Racoons???

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Fancie, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. Fancie

    Fancie Chillin' With My Peeps

    795
    0
    151
    Oct 31, 2008
    Illinois
    Okay I recently lost my rooster and my duck to... something. at first I assumed a cat, but tonight while coming home a saw... a coon!!! I have never seen one in our neiborhood before!

    I have had chickens for 3 years with little problems. I had left the gate open once and a dog had gotten a duck but other than that... My chickens were left to free range 85% of the time, locked up only when it was really cold, or while we are mowing and the like.

    But a couple days ago I go out to be greeted by my hen and the duck, I knew something was wrong, I look down towards the coop to find fluff. and over in the neibors yard more fluff. what ever killed him drug him over the fence to eat him. I immedatly locked up my girls (they haven't been out since.) I figured the duck would be safe since he could black so he shouldn't be seen... and he could fly. but the next morning he didn't greet me, and he was laying by the coop... eaten to the bone.

    I have been so scared for my girls that I haven't been able to let them out since.

    Is it a cat or a coon?

    Is there anyway I can fix a coon problem? I am never going to leave my birds free range at night ever... but I don't know how to feel safe letting them out during the day.
     
  2. estpr13

    estpr13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    622
    0
    129
    May 18, 2008
    Lexington, Ky
    Probably a Coon as a cat wouldn't eat a whole duck that quickly. I have had problems with coons and have bought a catch em alive trap big enough for coons. It's not that I want to keep the coons alive it is just that you don't want to kill your neighbors prized pet or one of your chickens.

    The first year I caught a varmit on average of one every two weeks. This year is my third year and so far I have only caught two possum this whole trapping season. *( I bought a trapping license so I could legally kill the preditors)

    After having lost so many of my chickens, I no longer reposition any varmit. Last year I ran a coon out of my yard and ended up looking into the eyes of a mamma coon and her 4 youngins. If you have one now you will have many more in the future unless you take definate action now.

    Edited to say I'm sorry about your loss. I understand what it is like to have your chickens run up to you after they have been tramatized. That look in their eyes, and their shaking little bodies, it's hard to forget.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  3. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Until last year, I lived on a coon highway. I would catch as many as 6 per week for months at a time and on 2 occasions, had 2 in the same trap, on the same night. I don`t have any $5 chickens. I breed exotic gamefowl and not a feather on my yard is worth less than $150.

    I said all that leading up to this. Everyone who owns chickens must also own a gun and a trap. As said by estpr13 , live traps are preffered. I keep a trap set at all times, even now, and I bait it with a couple whole eggs, in the shell. There are several advantages to this. Eggs are an easy meal for most predators. Eggs are cheap and readily available to most of us. And eggs are not messy, nor do they have to be replaced daily as do most baits. If nothing bothers them, they remain a viable bait for at least a month.

    So there. Take it from one who has caught hundreds of coons, possums, foxes, and even a bobcat. I have since moved to GA and my current quest is a coyote. I travel a lot these days as I still have interrests in FL. My stepson lives on mt property in GA and takes care of the flock while I`m away. What he describes as a coyote has recently taken 3 hens, a rooster, and a goose. I returned home last night and will take up the cause today. Wish me luck.
     
  4. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Really sorry about this, it's hard to lose them. [​IMG]

    I agree it's probably a coon, a fox would take it further, so would a coyote, and the coyote would eat the bones too, coys gulp huge chunks mostly. Possums eat mostly certain parts, but might eat more if it's really hungry. I sincerely doubt it's a cat, unless you have bigger wild ones, a house cat wouldn't eat a whole duck... People forget Raccoons are carnivores, and they're hungry this time of year.

    More and more often in more and more places, places are tired of people just moving problem animals to different parts of the county/state. Problem animals and their diseases I should say, so it's probably illegal to trap and release. All you'd be doing is moving a problem. I suggest you Contact Fish and Game, Dept of Natural Resources, or Animal Control in your area. (I hope you took pictures of the duck) Find out if either or both will take the animal after you trap it. Be sure and tell them about your losses, it makes a difference.

    Again, sorry you lost some.
     
  5. trinity

    trinity Chillin' With My Peeps

    173
    0
    119
    Feb 8, 2009
    Amarillo Texas
    my mother tried telling me there was no racoons here i told her bull i have seen them i think they are every where in the US.They even stole to plants that float out of my pond.
     
  6. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    http://www.organization.org/web-files/PDF/raccoon-fact-sheet.pdf

    Show
    her the map in the upper right of this document. Raccoons are among several species which have benefitted by suburban and city life. Their populations are spreading and growing, not shrinking because they adapt so well to living around people who leave garbage and bowls of dog and cat food in easy to reach places.
     
  7. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh yes, those wonderful pain in the patootie Raccoons. Oh how I dislike those seemingly playful masked critters... Actually I agree with what estpr13, I set a live trap, up on a bale of hay, counter so I don't catch a skunk and prefer live trap so the neighbors cats are left alive, or a stray can be removed by animal control. I then dispatch the raccoon and please use gloves, do not touch it, rabies here in the north east. Dispatching in a live trap makes some wonder, yet this way I know I've dispatched the animal quickly and humane. DO NOT RELOCATE without game wardens OK! In states like ours its mandatory to dispatch.
    Good luck with this, I have lost more hens, ducks and geese over the years and nothing is safe! So button down the hatches at night.
    Oh, and remind Mom that there is a first time for everything new. Your buffet has a remarkable smell and signs out for all predators, and not a thing you can do about the signs, so take care of them!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by