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how to protect chickens from raccoons

Make sure to collect all eggs in the coop and surrounding areas. Proper identification of the predatory threat is key to implementing the right solution to this problem and keeping your hens safe. These predators typically are able to kill, pick up, and carry off an adult chicken.Hawks typically take chickens during the day, whereas owls take them during the night. Think of raccoons as burglars. This will make sure that your line of sight remains clear, but will also prevent raccoons from being able to hide during the day or access the coop from a different angle at night. Dogs can be some of the best protectors against raccoons. I admit I go a little crazy in that post, but I’ve had so many neighbors lose their chickens to predators (especially raccoons) because their chicken coop wasn’t safe. Hands down, my favorite way of keeping raccoons from digging under my chicken coop and run is definitely the coop apron. One extra thing to take note of is the natural sleep cycle of raccoons. 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. That’s it! 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. Other than that, my chickens stay in their very large run or they’re locked up in their coop at night. It really works! They can fight off smaller predators such as skunks, weasels, and other rodents. Ultimately, the best way to keep your chickens are safe from raccoons is to make sure that a raccoon cannot get into the coop. As mentioned in the entry regarding roofs, a raccoon’s physical build makes it able to take advantage of unorthodox routes, and one of those routes is directly beneath your chickens’ feet. This can include pet food or even chicken food, which raccoons can smell from a great distance, and can actually invite them to consider your yard as a potential food source for up to three years later. However, because raccoons are small and agile, there are more factors to take into consideration that could be exploited, including: 1. We had a big raccoon problem when we first bought our house. Be especially careful to remove all eggs before nighttime. Similarly, many pet supply stores or online retailers offer predator urine for purchase. So, they become a bigger problem for your chickens. I've been raising chickens since 2012 -- initially for their eggs and to keep our yard clear of bugs and now as pets. For example; raccoons can easily open up … Yuck. Raccoons also have a highly developed sense of smell, which can lead them directly to your chicken coop, but can also provide a way of warding them off. While it may be a little less hygienic than ammonia, spraying predator urine (typically collected from animals like dogs, coyotes, large cats like panthers and cougars, or wolves) around your coop is an almost surefire way to make raccoons thinks twice about coming closer. Potential Poultry Predators If you are new to raising chickens , you might not even be aware of what predators are around. One mistake beginner chicken keepers do all the time is using chicken wire thinking their chickens will be protected by it. Make sure to collect all eggs in the coop and surrounding areas. In many cases, predators will leave tracks or scat behind as evidence. 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. So you’ll need a complicated lock, a padlock with a key, or a combination lock for your chicken coop. In the fall, raccoons are especially hungry at this time because they need extra calories to fatten up and prepare for the upcoming cold temperatures. Most predators are nervous about crossing a yard with little to no place to hide. Raccoons will also use your chickens’ waterer to wash their food. Placing deterrent lights around the chicken coop is one of the best ways to create a raccoon-free property. Install a Roof. Raccoons don’t like the scent of ammonia (and neither do most humans). … I hope this post about how to protect chickens from raccoons helped you out! Take Precautions: Defense. Securing Your Chicken Coop. They are not like the possums. They were eating out of our garbage cans every night, ripping the … Obviously, predator proofing your coop and run is very important. Instead of chicken wire, you must use hardware cloth (my favorite is this one from Amazon) for your chicken coop and run. Raccoons are yet another predator that you need to look out for when it comes to protecting your chickens. This last tip may not be an option, but often having a dog that exists in the same space as any potential food is enough to deter any potential predators. And I couldn’t be more pleased with them. Make Them Vulnerable. The chicken coop is one of the easiest targets for raccoons because they know that it is a source of easy prey. So long as you make sure the inside of the coop is sealed against light so that your chickens can get a good night’s sleep, a blinding light can startle predators like raccoons into beating a hasty retreat. Protect From Above Secure the top of the chicken run with aviary netting or deer netting. Protect your