Within Raccoon's Reach

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by JackieK318, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. JackieK318

    JackieK318 Chillin' With My Peeps

    473
    0
    159
    Apr 29, 2007
    Missouri
    I lost three chicks last night due to a raccoon. Their run was weighted down, but the wire mesh wasn't tight enough. One of the three had a heart attack due to the stress. The run was physically moved about 5 feet. The big chickens' run door was almost opened. I have a latch that is a piece of wood that swivels down to 'lock' the door in place. They almost figured out the latch and had a good feast.

    I let everyone out this morning to free range and nobody moved. They were all so jumpy. I even had some wanting up on the deck (where they all were last night basking in the porch light). All of the food and water containers were knocked over. I just feel so horrible. At least I know I am going to have to go with the 1/4" x 1/4" mesh on the final run. I am just so sick to my stomach now.

    Any other ideas about how to keep raccoons out? Have you all had them figure out door knobs and latches?
     
  2. peeps7

    peeps7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    North Carolina
    kill the raccoon! I love animals and even have a "zoo" in my room but if the coon is killing the chickens the kill the coon.
     
  3. DoctorGoose

    DoctorGoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    381
    0
    139
    Jul 27, 2007
    Woodinville,WA
    Ugh. I'm sorry. If you want, I can send you my freshly-dead coon to post on your coop! [​IMG]

    I've not had a coon figure out my latches, but my latch is about shoulder height, so that would be pretty awkward for them. My coop is also situated on concrete, with 4x4s on the bottom. The latch is one of those bolt-slides but it's also old and rusty, making it difficult to open. I would put another latch on your coop--one with a clip on it, or a bolt with a clip. Extra security is always good. I also abandoned the idea of chicken wire and went for rabbit instead--it's really stiff and a pain in the but to install, but I think it's worth it.
     
  4. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    3,367
    35
    238
    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    We use locks on all of our coop/run doors since we know our landlady has had major coon issues on her farm (which is directly behind our place).
     
  5. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    6,967
    22
    291
    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    Oh, I am so sorry, the only answer I would have is to kill the coon and any other predator after your chickens. Our main door into the room has hook and eye lock but it is up high and I always put something up against the door. The little door with the ramp my dh made to discourage predators plus we wedge the heavy ramp up against it each night. Our windows have wire on the outside and the inside of the frames. I still worry. Again, I am so sorry.
     
  6. JackieK318

    JackieK318 Chillin' With My Peeps

    473
    0
    159
    Apr 29, 2007
    Missouri
    I can't believe how strong they are. When Splash was on the deck in a cat crate (chicken hospital), a coon tried carrying him away! I found him safe in the crate tipped on its side at the bottom of the deck steps.
     
  7. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    6,967
    22
    291
    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    wow, makes me rethink our set up. I want locks now!
     
  8. JackieK318

    JackieK318 Chillin' With My Peeps

    473
    0
    159
    Apr 29, 2007
    Missouri
    This may sound stupid, but how big is a raccoon's hand? I'm going online to buy supplies to pick up tonight, so I'm trying to figure out how tiny I need the mesh for the windows and pen. There's 1/2" mesh and 1" mesh.
     
  9. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    3,367
    35
    238
    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Quote:Jackie,

    I prefer the 1/2" mesh, personally as it is too small for critters to reach into.
     
  10. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    6,967
    22
    291
    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    yes, def go for the 1/2 mesh and make sure it is heavy gauge.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by