I skin predators, grill them on the fire pit and feed them back to the chickens. I had trapped out vermin for a while and became lax about locking up. Hadn't lost a bird in a couple years. Then I lost 22 in short order. Mostly raccoons. I think raccoons are everywhere except high elevation Rockies. I love that. Regarding your new workforce, my apprentice lost his phone and totaled his car so hasn't been here is weeks. Shame because he was a good worker. I was so jazzed that I would have a good productive garden AND get some of the house restoration done. I need to plan on at least 3 apprentices next year. Maybe it's not too late to recruit for this year. Larger and much easier to clean than squirrels. dog proof leg traps are much more effective than live traps for those type predators with small paws. Quote: I use those big thick rubber feed bowls for summer foot baths.