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how to protect chickens from raccoons

This alone is enough to open up many new access routes for raccoons that may not be available for traditional predators like dogs or coyotes, and you have to plan accordingly when making sure your chicken coop is safe. Raccoons don’t like the scent of ammonia (and neither do most humans). Do Guard Geese Protect Chickens from Hawks. Good Night, Chickens Finally, it should go without saying that chickens must be tucked safely up in protected coops for the night. So in this post, I talk about the ins and outs of how to protect chickens from raccoons. That’s it! My favorite one is this light called PredatorGuard, which I got on Amazon. What are the important steps to take to guard the chickens? Raccoons are also less likely to try to dig under coops, try to unlock doors, or try to break through a fence when they have to be in the open. BSTOOL Chicken Wire Net for Craft Projects,3 Sheets Lightweight Galvanized Hexagonal... Havahart 1045 Live Animal Two-Door Raccoon, Stray Cat, Opossum, and Groundhog Cage... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBZ9eHXiwic, Raccoon attacks chickens (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBZ9eHXiwic), How to Easily Determine What Killed Your Chickens, How to Stop Chickens from Pecking Each Other. Raccoons may be clever, but they are still wild animals, and, like most wild animals, can be easily startled or frightened away by the presence of a human guard for the chicken coop. They cannot fight against larger predators such as Coyotes, large cats, or raccoons. Instead, you can use hardware mesh fencing to make up the extra distance, or use another material that’s easier to handle. Take Precautions: Defense. Hands down, my favorite way of keeping raccoons from digging under my chicken coop and run is definitely the coop apron. But protecting your chickens from raccoons is a little more difficult than protecting them from other predators. How Many Chickens Can Share a Nesting Box? If extending the foundation is impractical, then make sure any obvious gaps are patched up, using the same tools you used to predator-proof your chicken coop in order to block out the raccoons as much as possible. Cover any gaps and vents with hardware cloth. Obviously, predator proofing your coop and run is very important. Protect your chickens from raccoons Raccoons are nocturnal and opportunistic and will be attracted to food and water left out overnight. If there are any openings in your roof, make sure they are covered with a small-gap mesh or some other material that will make it impossible for a raccoon to sneak through. Raccoons and other predators can tear right through it like tissue paper. While chicken wire may seem like the perfect solution for filling in gaps in your chicken coop–it’s right there in the name, after all!–it’s sadly not enough to deter a hungry raccoon. Geese are territorial and can help protect your flock of chickens. Once you’ve identified a weak spot, you can plug the gap with steel wool, or plaster over it with more wood, or even put a metal mesh cover over the hole until you can fully repair it. It’s an alternative to burying fencing material into the ground 12 to 18 inches and it works great (and it’s easier to make). They’re also extra challenging because they can climb and dig very well, and their front paws are a lot like human hands, which is both creepy and cute. Bury it or put an Apron on It. (Chicken wire should only be used to keep chickens in, not to keep predators out.) In some states, it’s very illegal to trap and relocate a raccoon. Also, a good livestock dog will help keep the raccoons away. Placing deterrent lights around the chicken coop is one of the best ways to create a raccoon-free property. How to Protect Chickens from Raccoons Your best defense against raccoons is to have a loud, obnoxious dog that hates raccoons. The smell of ammonia or bleach is highly repulsive to raccoons, and can be purchased at any home supply store and spread around the coop in order to frighten raccoons away. Another vital step is covering the coop. (adsbygoogle=window.adsbygoogle||[]).push({}). If everything else has failed, you might also be able to humanely trap a raccoon. The coop itself is the strongest source of protection for your chickens, and if it’s strong enough, it should do most of the work in deterring predators like raccoons from preying on your flock. Proper identification of the predatory threat is key to implementing the right solution to this problem and keeping your hens safe. Keep their coops raccoon proofed. And I couldn’t be more pleased with them. If wildlife is hungry enough, they’ll work day and night to get at your chickens. And please make sure to visit the trap often! This is the perfect time for you to check your coop and run for any gaps. To proof against any dedicated diggers, make sure the walls of your coop extend at least a foot below the surface of the earth. If your coop is reinforced to protect against a tunneling raccoon, you may want to make sure your fence is reinforced the same way. Raccoons and other predators might still be hunting early in the morning. So make sure to check around doors, windows, vents, and the roof for any gaps. However, because chickens are prey animals, this does run the risk of making them uneasy in their coop, too, so ammonia may still be the safest choice when dealing with skittish animals like chickens. The list of predators that attack poultry is long, and predation can occur at both day and night. Remove all chicken feed and store it in a steel container (. I hope this post about how to protect chickens from raccoons helped you out! The Ultimate Guide to Raising Chickens for Eggs. Obviously a fence around the backyard is a much larger undertaking than the walls of a chicken coop, but if possible, extending the foundation of your fence can go a long way towards making your yard safer for your chickens and any other animals you keep at home. Bushes, large grasses, decks, and overhangs can be a perfect place to take shelter. I have 5 chickens now and they run free in the yard but when the chickens are out in the yard, the raccoon goes in there house and eats the food. You don't want to know! If birds are dead and not eaten but are missing their heads, the predator may be a raccoon, a hawk, or an owl. LaySomeEggs.