Sleeping With Chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by centrarchid, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    This I think will be different from most considerations, sleeping in close proximity to chickens all night long. I am having dog X fireworks issues making so raccoon management not ideal. Loan raccoon appears to be very trapwise so until I get dogs back into game I will be sleeping in barn with most vulnerable birds. A previous night the raccoon came in and chased chickens for a good while, but could catch only a chick penned in a rabbit pen. Lights on made so chickens could see and evade raccoon. Raccoons are not very good as pursuit predators. The raccoon is a large boar that knows to watch direction of house very closely. I am experimenting with lures and trap locations to see if I can trip him up.

    Cool observations coming from sleeping in such close proximity to the birds. Behaviors not entirely natural because of supplemental light levels but interesting none the less. About 30 of the birds are roosting free range while about the same number are penned.
  2. Shadrach

    Shadrach Roosterist

    Jul 31, 2018
    Catalonia, Spain
    My Coop
    I have to agree with you. I've slept with a lot of chickens.:p I'm sleeping with three at the moment.:gig
    Sleeping with roosters isn't quite as rewarding. After a couple of night of being woken up by a rooster crowing at 4am, 4.15 am. 4.30 kind of miss your sleep.:rant
  3. Ninjasquirrel

    Ninjasquirrel Songster

    May 11, 2018
    I've been told coons find marshmellows irresistible. If its standard trap wise you might be able to set up a snare trap or a hole trap. The hole would need to be quite deep so it can't crawl out though. Since you've seen the trouble maker you can surmise its weight and make a snare accordingly. I've never made one myself but there is tons of info available about setting up one online
    Farmgirl1878 likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Looking forward to the documentation of your observations and experiences here.
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I wonder if your presence and smell will act as a deterrent.

    Coons have been my nemesis. I have had good luck with tuna fish. If he is trap shy, just set it down in front of the trap the first night, a little ways in the second night, and then baiting the trap the third. When I first got started, I swear once I had one that hit me night after night, and finally left a note asking for BBQ sauce, he was tired of them plain. :th

    My husband had an experienced trapper come out, and he used a balled up tin foil, said their curiosity got the better of him, and we did catch what he told me that it was the biggest coon, he had ever caught.

    Good luck,

    Farmgirl1878 likes this.
  6. Farmgirl1878

    Farmgirl1878 Songster

    Mar 17, 2017
    Piketon, Ohio
    Marshmallows, tuna, chicken bones, steak scraps, cheese, peanut butter... makes no nevermind to our coons out here, they’re pretty indiscriminate when it comes to feeding time. Shortly after their last meal, they get to meet their maker!
    Newyorkrita likes this.
  7. varidgerunner

    varidgerunner Songster

    Aug 16, 2013
    Invest in some DP traps. Marshmallows work, but ants will have them carried away in a couple hours. I like catfish food mixed with syrup. Grape koolaid is good too. The DP traps can be set right with your birds. DP stands for dog proof, but doesn't make it so. Dogs can be caught in them, and when they are, it's really ugly, as they are tongue caught, so keep that in mind when using them. But they are worlds above cage traps for raccoon management. They do normally require euthanasia, as any serious raccoon management program should. If you have the right tools, they can be released unharmed, but it's much safer and easier if they are deadified first.
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I am using 4 DP traps scattered around barn. Also using 2 spring traps. Bait used has been fish, eggs, raw chicken pieces, sweet corn, and maple brown sugar oatmeal. I have not seen raccoon investigate anything since last two put out. Live traps always running but only catch chickens, opossums and occasional rabbit.

    I will kill him with rifle if I get to him before dogs. Dogs checked everything this morning before I could run line. One of the dogs really goes after raccoons but she is also the one with biggest trouble concerning fireworks.
  9. getaclue

    getaclue Crossing the Road

    Jun 19, 2013
    Central Florida
    Since you're sleeping out there anyway, carry a gun, and shoot the dang thing.
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Post #4 in thread link made before starting this thread.

    Getting a clean shot off not always easy. Same rifle better suited for muskrat issue around fish ponds.

    Getting to know more about chickens in general by staying with them over night. Raccoon is only of secondary interest in this thread.
    Shadrach and aart like this.

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