Racoons

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by SilkieLady6, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. SilkieLady6

    SilkieLady6 Out Of The Brooder

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    I've had some issues with racoons lately. Last week I went into my coop in the morning expecting to see all my favorite chicks, instead I found an ungodly amount of feathers on the ground in the corner of the run. Upon further examination I discovered two gaping holes in the wire. Three of my chicks and one of my hens were mercilessly torn apart, my dog actually brought back the wing to one of them. I believe that the mixture of degrading manure and shavings rusted the wire, making it easier for the devil bandits to get in. My first question would be what is the best way to catch masked, furry demons, and how can I prevent my fortress from being infiltrated again?

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  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Hav a heart type box traps baited with anything from chicken to sardines to sweet baits work well. The best protection against them is electric fencing.
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Sorry for your loss, and it's time to trap, shoot, and upgrade your coop and run. Hardware cloth with 2"x4" woven wire over it, well secured. A dig-proof base. Secure roofing of some sort. Electrified poultry netting is wonderful, or multiple strands of hot tape, HOT. Premier1supplies.com is a very good source, catalog, and helpful advise. Finding feathers and body parts has happened here too, and many upgrades later, is now a very rare event. Mary
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Sorry for your loss, and it's time to trap, shoot, and upgrade your coop and run. Hardware cloth with 2"x4" woven wire over it, well secured. A dig-proof base. Secure roofing of some sort. Electrified poultry netting is wonderful, or multiple strands of hot tape, HOT. Premier1supplies.com is a very good source, catalog, and helpful advise. Finding feathers and body parts has happened here too, and many upgrades later, is now a very rare event. Mary
     
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you have a coop? Lock the door at night. In winter my run is an old dog kennel. Nothing special in regards to protection, chain link fence 5 ft high and near 80 ft per side. Raccoons can get in with ease and we've a lot of them around here. Only loss was due to a pullet not going into coop at night and I locked up thinking they were all in.
     
  6. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Was the wire they got through chicken wire / poultry netting? It is generally observed that chicken wire will turn chickens, but will not deter a determined predator. I mention this for your benefit, but also for any and all others who might be thinking chicken wire is good enough. It's not. Lots of things can get through chicken wire.

    Depending on the amount of coverage needed and predator list, you can start with 1/2" hardware cloth, or upgrade to the more sturdy deterrent of 1/2" x 1" welded wire, 1" x 2" welded wire at the coop / run level. Anything larger than 1" will permit weasels and such a way in. About the only difference between 1" x 2" and 2" x 4" is the cost. For a really large run or coverage area, that may add up enough to matter, but while 2" x 4" fence will deter large predators, the smaller ones can get through it. You can always double it up along the bottom, but is it cheaper to use 1" x 2" to start with, or 2" x 4" with chicken wire or hardware cloth over it? My house has 1/2" x 1" - 14 gauge welded wire and varmints are outside it all the time, but they don't get in.

    But in any event, the ultimate safety comes from a really tight coop at ground zero, no holes larger than 1" anywhere and made of sturdy stuff. Goal is when the lights go dim at dusk, the birds go to roost where they are safe for the night. Their house will protect them from nearly all threats and things that go bump in the night. Then at the perimeter of your pasture / free range area, an electric fence to keep most predators well away from them to begin with.
     
  7. SilkieLady6

    SilkieLady6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks to everyone for your helpful information I am definitely going to upgrade the coop ASAP!!!
     
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I have the 2"x4" woven wire over the hardware cloth on the lower 4' of the run/ coop area, so big dogs can't get through the hardware cloth. I think that 1" openings are too big, for rats and weasels, and also raccoon fingers. Also, bantam chicks can get through 1" openings! Woven wire is more $$ than welded wire, but also more secure. It's easier and cheaper to build it once, than to redo it after every disaster (Bad learning curve here too!). Mary
     
  9. itsasmallfarm

    itsasmallfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yes upgrade the coop some hard ware cloth, maybe some electrical fencing, and of course a few have a heart traps will never hurt to have around (but don't releases the raccoons 1 its most likely illegal to dump them on some side road, and 2 your just giving some one else your problem.)
     
  10. silkie1472

    silkie1472 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raccoons are very smart animals and have always found a way to kill our birds at our house. This spring the raccoons found out how to get inside our turkey and chicken coop, killing all 24 of our turkeys, and around 30 chickens. No matter how hard you try to scare them away, they will eventually come back and cause more problems. The easiest way to take care of them is to have someone trap and kill them or do it yourself. I have found this the most effective way to take care of this problem.
     

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