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for websites to earn fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Especially as raccoons adapt to human habitation, an unsecured trash can serves as a welcome mat for a hungry raccoon, and so they will be far more likely to return to your yard and check for any other easily available sources of food. Using a motion detector light at night is a possibility, although raccoons will quickly become used to it. Similarly, many pet supply stores or online retailers offer predator urine for purchase. If you're interested, you can read my story, 11 Methods to Protect Chickens from Raccoons. In many cases, predators will leave tracks or scat behind as evidence. Raccoons are primarily nocturnal, but, as they adapt more and more to human presence in their habitats, they are starting to hunt more during the day. If you have fruit trees, nut trees, or berry bushes on your property, check for and pick up ripe and fallen fruit. To deter digging predators, dig a 12″ trench all the way around the … But raccoons are notorious for killing the chickens they can grab through chicken wire. Raccoons will kill ducks. You don’t need to make your chicken coop into a fortress to protect your chickens from raccoons, but it helps. Identifying a chicken that was the victim of a raccoon attack is easy. Enclose your chickens in a secure coop at night. Make sure to correct your dog any time it seems to be disturbing your chickens. Another good way to frighten away potential predators is to install a lighting system around the coop. Be especially careful to remove all eggs before nighttime. Also to know is, do raccoons attack chickens during the day? If you don’t know what a coop apron is, you definitely want to check my post on how to keep predators from digging under the chicken coop using a coop apron. We had a big raccoon problem when we first bought our house. One of the best ways to protect chickens from hawks, owls, and eagles is to make sure your chickens have lots of places to hide when a predator is flying overhead. In addition to keeping the area between the coop and the house free of any large plants where raccoons can sleep and hide away, there are various measures you can take to make your yard as a whole less appealing to raccoons, including: As mentioned above, scents like ammonia or the proteins found in predator urine are extremely repulsive to raccoons. If you see a raccoon during the day, it could be harmless or it could be diseased, so if you approach it at all, do so with extreme caution. One extra thing to take note of is the natural sleep cycle of raccoons. The last thing they want is to be caught. Do not leave your chickens loose in the yard at night, as they will also provide an easy snack for a hungry raccoon. Areas, where raccoons are prevalent, will often offer light systems specifically to deter raccoons–motion activated alarm systems that will switch on a blinding light that should be enough to send the would-be coop-raider scurrying back for the safety of the darkness. The chicken coop is one of the easiest targets for raccoons because they know that it is a source of easy prey. It really works! They are not like the possums. Yuck. Steel wool should be used instead of chicken wire to fill in gaps in your coop, but for lengths of fencing, you should be using something like hardware cloth fencing, so that raccoons can’t sneak their hands through the links and break into the coop. When those signs are absent, much can be inferred by the way in which the chickens are attacked. You might also want to check out my most popular post: DIY Chicken Coop Plans (That Won’t Get Your Chickens Murdered at Night). Use a strong padlock openable only with a key. To protect your chicken coop from raccoons, mount four Nite Guard Solar lights on all four sides of the coop (one light per side) and position them at eye level to a raccoon (about 10–15 inches from the ground and centered corner to corner). Taking steps to protect chickens from predators should be on every chicken owner’s mind. Potential Poultry Predators If you are new to raising chickens , you might not even be aware of what predators are around. If you have reason to suspect that a raccoon might be rabid, your first priority should be to get yourself, your family, and your animals out of harm’s way before you go to deal with the raccoon. They were eating out of our garbage cans every night, ripping the … Guard Geese are territorial and can help protect your flock of chickens. If you do decide to trap a raccoon, you can throw marshmallows into the back of a humane live animal trap, like these ones on Amazon, and smear peanut butter all over and under the trip plate. Instead of chicken wire, you must use hardware cloth (my favorite is this one from Amazon) for your chicken coop and run. On a similar note, any weak spot in the coop’s walls or surroundings can easily be exploited by a raccoon. If you live in an area with lots of hawks and owls you will need to place a cover … Your chickens are likely to be safe roaming during the day, but they won't be so safe when the sun goes down. If you wait until a mink has discovered your chicken coop, then you … So it’s a good idea to leave the area around your chicken coop free of bushes, trees, or anything raccoons can hide behind or under. Of all the natural predators that chickens have to deal with in the wild, there are few that are as determined as the raccoon. Your email address will not be published. Because I live in a secluded area with many predators, my chickens only free-range when my dog is with them during the day. Make sure any latches or doors on your coop are securely fastened with twine or even secured with padlocks, so that a raccoon can’t simply open up the coop and help himself to whatever he finds inside. If something is attacking your chickens, the first thing you need to do is figure out which predator is to blame. Raccoons can also easily climb wood any chicken coop made out of wood. Do not let your chickens … Finally, you may want to make sure that there are no large bushes or trees between your house and the chicken coop. Most people would want to have a solid roof … By predator-proofing your chickens’ coop, maintaining a clear, well-lit line of visibility, and keeping the area around the coop free of any potential hiding spots, you can keep these crafty carnivores from devastating your flock, and keep your chickens healthy and safe. I appreciate wildlife, including the black bears who occasionally visit. 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