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Repeated deadly attacks in one of 3 pens--suspect raccoon

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by yeye5, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. yeye5

    yeye5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you to those who created and moderate this part of the forum.

    In one pen of my total 3 (the only one without lighting at night) I've had sporadic attacks in the past, solved by simply re-enforcing the "weak points" and deterring further issue. A friend had helped me and pointed out what were in fact raccoon paw prints in one area.
    During the past approx 2-3 weeks I've had repeated problems in that same area. Night pen/enclosure is made of wood frame with hardware cloth walls and roof (roof is covered in addition to the hardware cloth). It has heavy logs surrounding the perimeter, chicken wire around the bottom, and roosting areas off the ground.
    The first recent attack killed my OE. I thought I'd re-enforced More than sufficiently. Some days later, it happened again.
    I had, in that area, a very feisty tough rooster and he did well keeping things safe. During one of the attacks, a hen was killed and although I saw a small amount of this rooster's feathers, the rooster vanished (only time a body wasn't found) and has neither been found dead nor returned.
    Problems I see with the area are lack of motion sensor lights and distance to the house. Both other pens have electricity/lighting available and are closer to the front of my house.
    While a solution could be to run electric out there, it surely isn't something I can do immediately. I also doubt if that alone could break the pattern.
    Today (2 killed last night) I moved several of the hens (that I perceive more vulnerable) to the front. There is no room really for them no less the rest of the roosters and hens housed in the problem area.

    That is my problem and I'm in search of as many ideas and options for solving this already bad predator problem.
    Thank you any and all in advance.
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Can you take and post some photos of the pen in question? This will better enable us to see what you are dealing with and identify weaknesses you may not have seen as of yet.
     
  3. Mr Pink

    Mr Pink Out Of The Brooder

    I installed 3 electric "hot" wires around My 24 x 32 run in an afternoon start to finish ...doesn't take long and not that expensive !
     
  4. yeye5

    yeye5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll do that tomrrow. It's too dark at the moment to get a clear pic but it's a very good suggestion.
     
  5. yeye5

    yeye5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. I have no skills to do that but I do have friends to help. I'm leary only because if one of my dogs got out of my grasp I don't know how powerful the zap could be. I'll do some research this evening and see where they're sold, how much, safety etc.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.

    The zap would be powerful enough to make them think twice about going near the fence again, but wouldn't be enough to do permanent damage. We had electric fences in the presence of young kids and dogs for years. Despite the occasional run-in, everyone survived.
     
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    X 2 -- also, there are different ways of setting it up that can be pretty straight forward - if you are attaching the wire along wood posts or boards you can use the "screw in" insulators (as easy to use as it sounds - literally just screw them in, can generally be done by hand) to run the wire through. There are tons of different solar chargers, and for a small application like yours you can get away with the smallest one they have - wiring it up is really straightforward (the employee at the farm store can walk you through it and/or you can find lots of videos on YouTube, etc).
     
  8. yeye5

    yeye5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's a great idea, the youtube videos. I don't know why I never think of that, but...
    In this case I would only use it to surround the night time pen. When I'm up taking pics I'll measure the dimensions too.
    Good news is that on my morning (half-asleep) walk about nothing was disturbed last night.Still, that fits the pattern: day after a predator kill followed by my next alteration usually gives me 1-2 "extra" days without the problem. Unfortunately up til now after the 1-2 days it has started again. I'm beginning to gain some confidence, though, based on the suggestions I'm getting here...for which I am more than grateful!
     
  9. northeastDad

    northeastDad Out Of The Brooder

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    If it is coons they will keep coming back . They run the perimeter to find a way in . The best way is to trap them with a foot trap or conibear , or if you don't want to hurt them use a live trap .
     
  10. yeye5

    yeye5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the feedback.
    I just took some pics. That process in itself was very educational. It showed me where I need to place stronger wire. That's not even counting the idea of hot wire.
    [​IMG]

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    The pics are 1) the original hardware cloth that I see is way too wide barred. 2) Much stronger metal over the hardware cloth (from a disasembled shelf). 3) the level I resorted to once the 2nd metal pieces didn't do it.
    Question: will they/can they simply climb up a ways and enter by bending the bars again? If that's the case I need the hot wire and/or unbendable metal everywhere and/or I need to just give up on that pen and build another.
    What would you do?
     

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