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Discussion Starter #1
At the start of the summer, I fixed up an old "corn crib" on my property and converted it into a makeshift chicken coop which I raised 15 chickens in since they were just chicks. One and a half months later once they had grown large enough to free range I would let them out at 6 am and put them in at 9 pm every day and continued this for another month or so. I started to notice that one of my chickens went missing when I counted them later that evening. I did not think much of this because I had figured I would lose 1 or 2 to predators such as birds or a roaming fox.


One week after my chicken went missing I had an animal get in and kill 9 of my chickens. I was very upset by what happened given that I have raised them for months and for the fact that when I started to clean them up I noticed the raccoon had left one paralyzed still making noise along with breaking the leg of one of the 5 that were still alive. I put down the two injured chickens with a .22




The next night The same raccoon came back and killed the remaining 5. To find the raccoon that did this I set two leg traps to catch it. On the 2nd day with the traps, I caught the raccoon and killed it with a 9mm.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
My plan for next year is to build a new coop from scratch closer to the house. My corn crib was modified to prevent this kind of incident, but in the process, I lacked the knowledge that the roof had large holes which was how the raccoon got in the second time.
 

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I feel your pain.
The same thing happened to us last summer. We lost 15 chickens and 4 ducks to raccoons.
I went out the next night and waited for them...I heard (a famly of 4) them in the coop and to say they are no more.
This year I have used the same trap as you. Since May I have traped 11 of the nasty creature!
I have 1 trap by the chicken coop...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Keeping a trap at the coop is a good idea. I have been trapping the coop since the incident 2 weeks ago just to see if I catch more than one. In the coming days I will be cleaning out the coop in its entirety and once its all washed down to concrete again I am going to keep 1 trap inside it year round to make sure I don't have any trying to move in.
 

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I had the same problem with bobcats. I don't have that problem anymore. I also have to watch out for mink. They can get in the smallest of holes. I have an electric wire around my pen. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
you really can't kill all the coons as more will move to your area to fill the gap. making a coon proof pen is the best way to fix the problem .
I've not had an'' in pen'' loss in 40 years . I'm not against killing the coons but you can't kill your way out of the problem.
I agree with you. My plan is to build a proper coop next time and leave no room for error.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
If your on this site for more than a few days you will no free range is bad, birds not locked up securely at night is bad and runs with tops is bad.
During the day I let them out, but always put them in at night. My issue with the top is that is was an old corn crib in the 50's so it had ventilation in the top with gave raccoons an easy way in and out.
 

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Have you considered electric poultry netting:

https://kencove.com/fence/134_Poultry+Netting_resource.php

It has worked well for us for some time. You can move it around as the chickens wear out their area. No raccoon or possum or fox or coyote predation in many years for us with the poultry. I'll probably get 1/2 eaten tonight now that I said that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Have you considered electric poultry netting:

https://kencove.com/fence/134_Poultry+Netting_resource.php

It has worked well for us for some time. You can move it around as the chickens wear out their area. No raccoon or possum or fox or coyote predation in many years for us with the poultry. I'll probably get 1/2 eaten tonight now that I said that.
Thank you for the suggestion. I have seen peoples using this for their chickens and they seem pleased with it.
 

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Its not normal for a racoon to kill in big numbers----I think you got another predator? I do not see any roost in there---if they were all sleeping on the floor--Maybe that led to him possibly killing them all by himself???
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My chickens had not started laying eggs yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
??
They need a roost when they aee old enough to climb.
Gotcha, miss understanding. I had been meaning to build a roost for them to hang out on since they had been bulking up in the corner for some time. A few days before I planned to build a roost they got killed.
 

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Raccoons are strong and have oposable thumbs. We keep our birds behind a chain link fence with a chain link top, and I throw them the weeds that I pull out of the garden

Some areas flat out have too many varmints. And, once a varmint kills a hen they will show up again after the first hen is digested and they again want dinner. We were able to free range for a little while when we had a good dog, but he got old and we now must keep the birds confined
 

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Ryan, we learn---sometimes the hard way. When you start to get set-up, check your entire coop----floor to ceiling for a hole that you can stick your little finger in---close off all with 1/2" hardware cloth Really secured. Keep in mind cheap wire like "chicken wire" a lot of predators will tear right through it. Sorry for your Lose!
 
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