

    I guess that leaves trapping as my only option. So a couple of questions please!!!!
    1) What should I use as a trap?
    2) What do I do with them once I have caught them? I am not looking forward to being in the coon relocation business.

    Any other ideas?

  2. Aero

    Aero Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    my local feed store rents cage traps and they have sizes just for racoons. I took mine across the river here and let them out in a wooded area.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    City coons scoff at people and can open doors, trash cans and coops with simple latches... if that all fails, they chew through regular chicken wire like their teeth were made of clippers or open a space wide enough for a single paw to pull birds out piece by piece. I despise those creatures!

    That said, you can pick up a live trap from a feed store and put it against the side of the coop with marshmallow bait so you don't catch cats. Then, either animal control, or a high powered air rifle. By high powered, I mean 1000+ FPS with pellets (Not sure if some of the higher hunting power ones are legal in California). One well placed shot to the forehead or back of the skull should dispatch it and neighbors won't hear gunfire.

    Catch and release is not legal in some areas due to spreading disease, in addition to most find their way back unless you drop them over an hour away, they often starve fighting in a new coons territory, and easily become another home owners problem.

    If you shoot from a distance, do one very very well placed shot to the front of the forehead and drop the animal dead. If you don't have the sniper skill to do so, go for trap then shoot. A injured coon roaming around is a very dangerous coon. Shoot to kill.
  4. smokeater413

    smokeater413 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    NW Florida
    You could try a high powered pellet rifle with a scope. they make little noise and make a good deterrant.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I agree a live trap is the way to go. Check with your local animal control to see the rules and regulations on how to dispose of them. Each state and some cities have different laws. Some animal controls are not allowed to help in your specific situation, but check them out. I think it is your best bet.

    I'm not sure how far you have to go if you turn them lose so they will not return. With squirrels, I've heard 7 miles.

    I agree not everyone can shoot them. Raccoons are very dangerous so don't do anything that can get you hurt. A raccoon can easily kill a dog, either by eviscerating it or, if it is in water, by sitting on its head until it drowns. For my money, raccoons are the worst of the predators.

    I've gotten in trouble on here before as being inhumane, but I have filled a garbage can (actually a garbage bag in a garbage can as the can leaked) with water and submerged the live trap. I really can't come up with a better way if animal control can't help and you can't shoot it.

    If you do try to transport it, remember that raccoons are very smart and nimble-fingered. I would not travel with one in a trap inside the same compartment of the vehicle I am in. He may figure out how to open the trap. I've seen what they can do and I respect them. Depending on the animal, I don't necessarily want to relocate it and just give someone else the problem either.

    Another option may be to contact a trapper in your area, but that will probably not be inexpensive.

    Good luck. Hopefully animal control can help.
  6. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Medford, Oregon
    Electric fencing around your coop and fence is what I would try.

    Had a coworker who put out rat poisen but then she got some of her neighbor cats.

    She then went on to trap and relocate.

    I just put my girls out last week. I plan on putting hot wire up around mine.

    Good luck to you.
  7. breezy

    breezy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 7, 2009
    Sand Coulee MT
    Coons that are unafraid of people here are almost always rabid. I use pepper spray (get it from a local law enforcement place its serious stuff) to convince them they have chosen poorly when they get to my place. The spray lets you nail them right in the face while staying back and even rabid coons will back off after being sprayed. Nonrabid coons dont seem to come back after being hit in the face, rabid ones will move off but not far and stick in a tree or under a bush . Once they are off the property I call animal control and get them picked up. Coons carry rabies ,distemper plague,and leptospirosis. Lepto, plague,and rabies are all communicable to humans so as far as im concerned they never need to be on my property.
  8. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Trap them and research local laws. Relocation is illegal some places. Animal control might solve it for you, or might not be available.

    Whatever you do, don't touch the animal, dead or alive, and don't touch anything it has touched; even saliva can be deadly to you, and not just from rabies.
  9. EggGardener

    EggGardener Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 8, 2009
    Electrified fencing will work the best--trapping raccoons will only solve your problem with THESE raccoons. Trust me, there are more out there.
    A loaded SuperSoaker squirt gun or a pressure-washer or high-pressure hose attachment will make them wary of you, and help you pass the time until the fencing's up!!
  10. G Wiz Ranch

    G Wiz Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2009
    Lompoc, CA
    I had a racoon go for some scrap food that was at the bottom of my empty hydrolic dump trailer. The trailer has 5 ft high steel walls with no ledges or lips for him to climb out. When I heard him in there, I thought it was going to be a cat, I didn't expect a coon. I called animal control, they refered me to the Dept of Fish and Game (specifically a trapper for the DFG). He said he could come get it or if I wanted to, to just kill it. He said DON'T try and relocate it because it is illegal. I can legally shoot where I am but I didn't want to shot into a steel box, LOL. So I made a stick with a rope loop at the end, he was mean. I finnaly got the rope arround his neck and lifted him out of the trailer, and then shot him. Digging the hole sucked, but hopefully I prevented a future chicken or duck death.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by