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Stupid Raccoons!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by EncinoMan, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. EncinoMan

    EncinoMan Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 11, 2011
    Encino
    I live in a suburb of Los Angeles, just twenty minutes or so from downtown by freeway. Hardly a rural setting, and while I've seen raccoons a few times in my yard over the past decade, I haven't seen any for a few years. Still, as a new chicken owner I read this section of the forum and worry.

    So tonight, I get a call from my girlfriend who is in France on business. (Skype is wonderful!) I'm delighted to talk to her so I lose track of time and don't notice that the sun has gone down...no worries, my chicks have surely returned to their coop from their hardware cloth protected run. So I go outside to shut the pop door, but when I round the corner I see an enormous raccoon looking into the coop window! Startled, I scream "GET OUT OF HERE!" and stomp my feet in a menacing manner...of course the raccoon just looks back at me, without a care in the world. So I pickup my pool brush which is on a 12 foot pole, and start jabbing at it. Still, it's hardly impressed and just jumps up on my cinder block wall and continues to stare at me.

    Time to step up my game. Sunday I used my MAPP torch to light some lump charcoal (highly effective BTW) and it's still sitting next to my smoker. So I spark it up and direct the flame at my masked nemesis, while waving a cedar fence picket like a wildman. The critter wants no part of this fiery escalation, so it dives into the neighbor's yard and I hear it crashing through bushes as it retreats. At this point I realize that I'm livid with anger and can feel my pulse pounding in my neck.

    Stuff just got real...we've moved beyond theoretical threats. What's my next move? My coop itself is pretty darn secure, I'm sure no coon can breach it. The run is not far behind but I'm not quite as confident about it. What worries me is another scenario like tonight where I'm distracted, have to work late, or otherwise am unable to secure the pop door before dark. What's my next move...electric fence, or is that overkill? I'd love to send a message to these evil critters and I'm happy to spend the money, but I'm not sure how to configure the install on a tiny setup like mine. (9 square feet of coop and 18 of run.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2011
  2. PorkChop

    PorkChop Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2010
    North Carolina
    Well first off I must say I really enjoyed your story and the visual it created of you stomping around and poking at the coon left me with a chuckle.

    Two things you can do, make sure your run and coop is safe and the other is trap. These coons are pretty crafty and seem to find any weakness in your armor. I like trapping because you can see the fruits of your labor, set trap catch coon.
     
  3. WillieBoy

    WillieBoy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 1, 2010
    They have electric pop-up doors for sale,with timers or light sensors i believe.I'm always dealing with coons, build your coop/run super strong, they never stop trying to get at the girls...Coons like living in urban areas, lots of people garbage,easy pickings.I trap and dispose all yr long, they keep on coming...good luck...
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    That's why I love my auto door! Late dinners out, in the middle of a good tv show...doesn't matter, because the pop door shuts at whatever time I have it set for - I do have to adjust my timer as the seasons change, but it's great for peace of mind. I still go out and do a head count, but at my leisure.
    You can trap and dispose of, but there's generally always going to be another to take its place.
    Motion sensor lights work well too. Nothing beats making sure your run is as predator proof as you can make it though - welded wire (including roof of run), wire skirt, everything tight...
     
  5. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Interresting visual, LOL. First thing I would do is turn my facilities into Fort Knox. Then purchase a live trap and set it in the area where the coon was spotted and use a couple whole eggs as bait. Coons will take an easy meal before attempting to breach Ft Knox. The eggs are a normal part of a coons diet and will be attractive, plus they will not be messy or smelly and they will last 3 weeks before needing replacement, if nothing is caught. Good luck, now get cracking.........Pop
     
  6. Stingrayg4

    Stingrayg4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Oklahoma
    First of all I have to argue with your thread title. Far from stupid, raccoons are one of the smartest critters that you're likely to encounter in North America. My chicken house is secure, but the darn things still manage to find a way into my run now and then no matter how secure I think it is. All I can do is try to remember to get the girls locked up before dark. If I don't I lose one and it's nobody's fault but mine. The one you encountered was very bold, out here in the sticks he would have been met with flying lead if he didn't scat as soon as I saw him. I realize that this is hardly an option in the suburbs. Good luck.

    -S
     
  7. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    You should have used that fence picket and torch on that coon while you had the chance! Seriously though, trap it. It will be back, it knows you have chickens now.
     
  8. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    chesapeake Va.
    Quote:Raccoons are pretty stupid I get them to put their heads in wire loops (snares) fairly regularly unfortunately you are pretty limited by what kind of trap you can use legally in cali someone may be feeding the one you encountered they develop boldness and lose fear when someone feeds them. like others have mentioned exclusion is one tool in your arsenal trapping and dispatching the animal is another tool most times I trap and dispatch there will be 3-8 animals and when the infestation is thick I will trap 2-3 groups this size
     
  9. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    Live trap it, whack it with a shovel, toss in garbage, have a glass of wine.
     
  10. BrokenRoadFarm

    BrokenRoadFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 10, 2011
    North Central NC
    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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