These da*n Racoons are Crazy!


In the Brooder
Dec 10, 2015
I'm getting chickens in the next year and wanted to know the best way to keep Racoons out of the hen house. The buggers are thick here, one last year got through my kitchen window (somehow!) ate two sticks of butter off the counter and I saw him just as he was pulling a 50 lb bag of rice out the window, and he got away with it too! Anyway. I need protection for my girls!
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In the Brooder
May 31, 2015
Texas, United States
Don't use chicken wire.
That's how my very first chicken went out. Raccoon stuck his hand through the chicken wire and ripped her head off. :'(
I put two layers of netting mesh over the original chicken wire and haven't had an issue so far.
Since you said you have a lot of raccoons, I recommend having a padlock to lock your chicken coop up. Little buggers won't be able to get through that. And if they do, you have some pretty big issues.
I don't know what they're called or where to get them, but some people have this motion sensor thing and every time it picks up motion, it lets out a loud noise and/or sprays water.
Windows on a chicken coop can make a coop look cute and fancy, but I wouldn't use them. Little buggers will find a way to open them. Sometimes by smashing the window.
If the coop touches the ground, put stones down around it or better, put in a concrete floor. Something where they won't be able to dig into.
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15 Years
Aug 16, 2007
Louisville, Kentucky
I hope that was a 5lb bag of rice. lol

You have your work cut out for you as far as keeping them out if you have that many.


Dec 6, 2015
Mora, NM USA
Holy cow.... Rambo Raccoon...

You **can** keep them out but you do best if you think ahead. I used to have a terrible problem with them where I used to live. This is what we did that worked: We had a wooden pole structure made from railroad ties, inside this we built a cube of chain link fencing. So yes, that means on the floor and the ceiling too - a full cube. Then, the thickness of the railroad ties away, we built another cube of welded wire. It was 1" X 2" welded wire, I think they use that to build cages? Not sure. Anyway we used J-clips and hooked it all together along the seams really well. THEN we had the birds inside that. Once we did that we did not lose another bird. Raccoons are really strong. They can actually rip siding off a barn, if it's 1" siding. With the double wire they could not reach through to grab the birds. Raccoons can also actually tear chicken wire, so I agree with Scarlit! Don't use chicken wire. Anyway my DH referred to this structure as the Prisoner Of War Pen. But it worked and we stopped losing birds.

Think 3-dimensional and protect the ground AND the ceiling. The coop I'm currently using has cement poured all the way around, down to 3'. Nothing is going to dig through that in a night's time. You have to think "Fort Knox" to stop raccoons.


In the Brooder
Nov 3, 2015
Northern Ny
I have 2 DP dog proof traps set at night, I also saved tops from my canned foods and cut them with wire cutters all the way around the edge so they are sharp and screwed them to places they may try and get in, Actually i cut myself in the process, but after seeing the damage they can do i'm making a strong statement. You will get hurt, So far no issues.


Crossing the Road
13 Years
Sep 19, 2009
Holts Summit, Missouri
I use electrified poultry netting and put hotwire on actual coops / pens.

When it comes to thieving, a hog farmer I worked with back in the 1990's has a sow coon go each night into his farrowing barn where she would grab live pigs pushing 10 lbs and drag them out side the building where she killed them so she and her kitten could eat catch. Sow hogs could do nothing because they were confined by farrowing crates. Sow coon did it over several nights before farmer figured out what was taken pigs. I have first and experience with raccoons but still wander how a coon could do such.


5 Years
Jun 10, 2014
Coons are smart - so the best protections are things that can't be 'solved' - like dogs. A coop in an open pasture that a LGD has access to is a deathtrap for a coon (especially if there's anything to slow down the coon's access). If dogs aren't an option then you really need to think about coop design.

One of the things I try to do with my coops is control sight line and access lines. My coop is very open, and has large areas of welded wire - which isn't optimal - but I make a point of designing things so that there's absolutely nowhere that a bird can sit or roost that shes within 2 feet of welded wire. I've also got my coop designed so that sitelines are mostly blocked - I may be anthropomorphizing here, but I see a lot of coop/run designs where a bird (mostly ducks) is sleeping in the run lying against some hardware cloth at ground level - and that to me just seems like you're daring the predators to get in.

I also prodigiously use hotwire - both on my perimeter fences and on the coop, and have a llama who is pretty territorial in that pasture - so it's possible all my thought is a waste of time. :p

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