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I hate raccoons

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have had the worst luck this year with my chickens. First a weasel took my laying flock, now wily raccoons are after my meat chickens and my replacement laying flock. The latest tactic is to grab my chickens through the chicken wire and bite their heads off (because that's all they can get to). The traps we used in the past aren't working- somehow the raccoons are able to get the bait out of the trap without getting caught.

Pretty soon I'll be like the little boy in Old Yeller, sitting up all night to wait for the raccoons to come.

I think we may end up butchering a little earlier than I wanted to this year, just so that WE get to eat the chickens before the raccoons take them all.

post #2 of 16
Oh, how lousy! I just lost two of my chicks to a stray cat. Grrrrrrrrr
post #3 of 16
We just lost our girl to a fox It was a mama cub with kits though, so I do not begrudge mama her meal, but we are still sad.

Strangley I have had chickens of and on for years with no major issues, except the one summer with a horned owl who discovered easy pickings among my flock of hens and rabbits, but the neighbours to the sides and behind ALL have huge racoon issues. The one guy has racoons eating the hens toes through the wire as they are in raised pens. The others have traps everywhere and have really thick construction-type metal fencing around the pens. I guess once somehting learns an easy meal can be had, there is no turning back.

I wonder if electric fencing would be of any deterant?
Or mouse/rat traps on the top (the snapping kind). I bet a few snapped fingers and noses and the coons would look for a less painful meal.
post #4 of 16
We *ALWAYS* used to have issues with raccoons and opossums, up untill a few yrs ago when we switched to portable electric netting - and haven't lost a chicken/duck since! We had chickens for a couple yrs, got rid of them and got ducks and had them for a solid year before we gave them away too (didn't really care for their eggs... esp my dad who was apparently allergic to them!!). We didn't even feel the need to lock them up at night like we used to!! So, I for one, *HIGHLY* recommend the electric netting!!
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
You know what, we HAVE the electric poultry netting. But in the past we've had so much trouble keeping it working well. The grass grows so quickly, touches the fence, and ruins the charge. We can mow/trim and then only have 2-3 days before the grass is growing into the fencing again. How do you avoid this issue?

In any case, we're butchering today or tomorrow, and we've been doing a good job of keeping the layers safe. So hopefully the raccoons will go away soon!
post #6 of 16
IDK... maybe you need a bigger/stronger charger? Cause' ours ever got moved occasionally, and certainly not mowed around ever 2-3 days... more like once a week when we mowed the rest of the yard.
post #7 of 16
I put deer netting along the chainlink and kinda crisscrossed it so their stupid little hands cant pry through. It was pretty cheap but most of my run is wood fencing.
post #8 of 16
Are your racoons out during the day? Ours only come out at night and because our chickens are locked up from when they roost until safely into daylight hours we don't lose any to them.

For the trap, we have a live trap (so we don't accidently kill the resident mouser) and have found that placing a wheel barrow over it upside down helps keep them from being able to jostle and then trip the trap. Has worked much better for us like that.
post #9 of 16
Just wanted to commiserate. Awhile back (when the cherries came on the cherry tree) we had a couple around here. They took 5 ducklings and killed 10 of DH's homing pigeons. I'm glad they didn't take my chickens, but I feel bad for DH...he bred that flock up over the last few years

We used a Have A Heart trap in case we caught a cat or whatever, but dispatched 2 coons and haven't had a problem since. Knock on wood!!
post #10 of 16
strangely enough we have a racoon living (or spending a lot of time) under our front porch and he has not (yet! fingers crossed) bothered our chickens. Our chickens even free range during the day and the raccoon comes out in the day. They are all locked up tight at night though. Maybe he is a teenage raccoon or maybe he just gets enough of our catfood to keep him happy. We do seem to have less eggs than we should however....I really want a coon cam to see what really goes on back there....
post #11 of 16
I feel ya. Raccoons took out my whole flock the other night. Ripped out a segment of the screen of the coop window and massacred the lot and dragged off 2 of them.
post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by Qalliope View Post
I feel ya. Raccoons took out my whole flock the other night. Ripped out a segment of the screen of the coop window and massacred the lot and dragged off 2 of them.
oh that would break my heart So sorry for your loss.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
And today a hawk or eagle got two more chickens in the middle of the afternoon.

I just can't win.

Next year is going to be better, right?
post #14 of 16
How disheartening.

FWIW, there seem to be a lot of farmers around here who lose their chickens to weasels, coyotes, raccoons, but we haven't lost any so far. They free range, coming in to roost only at night and I leave the coop door open for them. I give full credit to our dog for keeping predators at bay. She's a Great Pyrenees. I hear her barking at night, and she guards the perimeter of our land religiously.
post #15 of 16
I put my dogs outside at night since our yard is fenced.I know coons can cause serious injury,so I am hoping my dogs barking is enough.I really think though that they just lay around by the house till morning!

Sorry for your loss.I have issues with hawks.
post #16 of 16
Raccoons are crazy. A couple weeks ago we had a raid and the raccoon TOOK OUT a heavy wooden screen window and got half our flock.
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