chickens from raccoons Raccoons are nocturnal and opportunistic and will be attracted to food and water left out overnight. When those signs are absent, much can be inferred by the way in which the chickens are attacked. I have a raccoon problem and I was wanting to know if the Guard Night light works. They can fight off smaller predators such as skunks, weasels, and other rodents. But protecting your chickens from raccoons is a little more difficult than protecting them from other predators. Also to know is, do raccoons attack chickens during the day? Remove all chicken feed and store it in a steel container (. Daily Collection of Eggs. A raccoon’s clever nature and manual dexterity make them as much a threat to a coop as larger, stronger predators, and the fact that they carry diseases like rabies makes them as dangerous to humans as they are to chickens. If a raccoon has targeted your chickens and you’ve bought or borrowed a live trap, here are several steps to take to safeguard your birds. This is because the raccoons are among the smartest of predators. Amazon product data was last updated on 2020-12-06. Keep their coops raccoon proofed. 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). Your email address will not be published. Do not leave your chickens loose in the yard at night, as they will also provide an easy snack for a hungry raccoon. They cannot fight against larger predators such as Coyotes, large cats, or raccoons. Please, don't ask me how much this all costs to protect chickens from bobcats, mountain lions, bears, raccoons, weasels, mink, coyote, raccoon, fishers cats, etc. Ideally, use hardware cloth with a fine mesh that raccoons can't reach through (use 1/2" or 1/4"). PredatorGuard also scares deer, wolves, coyotes, foxes, skunks, and bears. (Chicken wire should only be used to keep chickens in, not to keep predators out.) how to keep predators from digging under the chicken coop, (That Won’t Get Your Chickens Murdered at Night). 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. 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. Stop raccoons from invading your garbage bins by using a, Raccoons will eat any food left out at night, including chicken feed. You don't want to know! Another thing to consider when dealing with predators like raccoons–or, in many cases, rodents like rats and opossums–is that they can climb. If you wait until a mink has discovered your chicken coop, then you … Geese are territorial and can help protect your flock of chickens. As long as the gap is closed or made small enough that a raccoon can’t get even a single “finger” through to the inside of the coop, your chickens should be safe. If you … Chicken wire is more for keeping your chickens in than keeping predators out. It scares them and makes them stay away from your yard. Cover any gaps and vents with hardware cloth. To make sure that your chicken coop is reinforced from above, make sure that the roof meets the walls at every angle, and that there is no gap at the corners or on the straight edges where a raccoon might be able to get a hold. Similar to the above entry, this is less about protecting your chickens in their coop and more about protecting them by making sure raccoons have no reason to be hanging around your house to begin with. Take the same precautions to keep raccoons out of attics, barns, and crawl spaces underneath decks and porches. Protecting Your Chickens Against Raccoons. Different predators are active at different times of the day and th… Don’t leave your chickens in an open area. 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. And please note that raccoons can squeeze into very small holes. 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. So, if you get a dog, be sure to supervise them at first. My favorite one is this light called PredatorGuard, which I got on Amazon. Don’ts for Protecting Chickens from Predators. 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. I may earn a commission when you buy through links on my site. No matter what material you settle on, if it’s enough to stop a raccoon from tunneling into the safety of your coop, it should be more than enough to keep your coop and your chickens safe and sound. Be especially careful to remove all eggs before nighttime. Protect Backyard Chickens from Raccoons This week is the beginning of a series that will explore the many predators that threatens the backyard chicken flock. If something is attacking your chickens, the first thing you need to do is figure out which predator is to blame. Click to see full answer. Another vital step is covering the coop. Run is very important the scent of ammonia ( and neither do most humans ) at night ripping... Can stress the chickens they can grab through chicken wire thinking their chickens will protected... Is actually protecting your chickens ’ waterer to wash their food fight off smaller predators such skunks! From your yard goal is to stop raccoons from getting to my chickens stay their. 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how to protect chickens from raccoons