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We got raccooned :(

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by halfwaynowhere, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. halfwaynowhere

    halfwaynowhere Songster

    Mar 23, 2008
    La Puente, CA
    At least, I think it was a coon.

    I woke up at 2:30 am to the sound of a chicken screaming. Went out to check, and found Gina, my leghorn girl, had been pulled through the bars of the coop by her neck. Her head was gone, and one wing was pulled through. This morning when I went to clean it all up, I discovered her head had been left behind on the ground.

    Years ago when we kept chickens, we had a few raccoon incidents, mostly when we forgot to lock up the girls at night. I haven't seen or heard of any raccoon sightings from the neighbors at all in recent years, though we do have a family of possums in the area, and have had a possum come bother our girls once.

    I'm just really surprised that the dogs didn't bark at all! The chickens are right next to the house, and they've alerted us in the past when we had possums bugging the hens. I'm glad that the ducks are all fine, in hindsight, they are more vulnerable in their setup.

    My plans for the day include going to the hardware store for 1/2" mesh and covering the mesh on the chicken coop with it so I don't have grabby little paws trying to get in again. I'm also going to be fixing the duck enclosure.

    I'm also trying to decide what to do with Beula, my remaining hen. Is it okay to keep a single hen, or is she gonna get lonely? I'm trying to decide if I want to let her sit on an egg (she's been trying lately) and swap it out with a chick for her to raise, or find a hen to keep her company.

  2. You had better get your remaining hen into a safer spot while you revamp your coop to make it safer from those grabby raccoon hands. And I would get her another buddy, or two, or 3. [​IMG] Chicken math is so much fun!!

    Also summer of 2008 I had 20 chickens when I went to camp. When I came back I only found 9. [​IMG] Some friends about a week later found 9 out of the 11 missing rotting up in the hayloft above the coop. [​IMG] Ooooooooo I hate Raccoons!!!!! [​IMG]

    Sorry for your loss. Coons seem to kill only for the thrill of killing. Hardly for food.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  3. texasgal

    texasgal Brood with an Attitude

    Apr 18, 2009
    We should start a "Raccoon haters" thread .. will all our tips and hints on how to dispose of them and protect our girls from them ..

    they are

    extremely intelligent
    very agile
    and prolific.

    Batten down the hatches .. they know where you are now.

  4. crossedwires

    crossedwires Chirping

    Jan 19, 2010
    a small injection of lead behind there ear normaly clears the problem up [​IMG] if done in the correct manner one application is normaly enough per critter [​IMG]

    this would be my prefered applicator [​IMG]

    but due to uk law i have to use [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
  5. tinychicky

    tinychicky Songster

    Mar 24, 2010
    Hollis, New Hampshire
    awww! don't kill them! just be sure to close up the coop at night! if yu have to, set a havahart trap and take the coon a few miles away!

    also, if that's your only hen now, i'd suggest getting a few more. chickens are social animals and unless she lives inside with you, she'll need some company! try using chicken wire with smaller holes-1/2"-1" instead of 2". the raccoons can't fit there paws in as easily and the chickens can't fit thier heads out!
  6. Shannon's Chix

    Shannon's Chix Songster

    Apr 30, 2009
    N.E. Florida
    I think I had my first coon issue last week. Took the head off my beautiful d'uccle...right through the wire! I had to move all my d'uccles to the big girls coop but keep them locked up so the big girls won't kill them too! Untill I get things more secure. Good luck to you! [​IMG]

    R.I.P. Richie, and your girl too. [​IMG]

  7. WingingIt

    WingingIt Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    Quote:DO NOT trap and release it. That's illegal there.


    From the site:

    In California raccoons are classified as furbearers. The fur harvest season is set by the California Department of Fish and Game, which further determines when and how raccoons may be taken. Raccoons causing damage may be taken at any time by legal means. The California Department of Fish and Game Regulations prohibit the relocation of raccoons and other wildlife without written permission of the Department. For further information, contact the Department of Fish and Game.

    For the average homeowner, unfamiliar with trapping raccoons, it is advisable to hire a professional wildlife control operator to remove the animal. The professional will have the proper equipment to accomplish the task and will be able to tell if a trapped female is nursing its young. This is very important because you don’t want to leave young behind to starve. The professional will also have the means to euthanize the animals, since releasing them elsewhere is prohibited by law. Released animals may return or present a problem to someone else and, in fact, the animal you have trapped may have been deliberately released near you. Release of animals is a major factor in the dissemination of numerous diseases to other animals.

  8. Kill it if you can. They are destructive killers. Relocation is not a good option - a few miles will make no difference.
  9. Keri78

    Keri78 Songster

    Oct 17, 2009
    Would electric fence work? Just one strand...no big deal...enough to deter them next time. So sorry for your chickies![​IMG]
  10. Mervin

    Mervin Songster

    Jan 25, 2010
    Central Pennsyltucky
    Quote:You're obviously young so hopefully they take it easy on you. You are, however, probably going to get several people posting about raccoons being a vector for the spread of rabies and other disease. Many will be vehement in their arguments. What you should know is raccoons do spread disease and it is illegal in most jurisdictions to trap and relocate them in for that reason and several others. If you take it only a few miles away, it will likely find its way back anyway. Even if it doesn't, other raccoons are likely to find you for the same reasons the first one did. Logic would then suggest more permanent deterrence. If you kill them you will have to keep killing them, others will find you. Beefing up your defenses (i.e. hardware cloth and electric fencing) may be better a option.

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