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Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Majikthise, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. Majikthise

    Majikthise In the Brooder

    Aug 19, 2013
    Why in the world do I have such a predator problem. I have lost 5 silkies today to a $^%& raccoon (missing all of their heads)

    I have previously lost 4 Australorp the same way (missing heads carcasses in cage)

    The way that it must be happening is somehow the raccoon is getting the chickens to come to the edge of the cage, grabbing them, then eating their heads...

    I have had multiple snakes inside the coop going after eggs... every time I kill one a bigger one comes along.

    I lost a rooster to dehydration(?) today, I don't know how, b/c even if the other rooster was not allowing him to drink he had his own water in his separate area.

    Are birds really that dumb to just watch one get eaten and then fall for the same trap?

    I am so upset right now, please tell me if there is any way to keep the raccoon away? maybe a smaller mesh screen on the bottom of the cage to keep it from reaching in?


  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    I'm so so sorry for all the losses you've had recently. Yes, I would say it was definitely a raccoon that did the deed. But there's a reason he was able to do it.....

    I'LL BET YOU USED CHICKEN WIRE instead of 1/2" hardware cloth...right? You seriously need to re-think your wire on your coop and run asap. Chicken wire is totally useless against predators...they'll tear through it (or reach through it) like it was butter. Protect the remainder of your flock and replace (or even cover over) your wire.....

    Please take my advice as it was intended...to protect the rest of your precious girls...again, I'm so sorry for your losses...
  3. Chickens are not know for being rocket scientists.
    There's an old saying that locks only stop honest men from stealing. I stand here before you tonight to tell you that I have never met an honest raccoon. In other words, you have all the clocks and wrist watches on your and on your chickens' side, but the raccoon has all the time on his. And he will use that time to test your defenses over and over. You and your chickens must be lucky every time that the coon tests your coops and runs, but the coon only needs to get lucky one time. In short the only coon that has given up on visions of a chicken dinner dancing in his head, are the raccoons that have shuffled off this mortal coil and imho the more local raccoons that you help become one with nature the longer your chickens will stay safe.

    Chickens are not well known for being rocket Scientist. Yes chickens are that dumb.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  4. JackE

    JackE Crowing

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    Check out the link below. That is what works for me, going on 4yrs now. I started with 300' of it, liked it so much, I bought 350' more. A coon, or whatever, noses up to that fence, and gets in excess of 7000Vs to the face, they lose all interest in chicken dinner, or in your case, chicken heads. And this fence is also very effective at stopping snakes. It works.

  5. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Songster

    Jun 10, 2014
    Yes, they are. There's an old joke that if you can get turkeys to look up in the rain, they'll drown.

    You need to fix your coop. Right now you have a racoon pantry.

    edit: Also, I second JackE's recommendation - electric fence is remarkably effective, and very safe (although not pleasant at all). One of our dogs (a 75lb lab) refuses to go in the backyard anymore after getting zapped once.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
  6. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chirping

    Mar 25, 2014
    Canby, Oregon
    Quote: Yes, absolutely!
    Some raccoons will tear through chicken wire, if that's what you're using. As was suggested, you could replace it all with expensive, difficult-to-work-with, 1/2 inch hardware cloth.

    Then again, maybe you're using something sturdier already. Something that a raccon can't get break through, like 2x4 welded wire. 2x2 even better.
    In your situation, it seems the raccoon is not actually getting in, but reaching in. An 18-inch strip of 1/2 inch hardware cloth at ground level should fix his wagon. You would then have to consider the possibility that the raccoon, when no longer able to grab chickens, may resort to more desperate measures, such as breaking in.

    I read a previous poster who watched two raccoons "double-teaming" his chickens. One raccoon would charge the wire and startle the chickens frantically over to the opposite side of the cage, into the waiting paws of the other raccoon. As much as I hate them, I have to respect their enginuity.
  7. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I have some cages built with all hardware cloth and some with 2x4 fences wire with a two foot panel of hardware cloth along the bottom. Chickens don't use logic. If something is after them they panic and try to run away until they run into something and then they'll try to go another way. You have to do the thinking for them. There are lots of posts in the predator section that read pretty much just like yours. Yes if you put the wire on the bottom they won't be able to drag the little heads through. However if the top part is chicken wire you would need to change that too. As was suggested above, once they can't pull them through they will start trying to figure out another way in. They are indeed much smarter than chickens! I am so sorry you are having this trouble but now you know how to protect them. Put them somewhere safer till you can fix the problem.

  8. HugHess

    HugHess Chickrack Addict

    Jul 14, 2014
    Quote: Just shooting my mouth off the top of my head....
    Can you also, while figuring out the rest of your defense, get a live trap and bait the !@#$%^& raccoon, by playing it at its own game? Then send him on a 'nice' one way trip to somewheres else?
  9. Khavilah

    Khavilah Chirping

    May 26, 2014
    Southern Utah
    I am so thankful I'm only dealing with skunks. Skunks are cute but they spray so they're nasty. Man. I am so sorry for your losses. I just lost quite a few myself so I know how you feel, although mine weren't left as carcasses to find so I may have the better situation here.

    I am just stunned. That. Is. Horrible.

    Related: I'm going to measure my fence and order some of that electric mesh. That's a heck of a product, there.
  10. Majikthise

    Majikthise In the Brooder

    Aug 19, 2013
    I will check out the electric fence, and hardware cloth.

    Now my chickens have started just dropping dead! WHAT IS GOING ON!?!? OMG I don't know what is happening but 3 chickens have just ... died one the day after this mess happened and two today!! @#$#%$#%$#%$@#@#

    What do I do?!


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