Two raccoons braver than one. Is it possible to 'scare' them away?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Cabernay, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Cabernay

    Cabernay Hatching

    Aug 14, 2011
    We live in NY and have 5 chickens right now. Last summer we lost our chickens to a raccoon, so this year we have decided to put a wireless baby monitor in the chicken coop, and reinforce it. At night I can hear and see (it works in the dark) what is going on out there. Last night I woke to a lot of racket out there. We ran outside to find two raccoons trying to pull off the roof of the coop. I sprayed them with the hose (jet stream) but all they did was jump to a tree behind the coop. My husband and I stood there spraying, I was yelling and clapping my hands and shining a flash light at them. The raccoons did not budge, all they did was duck behind the tree trunk and wait for the water to stop.

    Rather or not they can get inside the coop, they can cause a lot of damage to it. Pulling off siding and shingles and tearing apart the wire outside enclosure. I am 6 months pregnant and concerned that if they are that fearless of humans, would one try to take me on one of these nights?

    I am quite certain relocating them is not an option. Our property borders some type of forest that is protected.

    I was wondering if we can do something to scare them enough to make them stay away. They do not move in the trees, they just stare back at us waiting for us to stop acting like clowns, it should be easy to aim a gun of some sort and shoot. I mean maybe something like a paint gun with different ammo to hurt them or scare them enough to make their experience here a bad one. Or some really loud or scary noise maker? My husband doesn't want to put electric wire around the coop, but if this keeps up every night, I am going to insist.

  2. lillysmom621

    lillysmom621 Hatching

    Aug 14, 2011
    Your best defense, is to reinforce your coop. Every entry way to my coop is reinforced with locks. It does make it more of a chore to tend to your chickens, but atleast you know they are safe at night. Raccoons are relentless, and extremely smart. They will find a way in, if there is one.

    I do not know your local laws, but you may be able to shoot at these pests with a pellet gun. If they are big guys, they won't die from the shot, but they will not come back. And they will tell their friends not to either.
    I am also in NY.
  3. Fool

    Fool In the Brooder

    Jan 27, 2011
    Anything worth shooting is worth killing. Shooting with the intent to maim is cruelty. If they don't come back because they were smacked with a pellet gun it means they eventually died from the wounds or infection.
  4. lillysmom621

    lillysmom621 Hatching

    Aug 14, 2011
    You are correct. Though, I take offense to your comment, you are correct.
    I was responding to the poster's comments.
    I have killed raccoons to protect my chickens-with actual firearms.
    That didn't seem to be the route she wanted to go.
    Point made.
  5. christineavatar

    christineavatar Songster

    May 1, 2011
    Bolinas, CA
    I have also found something that makes the raccoons (and any other predator) keep away.
    I have heard that once raccoons find a food source like a chicken coop they will keep coming back. Since I have put them up my raccoon have not come back after coming back night after night and killing several of my hens and one rooster. Good luck with it.
  6. It's not unusual that raccoons will work in "pairs". One of our local bird club (exotic birds) members told of losing macaws to raccoons. He kept all his large birds outside in chain link cages raised off the ground (chain link had to be used as these birds have powerful beaks).

    One night he heard a racket, jumped out of bed and turned on the outside lights. Saw a pair of raccoons working his cages; one would stand on the roof of the cage and beat the top of it, driving the bird down to the bottom. The other one would stand under the cage, reach up, grab a leg and....start chewing. The second one would then join him and grab the other leg.

    The bird was...literally...eaten from the feet upward. Often all he'd find the next morning would be a beak.

    Running out to confront them they refused to release the bird.

    He dispatched these two that night with his rifle.

  7. mishellez

    mishellez In the Brooder

    Sep 4, 2009
    Northwest New Jersey
    If your coop can be pulled apart by a raccoon, it's for sure not predator-proof. Reinforce it. Raccoons are a non-issue if your birds are securely contained at night. And don't worry about them attacking you, unless they're rabid or something, which I doubt from your description. In their silly little raccoon heads they're merely making way for a more dangerous predator, maybe hanging around in hopes to get some leftover chicken after you've infiltrated the coop they were in the process of breaking into and eaten your fill.

    Enclose your birds in a solid structure, with windows protected by reinforced by secured heavy-gauge fencing and no nearby perches so that raccoons can reach in and grab a sleeping chicken. Make sure you close them in at sundown when the chickens go to roost. Either use something heavier than you'd used that the 'coons tore apart or make sure it's secured better to keep them from doing so again. Then enjoy the remainder of your pregnancy watching 'chicken tv' and maybe catch a glimpse of your local 'coons passing through on their way to something easier to eat for dinner.

    I'm not bashing those who abdicate trapping or killing; to each his own. One of the great things about this forum is the ability to a poster to toss a problem out there, receive tons of advice, then choose which options best suit him or her.

    Good luck!

  8. starforever61

    starforever61 Songster

    Aug 1, 2009
    Honestly my dog is my best defense against raccoons. That and my coop is completely predator proof. Also we do trap them and shoot them. But I wouldn't want you to get in trouble because the woods are protected. Hmm tricky situation [​IMG] To tell you the truth, if I were in your situation and didn't have any neighbors close enough to hear a gun shot, I would trap it and kill it.
    Good luck! [​IMG]

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